On Sunday, April 3, 2016, my Team Over The top runners once again went to battle against the Around The Bay 30 kilometre running road race in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. This is arguably the toughest such distance race in North America – even without the infamous Valley of Death (aka Valley Inn Drive hill). By the way, it WILL be part of the 2017 race, thus making it the toughest without doubt.
My team gathered pre-race to get warmed up and ready to rumble (see photos below).
We even had the ‘next generation’ of T-Teamers in attendance (Devon, Vivian and Edison). They’re already primed for the 2031 Bay race!!
The Bay wouldn’t be the Bay without dramatic weather conditions. This year was no different – swirling, strong, cold winds, dropping temperatures of 5 degrees celsius from start to finish and a switch from bright sunshine to foreboding black storm clouds. The team settled in despite the conditions and ran exceedingly well.
There was also the presence of Stan the Man at the 24 kilometre mark (for the 27th consecutive year blasting out Queen’s “We Will Rock You” from his boom box to motivate the runners as they start to struggle). See photo below.
Stan is one of many traditions tied to the Bay race (along with the Tin Pan Alley gang, the Grim Reaper, the old coach wearing his Mickey Mouse over-sized gloves as I run with my team & encourage all others to “never quit!” – see glove photo below – and my good friend, Randy Swanson who once again walk-ran the 5 kilometre segment of the Bay race in spite of his numerous physical restrictions).
The traditions are an important component of what makes the Bay a unique, special experience for runners of all abilities and from far and wide. As the finish line beckons,
some of my team gathered for a post race showing of their well-earned medals.
As with every clinic I lead, there are special stories. If you remember from my blog post on Emidio Santroni a few weeks ago, he finished the race in 3:15, a full 14 minutes faster than his goal time with his family cheering loudly. His previous longest run before training for the Bay was 5 kilometres! Iona Laird ran and finished – with NO walking – after missing 6 key weeks of training to support a family member dealing with a serious crisis. Lauri Green, Dave Harris, Terry Rasmussen, Kristen Paige, Kerry Finch and Alfie DiPucchio all had their challenges preparing for the race BUT all finished what they set out to finish – the 2016 Around The Bay 30 kilometre road race.
A special congratulations to the whole team! No doubters, no quitters…only believers!!