Monday, March 30, 2009

Around the Bay 30k - The Spectators Report

A RUNNING POST?

I know, what a complete shock!

Yesterday was they Around the Bay 30k Road Race in Hamilton Ontario. 115 Years young and the oldest road race in North America (older than Boston). I always had delusions of actually running this race last fall. But then I found out I was pregnant and that went out the window! But my hubby and some good friends were running, so I got to go and watch.

We were up and out of the door pretty early, as both me and hubby seem to have a chronic fear of being late!! After a quick stop for coffee and a bagel, we were off to Hamilton. The weather was rainy and windy, but it wasn't nearly as cold as it looked like it could be. We managed to snag a parking spot two blocks from Copps Coliseum and made our way into the arena.

The biggest race that I have been to besides ATB was the Scotiabank Marathon/Half Marathon last fall in Toronto. And I was participating, so I didn't get to be on the spectators side. But as I watched everyone trudge into Copps soaking wet, I was actually really relieved I wasn't out there. It was going to be a wet day.

We met up with our good friends M&M who were also running and watching respectively! I also got to meet Mel from over at 2nd Chances! And she is just as sweet in person! After some standing around.........and some more standing around, it was time for the runners to head out to the start line. Once the bulk of the runners began to trek to the start, the skies REALLY opened up! But they were off on time, all 4500+ runners. We saw hubby and friends run by and made our was back into Copps for some Hot Chocolate and snag a seat.

ATB ends inside Copps Coliseum, so all the spectators got to stay nice and dry! Since last years winner ran it in 1:33 minutes there was some time to kill. Luckily the 5k race also finished inside of Copps, so we were able to watch the conclusion of that race, which killed some time.

Once all 5k runners were finished, we patiently waited for the first 30k participant to make their way into Copps. It was a huge help to have my BBF Marlene with me, as we chatted and time went much faster! Then at the 1:33 mark, the screen showed our first runner coming home! His finishing time was 1:35:39, over two and a half minutes off pace of last years winner. Now it was raining pretty hard out there at this point. But if the elite runners were off pace, how would the other runners fare? Even though this was supposed to be a training run for hubby, I know he had a time goal in mind and that if he didn't meet it, he would be disappointed.

At around the 2:25 mark we began to look for some runner we would know, particularly the other half of BFF M! And here he comes! YAY! It was a relief to see some one I knew, as I knew that hubby would be here soon. I began to get nervous, as the crowds were starting to get thick and hubby was wearing the popular color of the day, RED. But we saw him. And he ran into Copps and finished with a chip time of 3:00:54 seconds! YAY! I knew he would be pleased.

After we headed home, as hubby was feeling tired (and wouldn't he?). But I know that while I love to participate in races, I would also love to watch another one again soon. Maybe if hubby decides to run another half or full in the fall, I can come and watch again!

Thanks for reading everyone!