Around the Bay 30k race recap

Great shirt this year.

Here’s a quick recap of my Around the Bay 30k. This was my 3rd year in a row doing this race, and I highly recommend it – one of my favorites.

We had a beautiful day again this year. Blue skies, sun and a cool but pleasant temperature. The wind picked up throughout the race, but it didn’t bother me until the last 4k when we seemed to be running right into it.

Gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny...

Me in blue – gawking at my friends and losing my pace bunny…

It was an interesting race for me. I hadn’t trained enough because of the cold winter, I only got up to 23k in training, and I’ve been running slower than I have in years. I had a goal of 3 hours when I signed up and I had adjusted it to 3:10 for the race. I had planned to run with the 3 hour bunny as long as I could and then just do my best after I couldn’t keep up.

Well, right off the bat I lost the 3 hour bunny. I was busy gawking at the side looking for my husband and friends as I started, and I realized a few minutes in that I couldn’t find the bunny (that had been just beside me at the start) anywhere. My Garmin had also shut off just before the start and it took me a couple of minutes to get it going so I had no idea exactly where I was timewise. I spent the first few kms trying to catch up to the pace bunny in front, only to find out that it was the 2:55 pace bunny.

Anyway, long story short, I decided to just do whatever felt good. And I think the fact that I was staying ahead of my pace bunny and not letting him catch me, instead of feeling like I was struggling to keep up to him, made me feel more confident and like I could really get a good time. When I passed the 10k I was just under 59 minutes. For the next 10k I took advantage of the flatness and hit 20k at around 1:57.

It was at 20k that some crazy spectator was yelling out “You’re almost there”. I turned to a lady in pink beside me and we joked about it (that’s not even close to almost there – but smiling does make you feel better when you’re running). I was feeling good about being in the last 3rd of the race until I hit 23k and I hit my wall – hard. At first I got a little down, but then I decided on mind over matter. I told myself that it was just my wall and I’d get past it. I allowed myself an extra walking break and took some more fuel and then told myself, “it’s a race – it’s supposed to hurt”, and got on my way. I was really tired for the last 5k and had to talk my way through it. At 28k, I stopped for a Gatorade at the last water station and I was feeling completely out of gas, then I noticed my pink lady from 20k run by and I decided she was going to help me in. I caught up to her and she said “I met you at 20k right? NOW we are almost there!” That was what I needed and I just stayed with her til the end of the race.

Chip time: 2:57:57. A personal best – and a new sense of what I can accomplish.

I had read this article before my race and used the tips in it throughout the race – I think it helped. 🙂

Mile Posts: 5 Tips To Help Running Feel Easier Read more at


Jackie” target=”_blank”>My run on Strava


Mandy’s Dream Races

I think every runner has a to-do list of races.  I keep a list of races that I am planning on running in the next year taped to my desk.  It gives me something to look forward to when I’m bored and stuck inside at work.  But tucked away in the back of my mind, I also keep a list of my dream races.  They are the races that, above all other races, I’d love to run!

Some of them are local, realistic goals, and others are far away and will probably never happen.  But each one is special to me.  Here they are:

1. Around the Bay Road Race

Around the Bay is a race with a lot of history.  It is the oldest road race in North America, first run in 1894.  That’s pretty cool, and for that reason alone, it’s on my list.  But on top of that, it’s only an hour away from home in Hamilton, Ontario!

Jackie and a few friends ran this race last spring.  It was a hard route, but they loved it.  The longest I’ve ran is a half-marathon.  So, although it scares me, I think this race may be in the not-so-distant future.

Image via Around the Bay

Image via Around the Bay

2. Waterloo Marathon

This is a small, local marathon that is held every spring.  The route is very scenic.  It winds through country roads, and even includes the famous covered bridge in West Montrose.  I think it’s important to support local races, so I would love if this was my first marathon.

3. Ottawa Marathon

Ottawa is a beautiful city, and this race takes you through some of its prettiest spots.  Running this one would make for a fun weekend away in the capital, but wouldn’t require too much planning or expense.

Image via Ottawa Tourism

Image via Ottawa Tourism

4. ENDURrun International

This is another local event, but it is CRAZY!  They call it the Tour de France of running events. It is a week long series of races in the heat of summer.  It includes a half-marathon, 15km time trial, 30km trail run, 16km hill run, 25.6km alpine run, 10km time trial, and then finishes off, just for the heck of it, with a marathon.  It’s pretty impressive that our relatively small community hosts such an epic event.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever have it in me to complete this race, but it’s fun to think about!  (You can also enter as a team, with one person tackling each race.  That might be a good place to start.)

Image via ENDURrun

Image via ENDURrun

5. Subaru Triathalon Series Milton Try-A-Tri

I think it would be amazing to complete a triathlon.  However, I can barely swim. If I could get past doggy-paddling, I would love to “Try-a-tri.”  It’s a mini triathlon, consisting of a 375m swim, 10k bike ride, and 2.5km run.  I think this race would take me far out of my comfort zone, but is still achievable.

6. Appalachians Ragnar Trail Relay

Running and camping with a bunch of friends!  How can you beat that? I don’t think it’s possible.  🙂

Image via Ragnar Trail Relays

Image via Ragnar Trail Relays

7. SeaWheeze Half-Marathon

This half-marathon is put on by Lululemon in Vancouver, BC.  Every picture I’ve seen from this race shows a sea of colourful Lulu-wearing runners.  I think it would be a fun, festive atmosphere, and I’ve always wanted to visit Vancouver.

Image via SeaWheeze

Image via SeaWheeze

8. Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco

This race is up there on my list.  San Francisco is my favourite city that I’ve traveled to, and I’d love to visit again.  I can’t imagine all the beautiful sights you’d see running 42.2k through that city!  At the end of this race, firemen hand out the medals, which are Tiffany & Co necklaces.  I like the thought of being able to wear your medal everyday without getting strange looks.

9. Klondike Trail Road Relay

Jackie told me about this relay.  It starts in Alaska and crosses into the Yukon.  As you can probably imagine, it has some serious elevation.  It would be an amazing experience, but the logistics of finding a team of runners crazy enough to travel that far to run up a mountain are nearly impossible!  This race will probably remain a dream.

10. Big Sur International Marathon

I’ve listed the previous races in no particular order, but my holy grail of all races is definitely the Big Sur International Marathon.  I’ve driven the Highway One coast line twice, and the beauty of that road is unbelievable.  It has a special place in my heart.  I imagine running that route would be life changing, and I hope I get the chance one day!

Image by Doug Steakley via

Image by Doug Steakley via