My favourite race this year, without a doubt, was racing the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon at Ed Whitlock’s pace of 3:56:34. It was so amazing to be part of something so special for so many people and I loved every moment of that race (although, if I’m honest, like any marathon, I was certainly looking forward to seeing that finish line when I reached around 35K). I raced with a whole group of friends, in addition to the strangers I met who wanted to run, just for a moment, like Ed.
Certainly losing Ed this year was a loss to the entire running community, and his entire community at large—from Milton to Ranelagh—but, like his family, like Alan Brookes and everyone at Canada Running Series; like John Stanton with the Running Room, like the Waterloo Marathon hosting their Ed Whitlock half this April, we will do everything in our power to make sure the spirit of Ed races on. Always.
I will say that my sneakers of the year were the Saucony Freedom that I received in this glorious shade of grey that were almost too pretty for me to race in (or perhaps it’s just my December laziness). I do look forward to wearing these, and they say if you announce your goals in public you are more likely to achieve them, at the Boston Marathon, and completing that race beneath 3:05.
This year I ran the Ottawa marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in Las Vegas, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the Canada Army Run, Around the Bay, the Chilly Half Marathon, the Toronto Goodlife half marathon (with my sister!), and the Beaches Jazz Festival half. Much too much running in Ontario and not nearly enough across the country, which is why this year I aim to race in both Calgary and Manitoba.
I will say that my funniest race experience happened at the Waterfront 10K, which Canada Running Series put on with Lululemon. It was amazing seeing Justin Trudeau at the Army Run and the Ottawa Marathon is Canada’s Boston, but the Waterfront 10K automatically uploads your race photos to Facebook, and I chose that race to not drink water. In addition to finishing behind a resting Natasha Wodak and Lanni Marchant, whose friend told me, as we exchanged high fives, that there was foam all over my mouth, those pictures were beamed up to my Facebook page, earning all sorts of funny remarks. I probably wouldn’t have posted those, although who knows. But I’m glad I did. I love to race. And I can honestly say I haven’t pushed myself to the state either before or since.
I look forward to doing so in 2018.
Lastly, I will say the thing of the year that I’m most proud of is our last issue, the December issue dedicated to body image and acceptance, featuring the voices of Sasha Golish and some of the most dedicated athletes I’ve met in our sport. I’ve always sort of thought that running is an opportunity to create a platform for positive social change, fighting racism, sexism, ageism, and discrimination and judgment of all kinds. Running is egalitarian and all runners do the same thing: one foot after the other. We all make the choice to get out there, or not, and if we can encourage each other to reach our own personal best, be it race times or generosity of spirit, than running, as a whole, wins.
Thank you everybody for reading and contributing to iRun. This is your community. Your magazine. Your platform. Here’s to all of us finding new finish lines in 2018.