Today it is a special day, it is my Mothers birthday. Sadly she passed away when I was 8, which is why my first run was dedicated to her. I also dedicated my first run to my lovely Wife, Daughter and one of my favorite Team Leaders from my last job, she introduced me to the Couch to 5K and always encouraged me, Thanks Allisha 🙂
My Somersault Winterman 2013 Review
Since I first signed up for this event back in Sept 2012 It has been a smooth trip. Any questions sent via email were replied to quickly and from the kit pick up to the actual run had no hiccups.
Race pickup’s were on Saturday Feb 16th 2013 at the Canadian War Museum. I got there at 11am sharp figuring it was going to be a long line up. 15 minutes later I was standing outside with my kit. It was very well-organized and the volunteers were super friendly! I had all these questions to ask but, they provided the answers before I could ask them.
Race day (Today)
Woke up at 5:45am showered and had some organic grain cereal. My Wife and Daughter wanted to be there as my cheering section 🙂 so they crawled out of bed with me and bused to the event on a cold frosty morning!
We got to the museum at 7:40am and by 7:50am I had my chip timer, there must have been a volunteer every 5 feet, there was no way you could get lost! Somersault prides themselves on being a good starting point for the new runners and a great event for veterans alike, as my first run I have to say at no point was there a reason to stress. Somersault deserves this reputation 100%.
At 8:25am over the PA system it is announced for the 8:30 runners to line up, I chose the very back as suggested by my Yoda Muddy J who has been very generous with any questions I ask. So I get outside and start doing jumping jacks to warm up and stay warm as the -20 hits you like a brick to the face in your running gear. I noticed to my left there was a huge gun that a volunteer said was a Howitzer! He joked that was the starting pistol.
At 8:30am there was this earth shattering BOOM!!! My heart jumped out of my chest, this lady and I grabbed each other for dear life, they were not joking, the Howitzer WAS the starting pistol. I can confirm first hand now, yes they are as loud as they look lol!
Next time I will start at the middle of the pack as I found the rear to be very slow going. It took at least 1 Km to get a good pace going. By that point I had warmed up and was sweating a bit, then we hit some open ground next to the Ottawa River and was punched in the face by a blast of wind. If we were still sleepy that officially woke us up as one runner commented.
The course was great, it was 2.5Km out and then 2.5Km back in a loop (the course went a bit further for 1/2 and full Marathon runners). There were marshals and Rescue crewman about every .5Km, there was also rescue crew going up and down the course on quads to make sure we were ok. One Volunteer stood over a big pot hole to the side to make sure no one fell into it. It may have been cold but, the sun and scenery was beautiful and made you forget old man winter.
My favorite part of the run was just before the finish line, my Wife and Daughter were waving and cheering me to finish, I am rather choked up writing this part as it really meant allot they got up very early to come on this adventure with me and I love them both very much for it.
The finish line was fun, they say your name as you finish and it made you feel special, they did this about 1500 times as I heard them say it as each person crossed!
I brought lots of after run snacks and water as I was not sure what would be provided. I was surprised at what is offered. There was banana’s , water, Gatorade, bagels and coffee/hot chocolate for every runner who finished. Tim Horton’s even had a booth that was running off just donations.
I had a fantastic morning and if I had to rate this event and run, easily 5 out of 5 shoes 🙂