Around the Bay 30k and new moves!March 27th, 2012 | Posted by in Uncategorized
Well, lets start with the new moves. As you all probably know Mindy and I haver left Owen Sound (first week of March) as her contract ran out and I am still out of work. However the interesting aspect of this, is that she has moved up to Petawawa, which is 2 hours west of Ottawa. She is living on the army base there…no i didn’t scare her away into joining the military—she has accepted a 90 day contract to be the collections manager at their on base museum. Her first couple weeks have gone well, and despite missing her awesome hubby (haha)…she has gotten along well.
I moved back…..back home….to the room i grew up in….in my parents house. Yup, 32 years old and back to square one…i am refusing to get comfortable as I know this is a temporary home until either Mindy’s job goes fulltime or I find a fulltime job elsewhere. My mother is super happy I am here, and I am appreciative of her allowing me to stay.
I’ve had a job interview recently and am currently waiting to hear about it….as well I’ve been involved in some volunteer work with All Abilities Welcome out of Ottawa, ParaSport Ontario, Ontario Blind Sports Assoc. and Lambton Kent school board. All of which revolving around my ParaSport consulting passion, educating the world on the abilities of persons with physical challenges.
Now onto the 30k…
Back in january Syd and I thought “hey wouldn’t it be super to go do the Around the Bay 30k!!?” I had never done the race before and he’d done it a few times. So, i signed up and with our ambitious goal of 2:15, began training.
For both of us the training was going fairly well, but then Syd ran into some injury snags. I was busy with moving and “life” but had managed some pretty good training. As Sunday approached, Syd’s leg injury was still iffy, but we he decided to gut it out and I was ok with our revamped goal of 2:30-as my recent training had been suffering too.
Race day was beautiful and joining 7444 of our closest friends we set off on an overcast 10 degree C. day.
1414 of 7444 people
The race itself? Well without getting drawn out, it was a very average day for both of us. We were on goal pace or just behind it slightly at the 20km mark. We were both suffering groin strains, very odd i know, but the only thing i cna think of is the constant weaving in and out of runners. We started further back in the field perhaps then we shoul;d’ve and paid the price. Poor Syd has never worked so hard in guiding, i felt so bad for him. In a running race, if you see an opening, you can generally seamlessly zig zag through it…however Syd had to zig zag two 6 foot tall skinny guys through these holes….a tough task. He not only had to make sure we could both fit through the holes, but make sure coming out the other side, we had enough space. It was a very tricky task for him. I tried to use my vision to anticipate and help, but when you run into people of differing paces, it is challenging.
The first 10k were super tight and it really only opened up a tiny bit. At 20k a lady cut in front of me at an aid station and i didn’t see her in my field of vision….thud, down she went in a nice superman(woman) flying faceplant. Luckily it was at an aid station at a slower speed and I think she got away rather unscaved. Of course we apologized but Syd assured me it wasn’t my fault…. You can never assume the blind guy sees you jumping in front of him!!!
I felt terrible as i kicked a few peoples feet that day and there was some bumping, however everyone was super polite and understood what we were trying to do as a tethered pair. As well we got lots of support and everyone actually understood that I was blind and that was great!
After the 20k mark we both started to tire, but after the big hill at 26km, poor Syd’s leg just said no more, we cruised in at a slower pace then desired, but we still made it. Syd leanred that in a running race I am like a horse running for the barn…every KM marker from 10km on in, if i saw it, i’d start to surge and he’d have to pull me back a bit as his leg just was not cooperating. He’d apologize for slowing me down, but truth be told i had a little bit more in the tank then him, but not much.
I could not have run a single meter of that race without him…so running it a bit slower then our goal was ok..as it was 30k more then i could’ve ever done solo. Finding a guide that could run that fast AND push/pull me through traffic, that would have been a tough task for anyone and I appreciate his effort. It did feel good to actually have more energy at the end of the race then him (for once)…and he was actually super nice to acknowledge it. I can only imagine the extra energy he put out, getting me through that race, so I need not get too excited at the fact.
We learned some stuff that race, mainly to start nearer the front. We gained an appreciation of road racing’s challenges and we got a great workout in.
It takes a lot of energy, skill and patience to guide somebody through that chaos and Syd did it, never once complaining…even after i’d elbowed him about a thousand times.
So that was our ATB adventure…i’d do the race again but i’m not sure i could convince him!! We’ll see.
What’s next? Stay tuned, it’s something new and different for Syd and I, but something that we are super pumped about!!!