Date: Sept 25, 2016                    Location: Edmonton, AB

This event was at the Kinsman Park in Edmonton in the river valley. The event had 5K, 10K, and a kids 1K run. There were 133 participants in the 10K that I ran, 198 participants in the 5K, and 24 participants for the kids 1K. The field was mixed with competitive runners and people out running to support the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.

The race included cotton T-Shirts for all participants with a nice logo. I would have preferred a nice Dri-Fit shirt because I cannot run in cotton, but I am not complaining.

It was a nice cool morning and the course along the river valley was beautiful. I went into the race with a goal to set a new personal best 10K so I was pushing hard right from the start. The first water station was around the 2.5K mark and then there was a second water station at the 5K mark. The course did have some small hills up to this point but I was running well. The field had spread out and by the 6K mark I couldn’t see anyone behind or ahead of me. I enjoy those moments of solitude in a race. I was on pace and feeling strong.

At the 7K mark, the 10K course merged with the 5K course and we shared a water station. The field got thicker here, and then it happened. Right around the 7.5K mark, we were directed up a steep 50m incline up to the top of the river valley on a sidewalk alongside the road. This hill got my heart pumping as I was still trying to surge but I was forced to stop running and try to walk at a strong pace. I kept checking my pace and was still determined, despite the hill, to meet my goal. I passed many of the 5K folks on the way up the hill. When I finally reached the top I wasted no time in kicking it back into race gear and then came the downhill.

I ran all out downhill for a full kilometre and pushed hard for the finish back at the Kinsman Park where we started. They had cool medals at the finish for all finishers, free chocolate milk, water, muffins, cookies, and more. I ended up reaching my goal despite that killer hill and shaved 3 seconds off my best 10K in competition. It isn’t much, but I proved to myself that I had another gear. I was very proud of my effort and finished in the top 20%.

This was a fun event with a great finish line crowd. The kids race started one hour after the 10K so I was done in time to run with my daughter for her race. I do not like events that have the kids race at the same time as the adults because then I do not get to see my kids earn their medal. The kids did a out and back and got to enjoy the same finish line crowd.

I enjoyed the course, medal, and the atmosphere. A fun event in support of a great cause. They even emailed afterwards looking for feedback to make the event better next year. I am glad that they are not content and are looking to improve an already great event. It shows that they are committed and they care. I am sure that I will do this event again in the future.