Yesterday I ran in the 4th Eyeball The Race at South Glenmore Park. I have been fortunate enough to run in all 4 and plan on running every one until I die or the race ends - whichever comes first haha. The race was held a weekend earlier then in previous years and on a sunday instead of a saturday. Up unitl midweek, I actually thought it was on Saturday so I am glad I double checked with Jordan, one of the race organizers, to confirm the date of the race. He told me that they had to move it up a week because the Police Half moved thier race up a week and they use the same pathways so that wasn't going to work. They also had to change the course for the first time this year because of the never ending but now hopefully over winter that we had been having. Normally you run from the parking lot all the way to the end of the park, up glenmore, through some street and then through Heritage Park and the hospital and back in the park to the finish line. However, with all the snow and ice, the weaselhead was still caked with snow and ice and deemed not safe for runners and especially not a large group of runners to run on. This year, it was an out and back going the way we used to finish. We ran 7.5k out and then back again. I hate the weaselhead and was happy it was gone this year but this way wasn't any easier. So many hills big and small that you had to run twice so it was still a challenging race for sure.
While the forecast was to be sunny and warm temperatures on Sunday, it was calling for high winds and wind gusts. Thankfully by morning that had changed a bit but the wind was still pretty awful at times. I knew I would be wearing running tights and a crb but I was going to wear on top of my crb was relatively unknown when I went to bed. I decided on my dance studio jacket from lululemon since it was relatively light weight, had a hood with a drawstring to tighten and it was easy to tie around my waist if I had to do that. It turned out to be a perfect choice.
It was really cold waiting for the race to start and even at the beginning of the race. I took it off just before we made it to Glenmore because I was getting warm but it was so windy running up that I needed to put it back on and with my hood on too. It was a race of constant taking it off and putting it back on depending on the direction I was facing and if something was blocking the wind from hitting me. I am really good with taking it on and off without stopping or it holding me back much which is really good haha.
I never ever run well at this race. I either feel sluggish or my time isn't great and that is usually because it is the first race of the season and we are all transitioning from treadmills to pavement and it is finally warm enough where you can run further then 10k outside. This year was even worse then normal for the amount of treadmill runs I have ran compared to outdoor runs and I won't lie that I was a little concerned heading into yesterday's race. I decided this year that I wasn't going to focus so much on finish times but instead celebrate the fact that I am out here running these distances and be grateful just for a good run. That doesn't mean I won't be excited if by change I run a PR at one of my upcoming races but I won't beat myself up if I don't.
I was slower then my first 2 eyeball the way races but faster then last years by about 4 minutes but more importantly, I felt so good from beginning to end and I don't remember the last time that has happened. I had 2 slower km at the 10 + 11 marks but other than that, I did really well. I was really happy with how this race turned out.
Greg and the girls were at the 14km mark to cheer me on and Finley ran the last km with me to the finish line. It was my fastest km of the day and I actually had to tell her slow down because I thought I was going to die haha. She said man I am tired and I only just started running with you haha. It was pretty fun to have her cross the finish line with me - pink dress and all haha. She definitely needed to refuel after her tough 1km race haha.
I got to run the race with 2 of my good friends which is always fun! Heather has worked so hard this winter and it definitely showed in her finish yesterday. She took 8 minutes off of her time from last year! That is so amazing! 2 of my next 3 races are with her and I can't wait to watch her race those and hit a bunch of PRs.
Usually we have a bunch of bootcamp girls running this race but this year it was just me and Teresa! It was her idea to have our photo taken on the podium and I am so happy that she did. It might just be one of my most favorite post race photos ever! Teresa had a great race and it was awesome to see her finish so strong and with a huge smile on her face. Because that my friends, is what running is all about.
I won't lie, when I first saw these medals in an email a few weeks ago, I was less then impressed. But when I got it yesterday, I really liked it. The Eyeball The Wall does such a great job on their medals, I really love them!
I am really pleased with how well the race went considering they had to change the race route only a few days ago to accomodate the snow and ice. It was still a challenging and enjoyable race. I love how small it is - less than 500 runners but it yet it feels like such a great community to be apart of. I am "instagram friends" with many local runners and seriously there is no better gang that I would rather be apart of. They are inspiring and encouraging and it is the same thing at races. There are always people encouraging and cheering and it is such a great, positive experience.
My only complaint for the race would be the aid stations. For the 15k, we had one aid station at 6k and then went to the same station on the way back at 9km. Given how windy it was, I felt more parched then usual and would have liked to have them more better spread out. Ideally, there would be one at like the 4k mark and the turn around point but given the route change, I am giving them a pass on it. I do love that they have bananas, dinosaurs and fruit snacks at the aid stations though. I don't eat them but I appreciate it. At the finish line, they have iced tea and lemonade along with granola bars, nutrigrain bars, dinosaurs and gold fish. One year they had nachos. It is such fun food for a fun race!
Overall, I am really happy with my race, the event itself and would recommend anyone who is a runner in Calgary and area to check it out next year. It is a great primer for the Calgary Marathon next month! See you next year Eyeball!