I will keep this one short. Promise!
On May 31st, I traveled to downtown Toronto on a warm, humid evening. I had accepted a spot on the "30 Somethings'" relay squad that my buddy Jowene had put together for a YMCA charity event. The race consisted of 4 people per team and each of us were to complete 2 laps of the CNE grounds in order to run 5k per person.
With over 500 teams of runners and walkers, there were sure to be a lot of quick folks out there so we just threw together a group of guys that were all about the same speed to see what we could do.
Before the 7:00pm race start, we were a little late getting organized so Jimmy (our lead runner) did not have a lot of time to prepare but did an amazing job getting warm before being sent along for his opening laps. He got out to a quick start before some of the speedsters caught him during his 5k. He came into the relay exchange area just a little over 18 minutes and sent me off for my run.
I pushed things right away and was able to pass a number of teams during my first loop. I tried not to get caught up in my time as it was a hot night and I had been training pretty hard right into this race so I was just hoping to hit the 17:20 mark to give our team a chance.
On my second loop, the heat slowed me down a touch and I should have grabbed some water at an aid station but the slower racers on the course had grouped up in this area so I continued onto my exchange and handed off to Jo Jo (Jowene) posting a 17:30 split.
Jo Jo then put in another solid effort to move up a few more spots in the team classifications and completed his 5k in 17:59 (i believe that was what his watch split said) before handing off to our anchor, Andrew. Mr Cooke than hammered through the last two laps to maintain our position and came within 10 seconds of hitting the Overall Podium.
In the end, we came in 4th Overall and 1st in the Team Age Group rankings. This was a very fun event made even more enjoyable as we were handed some great weather for the first time this spring. I look forward to hooking up with the team again next year as we try to jump onto the overall podium in 2012.