By Caitlin Mader
Having succumbed to the pressure around the office to join the Fiera Race Team, yesterday I laced up my running shoes (well, my converse sneakers, having skillfully forgotten my runners) and ran one of the Frank McNamara Wednesday night races.
I’m new to this whole running with groups of people in a semi-competitive setting where you can’t just stop for ice cream as soon as you get tired thing. So my goal was less along the lines of “go faster than other people” and more along the lines of “don’t find a way to somehow look like an idiot.” Arriving at the startline just as the buzzer sounded and wandering around aimlessly for a bit trying to find someone to tell me what to do, I was off to a good start. After locating the officials table and receiving my foot-chip-thing, I knew I had to make up some ground, so I did what any serious athlete would do, and I sat down and had a snack. With an encouraging “What are you doing? Get going!” from the officials, I was off!
Not used to the 5.4 km length of the race, I started to burn out at about to 12:43 mark (measured in seconds and nanoseconds) so I found another competitor with whom to match my pace. He looked about seven years old, so I thought this was reasonable. Unfortunately the little tyke ran with youthful zeal that can only be explained by a mother waiting at the finish line with candy and the new season of Law and Order on DVD, so I soon found myself falling behind.
Being a spring race, the hilly terrain of the ravine was still fairly icy and muddy, so I employed my failsafe method for going down icy hills quickly. I don’t want to give it away, but if I was the eighth dwarf, I would be “Flaily.” This seemed to work fairly well, in that I did not fall flat on my face, although in the process, I was passed by dwarves “Speedy” “Leapy” “Swifty” and “Mucleshirt”.
I made it to the finish line in 30:06 for a solid, middle-of-the-agegroup finish. In hindsight, if I’d known it was going to take that long I probably would have ran slower. A bike ride home and some hot yoga completed the Yuppie Triathlon, and I sought my reward in a delicious Chunky-Monkey muffin baked by none other than Renee Howard, the Fiera Race Team’s other new member. Overall, the experience was very satisfying. It appeared hard at first, but that was just an outer shell that gave way to a soft, perfectly baked interior, loaded with nuts and fruit, and I think some coconut. That was the muffin. The race was alright.