Monday, May 02, 2016

Cornwall Run to endMS Marathon - Race Coordinator Report

"Be the change you wish to see." Maybe it was a Facebook post superimposed on a photo of Ghandi, or maybe it was a bumper sticker on a Prius - but somehow that quote resonates with me.

Two years ago, at the awards ceremony of the Run to endMS, it was mentioned that they were considering putting on a full marathon to celebrate 15 years of the event. "That would be awesome" was the collective thought amongst me, my wife and a collection of Cornwall multisporters. "They should do this... they should do that..." we had no shortage of suggestions on how and what "they" should do when "they" put on the marathon.

Fast forward 18 months: still no official word on the Cornwall marathon. My wife and I are planning our 2016 multisport season, and looking to squeeze in a Boston Qualifying attempt.  I called up Pat Clarke, the long-time race director for the MS run. "Pat, are you putting on the marathon this year - can I help?" And with that innocent offer, a Pandora’s Box of event coordinating madness was opened.

I’ll spare you the minutia; suffice to say, there is a lot that goes into putting on a modern-era event, burdened with all the entitlements we as runners have come expect. There’s a phrase long time race directors tell newbies - "You don’t know what you don’t know."

Fast forward to race day, 6:40 AM, the buses roll into Crysler Park and Marina. I’ve already breathed several sighs of relief by now (I’ve synched the starter's watch with Sportstats, the buses (finally) arrived to pick us up, most of the runners have been bibbed and chipped, we’ve left the college right on schedule, we’ve passed by Upper Canada Village and the first aid station crew is getting setup and ready to go). We’re on site with twenty minutes to go before start time: plenty of time.

It’s amazing how fast time can really fly. I’m passing out the last bunch of bibs and chips, signing the invoices for the buses, answering last minute questions. Concurrently realizing that I have to really "water the flowers", but more urgently.... poop - oh yes, forgot to mention I’m running the marathon too.

No time, "I’ll just sweat it out." Oh the humility.

8 minutes to go: Shoot, gotta get changed and ready to run. 4 minutes to go: Uh oh, we gotta get everyone behind the start line.... 2 minutes to go: last minute instructions to runners, "Oh and by the way, for some reason, someone parked a house on the road, at about the 500 meter mark, uhm, just try and go around it" - you can’t make this stuff up. A glance at the watch, 6:59:48, "12 seconds to go!" By the time those words leave my mouth, "okay 4...3...2...1...Go!"

"...for some reason, someone parked a house on the road... just try and go around it"
- - -

From all accounts, our inaugural marathon was a success. There are of course many things we noticed that will be changed for next year, but overall, everyone seemed really happy. We even managed to qualify 25% of our runners for Boston. We have been lucky to have the local MS Society manage and coordinate a lot of the behind the scenes things. The local mulitisport and running community here in Cornwall have really helped with the race. Our registration, aid station, bike-support, and race-support volunteers were all top-notch. Joe McNamara our resident graphic designer knocked the bibs and medals out of the park; and Cornwall Triathlon Race Director, Rob Allen, not only helped enormously at the half-way mark, but for the past 10 years has set the example on how to put on world-class event.

Thank you to all the local runners who came out for the marathon. Thank you to the TriRudy community for participating. Thank you for the 5K, 10K and half-marathon runners for providing a back-bone to the whole event for without whom, we would not have the base to host a marathon.

If there’s any moral to this story, I suppose it is this: Bumper stickers work. The next time you hear yourself saying, "They should do _______", challenge yourself, "Be the change you wish to see".

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Run to endMS Marathon

Subtitle: So close.
Alternate Title: The LAST marathon I am ever running - I honestly mean it this time.

All smiles at 1.3 K.

Still running strong

The official pace band:

A planned negative split 51/49% with a finish time of 3:52

Planned vs Actual

Right on pace, until 29 K. 

The excuses - the wind was fro the East - it was much tougher than I expected along the Parkway. The Rollers from Guindon Park to Lamoureux Park were nasty.

The Strava -

Monday, March 28, 2016

Retail Therapy

Shiny new things. A new season begins...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Frozen Sole on Legs of 18K

The Frozen Sole lived up to it's reputation again this month with a wind chill of minus 27. We ran 18K yesterday, so we were on somewhat tired legs. Pretty good effort; probably could have gone faster. It felt faster than it really was at the start, likely due to the cold (and tired legs). I was able to surge at the end, dropping down to 4:18 for the final kilometer. I wore the Heart Rate Monitor and was surprised to see my resting heart rate in the 47-48 range while in the car waiting. The average heart rate for the race was lower than usual at 157.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Yuk yuk

Congratulations Phil Barnes! You have qualified for the Olympic-distance race at the 2016 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on Aug. 13 in Omaha, Nebraska, after finishing in the top 10 percent in your age group at the Challenge Cedar Point

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - Year in Review

The Good

Looking back, 2015 was a pretty good year.

Super Sprint Triathlon - CMC
Sprint Triathlon - Maple City (4th OA)
Olympic Triathlon - Cornwall - finally went legit sub 2:30 on an Olympic Triathlon
Half-Ironman - Tupper Lake
1500m pool swim (tied with PB from 3 years ago)
1500m open water swim - CMC
8K - Frozen Sole

Near Misses:
Ironman - (8mins 18 seconds over PB, but tougher course at Cedar Point, plus 800 meter run to T1) oh and 1st AG
500m pool swim (5 seconds over PB), but swam faster overall throughout the year
5K - (44 seconds over PB), but in the ball-park of top 3 overall
Duathlon - 5th best time overall, a minute off a PB, but 30 seconds within the top 3

The Bad

2015 was the first year I suffered some real set-backs injury wise:

I was nursing a sports hernia (?) for the first 8 months of the year.

I tripped and fell hard on my knees 3 weeks before my ironman and had prolonged severe pain from deep bone bruising.

I messed up my right leg somehow over-running the marathon at Cedar Point. It took about 7 weeks to recover.

And finally, I somehow managed to mess up my left shoulder while sleeping about 6 weeks ago, and it has me side-lined from swimming for now, with little sign of feeling better, even after multiple rounds of chiro and physio.

The Ugly

I'm finally old. I admit it. I'm one of those guys that gets injured now.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

PB at the Frozen Sole

By December, the training is usually ramping down and the flubber getting thicker. This year is no exception. This year seems to have been particularly bad -- training is significantly diminished, and flubber significantly thicker than most years - a visit to Trombino's yesterday did not help the cause... however, something unusual happened this morning. On the first really cold day of the year, with an ice-crusted running surface, I set my 3-year PB on the Frozen Sole 8K course. Clocking a 35:53 (sub 4:30 pace). Weird.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Frozen Sole #3.3

5 Miles @ 36:36. Not bad. 4th best Frozen Sole time. First two Frozen Soles were jogged due to nursing residual soreness from Cedar Point. This sole was pretty much all out. Surprised I am this "fast" for my current "condition". I knew I was racing as hard as I could, because with 2K to go, I was telling myself "only 10 more minutes of pain, and it's all over with".

Sunday, November 22, 2015


The wife and kids clean up at the CMC AGM and awards night. Laura = Female Youth Runner of the year, Female Youth Multisport Athlete of the year, Kids of Steel - Gold Level Award; Andrew = Male Youth Runner of the year, Male Youth Multisport Athlete of the year, Kids of Steel - Gold Level Award; Guylaine = Female Multisport Athlete of the year, CMC Challenge Award winner. Me = nothing.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Heartbreak, Boston style.

It was the best of times.. was the worst of times.

Today, it was official: despite breaking 3:55, Guylaine's Boston Marathon Qualifying time did not hold up against the "cut-off". This year, due to higher than normal applications, the BAA had to enforce a stricter cut-off than last year. It was 2 minutes and 28 seconds (versus 1 minute and 2 seconds last year). Guylaine had 1 minute and 8 seconds "in-hand".

We had a feeling it might not work out this year. Oh well. Next time(?)