Where: Edmonton, AB                   When: Oct 28, 2018

This year was the 35th annual running of the Fall Classic in Edmonton, put on by the Running Room. They offered distances of 5 miles or 10 miles as well as a kids run. Last year my kids did the kids run while I cheered them on. This year they took the day off and I did the 10 miler.

The race is headquartered at the Beverly Heights Community Centre and runs 2 loops of a figure 6 course with a water station in the middle. I felt good and the weather wasn’t too bad so I made a last minute decision not to wear gloves. This turned out to be a mistake. It was a cheerful pre-race atmosphere. Justin, the race director, always spends time making sure that volunteers know their assignments and I overheard him explaining the roles of the sweep and lead to some young volunteers. I always know that an event put on by Justin will be top notch.

After the countdown, we were off. I was running well and felt good. The wind was strong at a few points and this is where I began regretting leaving my gloves in the car. While the air temperature was still about zero, that wind made my fingers begin to ache. We ran the loop portion of the course back to the starting location and the water station and then did an out and back to the Highland Golf Course. I noticed very quickly that I knew this area. The route for the Fall Classic is the mid section of the Hypothermic Half that I run every February. I completed the first loop feeling strong and then did it again. Having the water station in the middle of the course meant that we passed it 3 times.

The final few kilometers became rather painful because my fingers were beginning to burn as early frostbite was setting in. I pushed hard because I wanted to get indoors and warm my hands. The 10 mile is a great distance, not too long, not too short. For a Half Marathoner, this is a great training distance. For those getting ready for their first half, this would be a perfect test. For those who do 5km races and are looking for something before attempting a 10km, why not go for a 5 miler!

I crossed the finish and got my beautiful medal and then grabbed a free fresh donut and a coffee from the Ohana food truck. Then I went inside for pancakes and sausages. I had not drank coffee in 20 years but held the cup and my hands above it to try and warm them up. Then I drank the coffee. It was better than I remembered. Thanks to Ohana Donuts for helping me get blood flowing back to my fingers.

This was a great event that was affordable, had plenty of refreshments, and also gave everyone a long sleeve cotton shirt at package pickup. I will definitely be back to this event.