It was a dark and stormy night…cold, rain, high winds…and people dressed as loofah’s, gouls, fairies, zombies and everything in between! What else but the 1st ever Toronto Monster Dash!
It takes a certain amount of commitment and fortitude to “happily” run in pelting rain, muddy wet trails mixed with intense wind. But that’s exactly what I had when I showed up at the Holland-Bloorview children’s rehab hospital in preparation for my first 10km race in a very long time.
I’ve been running steady for about 2 years now, after a long time of intermittent runs (aka summer only), and I haven’t really raced much in that time. I liked the idea of a Halloween run, a bit lighter, but 10km…so still a challenging distance, everyone in good spirits for a post-run party (hello Halloween candy AND beer!). I can’t remember how I first heard about this race…Facebook or Twitter…but I loved the idea and that they were running to benefit the children’s rehab hospital. They provide great care for children dealing with all kinds of illness, disease, trauma that need rehabilitation, care and services. The Monster Dash team was quick to respond to questions, queries, and happy to tweet with you pre and post-run!
Needless to say, when I woke up to the pouring rain on Sunday, I was second-guessing my decision.
There was an ominous feeling as I arrived to the race site, it was now getting dark, the rain had not let up and the wind had picked up! Temperatures were dropping fast and I wondered how many runners were deciding to stay or run. I was oh so happy to have one of my Nike+ Run Club leaders there to endure the elements with me. Erica and I made a pact. Run together, push each other through, earn that post-run pizza and beer!
We needed it.
Dark trails, crazy hills and deep muddy puddles…I was happy for a run buddy to talk to to keep my mind off how miserable the weather was. The volunteers were simply amazing. They were outside in the crazy weather too cheering the runners on with great enthusiasm! My feet felt increasingly heavy with my socks now sopping wet and cold. Recently lost my favourite running hat…so I only had a bandana covering my face during the run.
Note to self: Need. A. New. Running. Hat…..and Thermal. Running. Tights.
With the final nasty hill behind us, we had 1km to go and we actually picked up the pace a bit….pizza and beer were waiting! Medallion in hand, shoes muddy, we completed the race in 1:02…not the greatest time, but in crazy weather conditions, we weren’t complaining.
Pizza, amazing salad bar, and mango smoothies…oh and of course…the beer! Thank you Monster Dash! Let’s do this again next year!