To be honest, I’m not sure why I signed up for this 15k but in early spring I was looking at it as a training run for my upcoming #STWM half. Summer happened. It wasn’t the least bit kind to me. Humidity and asthma don’t work together. Plus my latest test shows my asthma is not improving even with my weight loss.
So the RBC Race for the Kids (Which other provinces call it RBC Run for the Kids, which seems more legit) is a run that you gain your entrance by fundraising the min fee of $100 or paying it yourself. I set out to fundraise. I need to thank my family and friends who donated. Thank you! The funds raised go right back to the community by way of Sunnybrook hospital for the Youth Mental Health centre.
Getting there was easy. Park at the Finch TTC station and take a quick ride south. Finding the start line was easy as well. Lots of bathrooms and I hit it well before the line up.
Was happy running into friends before the run for some good luck, pics and hugs.
Koren decided to pace me for the run, give up her time to just keep me company. I’m thankful for the extra push.
The course itself starts going north on Yonge Street, which is a hill. But I looked at it same way as in life we always have to climb a hill to see the view from the top. We ran this run for kids who are struggling so no slow hill was going to stop me. It was awesome to see a sea of blue runners in front of me.
Once we got to the top of the “hill” we turned on to Finch and headed west. The crowd by this point was thinned out and we were near the back of the pack.
With regard to the actual course safety and my concerns. I’ve reached out and spoke to one of the race directors to express the serious concerns regarding this. For me to do this you all know it was serious! I’ve been told that my concerns have been taken serious and it won’t happen again for next year. Whether I return next year that is another question.
My favourite water station was the one in the “hydro park path”, I literally thought I was close to the finish. These ladies were loud and amazing cheerleaders.
I think what made me feel done and actually wishing the finish would just magically appear was when we watched a cop leave his paid duty post and drive away. So this added time as we had to stop and push the button and wait for the to change, with other runners.
Koren and I did our best in not stopping running, we sang, danced and just had fun. Once we reached the last water section, which was the turn down the side road to get back to Finch.
At this side road turn we were told the course was closed and we had to use the sidewalk. They were collecting the pilots etc.
I’m not a side walk runner. Anyone that knows me knows I trip easy etc. So this wasn’t happening. I went back to the road which was still crossed off for us runners.
In the meantime Koren was on her phone looking to see how long the course was actually open for. As you all know I NEVER sign up for a run with a small open course time. I can’t do it with my fear of this exact thing happening. It just adds extra stress.
By the time we reached Finch to turn (which we had to ask the officer because again we were told the course was closed). Since we knew the police were closing the course early at this point, I spoke my beef to the officer (including using language my dad would tell me I need soap for my mouth). It had to be said there was still people behind me.
After being “told” to get on the side walk, I refused. I still had an hour and a bit, I refused. The officer just could deal, they were being paid. I was not. I was out trying to chase a new PB.
Again by this time Koren and I were officially done with this course and run. The run along Finch back to Yonge was just stressful. We encountered more chaos which included a car driving behind me, feeling the heat from the engine and this driver honking at me to get off the road. Then having Officers tell us to wait till he cleared intersections and then he would let us cross.
Once we hit the turn to Yonge Street it was literally down hill to the finish. We were back with the rest of the runners.
When I was about 150-200m away from the finish line, my friend Matt (was an ambassador with the run) was on the side line cheering, yelling and giving me what I needed, encouragement.
So the big question is with all the foolishness and chaos did I obtain a new 15k PB…. the answer is YES.
So here we are finished. I wasn’t last but I wasn’t first and that’s ok. We all ran this run for a purpose and a reason. For the youth and mental health.
Now on to the other things…
Food… holy line ups. I didn’t even wait in them. They were so extremely long and not moving. Koren thankfully was given food by our friend Laurie. I run with a hydration pack and I couldn’t find water in anyway to get a sip, I found the water cooler but no cups. There was juice boxes around but due to my own health (sugars) I don’t consume juices. It was cute idea having the juices boxes around for people to grab. So we grabbed food on our walk back to the car from Metro. I seriously was hungry and thirsty.
I originally emailed in to be an ambassador for this run. I myself suffered my youth by the hands of bullies (and even deal with it as an adult). I had to speak to someone to overcome all that comes with being bullied. I’ve had family and friends take their lives by way of suicide. So I know how important it is to continue to help fundraise for such an amazing cause. Just recently I came face to face with one of my bullies. Even to this day I still experience the feelings of nerves and panic. I’m a grown adult but this person made my life a living hell for 4 years. I’m older now as I said and I know that this person can’t harm me, hurt me and really it’s just words.
So even if you don’t want to run this run next year please consider sponsoring another runner or donating directly to Sunnybrook hospital or to a local hospital in your area that deals with mental health in youth.
Overall I’m happy that I got a new PB. I was happy to help raise money for a cause. Thankful for Koren for pacing me and keeping my nerves in check when the police drama unfolded. If I was alone I know I would of cried and just gave up.
Thank you to Caroline from the run for speaking with me. Listening to all my safety concerns and allowing me to give details on what went on during the course. People if you see something that could be changed, a suggestion or have a concern speak up. Race directors can’t be everywhere and we are the extra eyes.
I’m still on the fence if I’ll do this run again. I haven’t planned my 2017 run calendar yet.