Race Report – Fredericton Beer Run

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Normally I would be adding a race report but unfortunately I celebrated too much the night before and was too hung over to particpiate. From all accounts it was fun but I spent the day on my Tiki Terrace recovering.

Thanks to the graciousness of the organizer, Lloyd Chambers, I was able to receive my running mug and still get my entry deferred until next year…it pays to attend most of the beer events 😉 So next year I will be in better shape to file a proper race report.

Next year it appears that there will be a wine and spirits run on the same weekend as part of the festival so I had better be on my best behaviour.

One Foot in Front of the Other

Chris

Next Race: Valley Harvest 10k, Thanksgiving weekend

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Race Report – Joe McGuire Road Race 5km

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On August 1st, I made the hour drive to Woodstock, NB to participate in the Joe McGuire road race, so named after the legend in running who was from the area. It was a warm, sunny morning and I arrived about 40 minutes ahead of the start of the race. I picked up my bib at the fire station, which was a change from years past as the pick-up area was at the local rink but this made it easier to do everything quickly. Swag was minimal with a cotton t-shirt represented, however it is a soft, nice looking t-shirt and the race is local and doesn’t cost a lot to join, so I’m not being negative at all.

I warmed up a bit and met a few people from the Fredericton area then got down to business. I was going to race this race as opposed to running a more comfortable pace and taking in the sights. I like this course because it is fast and has a large downhill, I don’t fear downhills as one can really scoot along. There was a 5km and a 10km race and we both started at once, with about 150-200 people participating. I felt good at the beginning and hit the downhill at a good stride and ran my first kilometre in 4:14 min/km…maybe a bit too fast but this was a race to judge where I was. I ran through a mile in about 7 minutes with my second kilometre coming in at 4:38 min/km, however after that I became a bit winded but still managed to run the last 3 kilometres at ~5:00 min/km to finish with a time of 23:56, which was about 10 seconds above my PB.

However I was very happy with my the race overall and especially with the first 2km, it’s obvious that I need to pick up my fitness over distance but when is that not a goal for all of us!

Sadly I can’t find any photos for the race.

You can check out my garmin track here:

Joe McGuire 5km Track

Even though you don’t get a lot of swag of this race it’s a great local run and the 10km is part of the super series so it’s a great way to make some points if you participate, I recommend this race.

Next race: Fredericton Beer Run, August 3rd, 2015

One Foot in Front of the Other

Chris

Race Report – The Kilted Run

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Last month I participated, for the first time, in a 5km kilted run as part of the New Brunswick Highland Games. It was more of a fun run because there weren’t any medals or prizes, just a technical shirt, fun and camaraderie….and oh yes free admission to the beer tent that night…but alas no free beer.

And of course as you may have guessed, everyone was encouraged to wear a kilt during the run. I had purchased a sport kilt from Sportkilt earlier this year so I was ready to participate.

It was fairly cool the Friday night that we ran but in comparison to the heat from last year it was a good thing. We mustered on the grounds of Government house in Fredericton and then were piped to the start line by a bagpiper which was a new experience for me and was quite fun.

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After a quick speech and a few photos, around 50 of us were off for the 5k course. Nicola, my girlfriend and I started out quick then dialled it back to enjoy the run as we saw our friends go by. We ran almost the same exact course as the new Liv9 Fall Classic 5km course which is along the river and the green so it was a nice trial run of that route.

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We finished up at around 28 minutes then milled around for a while taking photos and laughing then we headed for some dinner then a return to the beer tent 🙂

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The event wasn’t flashy or big but with a lot of friends in attendance it was a really fun, local, quirky event that you remember for a long time. Hopefully next year for their fifth year it will grow again but it’s ok if it doesn’t 🙂

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Next Race: Woodstock 5km, August 1st, 2015.

As always, thanks for reading

One Foot in Front of the Other

Chris

Race Review – Grand Manan 10k/Half Marathon

This past weekend, Nicola and I traveled to Grand Manan island where we met Rod and Jo and Mark and Bruce and Mary…well you get the picture and ran either the 10km or half marathon distance.

Grand Manan island is about 11/2 hours from Fredericton and and an additional 11/2 hours by ferry.

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Swallowtail Lighthouse

We arrived a bit early, checked out our accommodations then went to the start line. The organization of the race was a bit fly-by-the-seat of your pants as everyone received their bibs at the start line, about 30 minutes ahead of time. The race was held to benefit the local Boys and Girls club but from most accounts the numbers were done this year sadly. The race was a point-to-point type with the half marathoners looping back along the same road.

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The hooligans, Nicola, Rod, Jo and I.

The evening was a bit cloudy with a nice ocean breeze, perfect for running. We started out in a big pack except for a few rabbits and soon settled into our rhythms. I started out at about a 5:40 min/km pace but after a km or two I was running consistent 5:25 min/km. After a few km’s a few people passed me, including Rod and Jo but I was happy to run my own race, plus 10k’s can’t be won in the first 5km but they can be lost. I had a plan to run steady to 5km then pick up my pace.

At 5km I picked up my pace for about 1km then we had an extended, gradual uphill, the kind that saps your energy and drive, so I slowed my pace and continued to remain consistent. I passed Rod somewhere near here and eventually passed Jo as well, who was having a great run by the way, until I had 3 people in my sights. The road levelled out and I finally got in a groove with about 2 km remaining. Two of the three people in front of me started to run out of gas and I eventually passed them. With only one woman in front of me I ran straight and hard to the end, passing her right before the finish. My final two km’s were 5:01 min/km and 4:50 min/km…that’s how I like to finish a race!!

Grand Manan Run Garmin Connect Track

I watched as Jo came in shortly after, then Mark and Rod..I think, then Nicola and Bruce.

All had great runs with Nicola running a PB for 10km, so very proud!

While I was standing there cheering people on, the race director came over, congratulated me and gave me the medal for first pace male for 10km!

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First Place!

What?! Really?!

This was my first, first place medal ever! And with a time of 52:40 I felt kind of sheepish but afterwards I thought, I raced who was here, that’s what mattered.

Jo won a medal for second place for the females so you know that we celebrated a bit later on!

We also received a participant medal and a cotton t-shirt with the Boys and Girls club logo on it plus a few snacks.

I snagged a ride with Bruce back to my car then retrieved my fellow runners and that signalled curtains for my first Grand Manan 10km race!

The course was scenic with ample water stations, which kind of went in contrast to the initial impressions but we all had fun, had great races and now I must return next year as defending champion!

One Foot in Front of the Other

Chris

Next Race: Kilted Run 5k July 24th

Race Review – Covered Bridge 5k/10k

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Note: All photos from Covered Bridge Facebook page unless noted otherwise.

A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend Nicola and travelled to Hartland New Brunswick to run the 3rd annual Covered Bridge Run. If you are not sure what a covered bridge looks like here is a photo:

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Hartland Covered Bridge, c. Chris Murphy

New Brunswick is home to many of these covered bridges but this one is the biggest in the world so it’s kind of a neat run. We drove to Hartland, which is about 11/2 hours away, following the Saint John river on the Saturday before Sunday’s race. It’s a lovely drive with very little traffic however the roads are a bit rough in places and there aren’t any picnic areas or rest areas along this stretch which would really highlight the beauty of the river. We stopped in Nackawic and tried a few craft beers from Big Axe brewery and also a bit further north than Hartland, in Florenceville Bristol at Railcar Brewery.

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Big Axe Sampler, c. Chris Murphy

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Nicola and Railcar sampler, c. Chris Murphy

We stayed overnight with our friend Stephanie and her wife Kathleen at Stephanie’s grandparents house. They were lovely people who made us feel very welcome and we enjoyed our visit immensely.

Sunday morning we ate a quick breakfast of oatmeal and then drove 15 minutes to the race start area. We parked on one side of the bridge then walked to the other to start the race. The bridge itself was closed to vehicle traffic giving us the rare opportunity to run across it on the road. You can still cross the bridge as a pedestrian as there is a walkway on one side. While waiting for the start we met a few friends of ours and then we were off. It was neat running across the bridge as you are totally enclosed and at some points the bridge bounces/shakes due to the weight. Kathleen, who wasn’t running, said that there was a sound that proceeded the runners down the bridge as a form of pressure wave, very cool!

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Walking to start

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Walking to start through bridge

We turned right off of the bridge then proceed a short distance out of town then turned back, we saw another friend of ours, who was running the race as well, ahead of us…what a popular race! Back at the bridge the 5k runners turned left and finished while us lucky 10k runner continued through the town then onto the trail system.

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Scenic first 5k

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Nicola ahead of me again

It was a warm morning without a lot of wind but the trails were shaded which was a bit of a break. The trail climbed a bit for a km or two then we turned around and headed back. We saw Stephanie motoring along as she was on the hunt for a PB but Nicola and I were running our own race. We cam back into town and were unfortunately told to turn at a spot which didn’t make a lot of sense and forced us to make an unsupervised road crossing to reach the finish which, didn’t affect our distance but was an error nonetheless. We finished, warm and sweat but happy to be done another!

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Our girl Stephanie!

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Nicola at the finish

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Me at the finish

We cooled down with nice cold water, met Stephanie and a few of the other runners then walked a short distance to get a buffet style breakfast of eggs, pancakes, sausage, egg/veggie kabobs and french toast, very tasty and a nice touch. We wandered back to watch the award presentations and to see if we were door prize lucky but we were not. Happily Stephanie got her PB and was the second fastest female! One of our other friends, Diana, was the first place female, I hope that their speed rubs off on us!

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The fastest female for the 10k, Diana!

We scooted back to Stephanie’s grandparents then packed up and headed home, another weekend of touring our province and running done. From the race we received a cotton t-shirt, a nice covered bridge magnet and a few other odds and ends.

I would recommend the race but would likely only run the 5k for my next time. It’s a locally held and organized race which wasn’t on the RUN NB site of sanctioned races which may have lowered it’s turnout but those who know, show up and run anyways!

Next Race: Grand Manan 10k/Half Marathon

Thanks for reading

One Foot in Front of the Other

Chris

Race Report – The Inaugural Fredericton International Airport (YFC) Runway Run

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On Saturday May 23rd I participated in my second runway run but the inaugural event of this type in my adopted town of Fredericton, New Brunswick. The event was held on the runways and taxiways of the Fredericton International Airport (YFC) and consisted of a 5 km out and back route.

I had a personal interest in seeing this event succeed because I was the initial liaison between the communications officer at the airport, Kate O’Rourke and our running club, the Capital City Road Runners. Our club had been looking for a community event to support and/or develop so the partnership happened at a great time. It was the desire of both groups that the event help raise funds and the awareness of a cause. Due to the recent interest in mental health and the experiences of some of the people involved with the race, we contacted The Canadian Mental Health Association who were more than excited to be a part of the event.

The race was held on a Saturday and the day broke, cloudy, cold and we had….snow! It turned to a very cold rain before my girlfriend Nicola and I left for the airport which at least was an improvement; however it was also very, very windy.

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Courtesy of The YFC Runway Run

My girlfriend and I, along with running the race, were volunteering. We were handing out shirts and race kits which placed us halfway between the open doors of the pavilion, in which we were situated, this kept us the maximum distance from the cold air; bonus!

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Courtesy of the YFC Runway Run

The runners trickled in and I said to Robyn, the other volunteer, that the majority of the runners will show up at noon. Sure enough around noon we became busier until finally it was time to race. My girlfriend and I changed into our running kilts…yes you read that right and we joined the line of other runners to go outside. As luck would have it the sun had come out and it was somewhat warmer but the wind was still very strong and it was cool.

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Courtesy of the YFC Runway Run

We walked a short distance out on the apron then we were off! We started off almost directly into the wind which made for tough going for the first 2-2.5 km of the run but then we turned and ran with the wind which was of course a treat 🙂 With about 1-1.5 km left we again turned back into the wind and finally with about 500-700 metres we turned directly in to the wind!! Now let me tell you, I have run in a bunch of races and this was the strongest wind that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Maybe it was the openness of the runway I’m not sure but it was very, very tough going. However Nicola and I powered through and finished hand-in-hand with a time of 28:52. Fun!

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Courtesy of the YFC Runway Run

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Courtesy of the YFC Runway Run

We met numerous friends at the finish, hugged, high-fived then wandered into the terminal to get our medal and a few snacks.

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Swag

We stayed for a while and chatted and listened to the winners of the race and of the various draw prizes but alas we did not win. However we did learn that the race had raised over $20,000 for the Mental Health Association, this was indeed a win and it certainly made the chilly, windy run worthwhile.

Just as we were leaving the skies opened up again and we beat it home to try to warm ourselves in front of the fire.

I would qualify the race as a success, sadly the weather was  terrible which limited the viewing of the static displays but the money raised and the nearly hitch free organization more than compensated. I would imagine that the race will be held again next year, whether I will run is undecided but I love supporting my adopted hometown, my club and a good organization so it’s entirely possible. I can certainly see myself volunteering once again.

Next race…. Half marathon at the Johnny Miles Race Weekend, June 21st in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

Thanks for reading!

One foot in front of the other

Chris