Sunday, June 8, 2014 was significant for many reasons in the Team Over The Top world.
It happened to be the day of the 2nd Annual MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Strides For Change (SFC) 5K charity walk/run. It also happened to be the goal race for the Team Over The Top (TOTT) Youth Running Clinic (YRC) – the culmination of 10 weeks of focused, intense training.
The morning broke with a perfect sunrise, no wind & a temperature of 17 degrees celsius – fantastic running conditions. The setting was along the shore of Lake Ontario in Port Credit – one of the most beautiful running locations in the Greater Toronto area. As with most groups of runners, not all of the TOTT YRC members made it to the start line. Some were away on family matters, some were recovering from broken bones, some had other commitments…
Those who did toe the line ran exceedingly well. This was in spite of a rather significant mix-up at the planned turn-around point. The volunteer helping at the spot did not inform the runners that it was now time to turn back for the finish line. He encouraged the runners to “keep going”, apparently either forgetting the instructions or not knowing this was the turn-around. Either way, 90% of the runners ended up going anywhere from .26 to .56 kilometres over the 5 kilometre race distance.
This did not affect the order of finish since almost all of the runners went too far (by the time word got back to the organizers & the lad at the turn-around table was informed, there were only a few runners left on the course). At the end of the day, it was a wonderful event featuring tremendous results from all TOTT participants. Please note as follows:
- Jack Malleret (age 13) finished 3rd overall in under 20 minutes
- Paige Belo (age 16) finished as the 2nd female – running ALMOST barefoot (she wore socks only)
- Olivia Gardiner (age 13) finished as the 3rd female. She was in position to place 1st or 2nd but went further than anyone beyond the turn-around
- George Malleret (age 10!) finished in the top 10 overall AND did the race barefoot (showing perfect squat-scoot form)
- Jill Amirault (age 16) made her comeback from shin splints complete by running almost pain-free and strong
- Emma Leon (age 13) and Emily Cross (age 13) finished close to the same time (around 23 minutes) and would have been around 21 minutes if they hadn’t gone the extra .50 kilometres
- Michelle Bolhuis (from my adult clinic) ran her fastest 5 kilometre race – barefoot – on record.
- Emily Keegan (age 10) finished her 1st 5 kilometre race in fine form. She has progressed from a virtual squat-scoot novice to an almost seasoned pro
- Sam Candeloro-Wolter (age 13) ran her personal best in 31.55 (the 5.26 kilometres she actually ran) and 30:18 if calculated to the actual 5 kilometre race distance
- former TOTTER, Owen Keegan (Emily’s brother – age 15), ran the distance easily. He looked in great form in spite of the fact that he focuses on competitive volleyball now more than running
Those registered who could not run (Will Garry and Braden Olive – ages 11 and 12) will be back next year!! The rest of my YRC ( Paige & Megan Keenan, Tom Schmidt, Ajay Adomeit, Ann Neuhaus and Ashton Wilson) deserve a hearty congratulations as well. They made good progress with the technical components of the Squat-Scoot, running strong and injury-free.
Even though we did not set the new Canadian record for barefoot runners completed a race, we DID have a total of 4 (if you include Paige in her socks). One of my Southdown Strider running mates (Rick Kazanecki) not only ran barefoot but finished 5th overall. It was quite simply a fantastic day and event in support of a most worthy cause. Here’s to more of the same in June, 2015!