Race Report #1 of 2 for this weekend, this is definitely the more tame race report, the Spartan race was, well, more interesting.
So all day Saturday I was hyped up because I haven't ran a race in so long! I forgot what it felt like to have anxious or nervous butterflies in my stomach, but really, I knew that everything would be fine, so I settled in and fueled up. It was a hot weekend, with temperatures going up to 28 degrees (82.4 F). I collected my friend M on my way out of the city to picturesque Perth.
Perth is known as one of the most beautiful old towns in the area, and it lives up to it's name. The city is amazing (interesting fact: It was the last place a legal duel took place in Canada, and now the dueling grounds are called "Last Duel Park"), and the people are phenomenal.
We got into town about an hour and a half before our race, and managed to find a parking space at our local courthouse lot. Perk of going there for work is that I had access to the lot and part of the buildings for washrooms and changerooms if needed, and the lot was two blocks away from the start point and end point of the race.
We ran over to the main park where a number of unique events were going on - there was sheep shearing, celtic music, face painting, a juggler, a guy on stilts with a VERY long kilt, and lots of people, both participants and spectators. We quickly got our registration package and I went to pick up my kilt.
I put on my kilt over my running capris, and it fell to over my knees! I tried switching with my friend, who had bought her kilt last year and was much taller than me, but it didn't work, and I was faced with rolling it up and pinning it. In the end, I am thankful I did, as the kilt had some poly-type material around the waistband that was a magnet for sweat and hot on the skin.
After some wandering around, getting our faces painted, and finding some secret honey buckets to flush our systems, we were summoned back to the park by the Town crier, who was organizing the runners to be paraded to the start line. There was over 1000 runners at the race, and the organization was phenomenal.
We came around the block, then waited for the gun. We were a ways back in the pack, and more than happy to be where we were. The outfits were hot, and I was not hoping for a PR. With the race the next day, M and I knew we would have to conserve our energy and run a good, but not amazing race.
Finally, the gun went off, and we slowly approached the start line. We had the opportunity to high five a Duke and Dutchess of Scotland (no not THE famous duke and dutchess, although they were still in Ottawa at the time) as we crossed and started running.
The race looped several times around the city, and there were lots of spectators. I found out later, one of my work colleagues who lives in Perth had came out to try and watch for me, but we never did cross paths. The course for the first 3k or so was lively, with people smiling and cheering, many senior citizens watching (which I thought was cute), and loads of water stations. They had bands playing, kids having fun squirting runners with super soakers, and one of the local fire stations was spraying water down over the course. It was a hot one, and the temperature was uncomfortable, but we kept a pretty decent pace.
At around the 3k mark, we were directed into a golf course, where we would complete the next 3-4k of the course. The golf course had beautiful landscaping and was serene, but the path was sort of sandy, there was no shade whatsoever, and little to no spectators. The heat really started to get to me here, and my pace slowed and attitude admittedly soured a bit. I managed to not grumble above saying "It's really hot" over and over again to M, but she helped me suck it up and move on. At this point, I swore I passed Andrew Opala, but didn't introduce myself mid-run.
Finally, we got out of the golf course and I knew we only had one km to go. Seemed like the longest one in forever, but we kept trudging along. I even managed to spot a cameraman up ahead and smiled and waived (Goal: getting a photo where I don't look like I'm going to die - CHECK!)
One last burst of energy got me the final 100m, and we crossed with a clock time of 1:00:10. Unfortunately, the timing chips were off and actually added time to the clock time. We think we should have had a chip time of about 57:00, which is pretty good in my mind considering the heat.
Little did I know the heat would get worse on Sunday for the Spartan Race (36C, 98.6F)... race report to come once I get some photos for that!
So bottom line - if you are ever in Perth in July, sign up for the Perth Kilt Run. Great event, great distance, awesome crowds and organization, and you can be a part of an (unofficial this year) world record run!