Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from ThatRunninGuy

I have a lot to be thankful for in 2011.  While it was a year of ups and downs, on the whole it was a year of working successfully through transitions.  The trip to Negril, Jamaica in early December to run in my 3rd Reggae Marathon event capped it off nicely:

  • I've got a great wife and I'm very, very thankful for that.  She supports not only me but our four sons in virtually everything we do.  I wouldn't be here without her.
  • And speaking of the sons:  Andrew, Court, Holden and Michael who as they grow into fine young adults continue to delight and surprise.  I had the chance to run with them in two events in 2011 (the Scotiabank Toronto 1/2 Marathon and the Reggae Marathon) and even though they ran ahead of me, I was totally thrilled.
  • We celebrated the life of Sally's Mom who passed away at age 91 in November.  She was both motivation and inspiration for me.  She will not be forgotten.
  • Sally and I made the successful transition from Wasaga Beach back to Toronto in mid-December.  After nearly 6 years of 2 city living, we decided to simplify.  The transition to life in the Kingsway went very smoothly...even Tia has handled it well.
  • Work was also something to celebrate in 2011.  Being able to use my years of experience in marketing and advertising in social media is something I am truly thankful for.
As I look ahead to 2012 I can only imagine what's in store.  And since I am an incurable optimist, I am looking forward to great things.

Merry Christmas!

Until next time...

Monday, December 12, 2011

V for fund raising victory in Reggae Marathon 2011

The V indicates ultimate victory in the 2012 Run for Heart campaign for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario.  Yes I ran the races (and got shot at by the kids at the Paint Attack Paintball event earlier this year) but it was well worth it!  The original goal was $2,000 in 2011 and with your generous donations we hit $2,100!  Thank you all so very much for your donations and support.

The really cool part about this though is that over the past 3 years, you have contributed $10,000 for the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario.  Now that is a real triumph!!

There have been a number of events:

  • Paint Attack:  my sons and their friends get together late summer at Wasaga Beach Paintball to...shoot me!  Really we take advantage of their huge and varied outdoor paintball facility to play a number of games.  
  • Quilt for Heart:  Sally the quilter made a special quilt last year that we auctioned off
  • Marathon, 1/2 Marathon and 10K runs:  Reggae Marathon 3 times, Toronto 1/2 marathons multiple times working through a year long foot injury injury in 2011 with the help of barefoot training and the best pair of running shoes I have run in, the Puma Faas 500's in the picture above.  The Puma's have been retired now but are soon to be replaced with a new pair.
  • Ride for Heart:  In the rain last year I powered through the Becel Ride for Heart a 50 K ride along the Gardner Expressway and up the Don Valley Parkway.  The ride up was tough but let me assure you the blast back was exhilarating and worth the ride.
Another big deal was that I got to run with two of my sons.  It actually started in 2010 at the Reggae Marathon when Court and I ran the 1/2 Marathon together.  Yes, he helped his 'old man along'.  Then this past fall Court, Andrew, Amy and I ran in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon.  And finally, Andrew, Court and Mike and I ran in both the Reggae Marathon 1/2 Marathon and 10K.  Who knew they were such avid runners.  Thanks guys.

With Christmas 2011 around the corner it's time to celebrate.  Enjoy the season.  Here's to 2012.

Until next time...

Photograph courtesy of Karen Fuchs Photography

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reggae Boyz in Jamaica for Reggae Marathon 2011

Thankfully it was dark when I ran the 10K at the Reggae Marathon last week in Negril, Jamaica.  I know that sounds crazy but let me explain.

I sweat a lot when running.  The temperature has nothing to do with it actually, I sweat in the cold winter temperatures in Canada just as much as in the summer.  While it's a great way to loose weight quickly, it poses a special challenge in a race like Reggae Marathon where even at the 5:15 am start it is a comfortable mid-20's Celsius.

So there I was at about Mile 2 running along smoothly when I realized that the technical running shirt wasn't doing it's job. Court and Andrew in the photo above had the right idea.  So not wanting to repeat the overheating issue from last year's Reggae Marathon, I went totally against the grain and took my shirt off!

For the next 3 1/2 miles I ran shirtless figuring that it was dark and that no one would notice.  It worked.  Thankfully there were no pictures...wait, I did hear one lady shout out, "nice pecs" or was that my imagination?

I remain humbled by the three Reggae Boyz above.  Without me asking or prodding, they made the trek to Jamaica to participate in the Reggae Marathon. I will never be able to fully express how special you made it for my by coming down.  Thank you so very much!

Reggae Marathon = Negril, Jamaica Beach Vacation + Run + Coconut Water + Cold Red Stripe Beer!

Until next time...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Caught lying down after Reggae Marathon 2011

After completing the 10K in the Reggae Marathon this morning and before having my first Red Stripe beer, Gina Harrison of Reggae Marathon caught this picture of me taking a picture of me taking picture of a runner relaxing beside the pile of discarded coconuts.  That's the true story and I'm sticking to it.

It really was a magnificent Reggae Marathon event today in Negril.  As you know by now I had a delay in getting to Negril and only arrived Friday night at 7 pm at the Pasta Party in time to fill up on pasta for Saturday's race.  Both Andrew and Court ran the 1/2 marathon and they had fantastic results!  These boys can run!  They placed 31 and 45th overall in the entire field of 1/2 marathon runners and it's only the second time they have run the distance.  I am tremendously proud of them.  And their good friend Mike who ran the 10K with me also did really well.  Mike, great job.

The best part of the Reggae Marathon is not the coconuts, Red Stripe beer or even the swim in the ocean immediately after the race.  The best part is what the four of us did back at the hotel:  hanging out on lounges 10 feet from the gently beating surf on the white sand of Negril.  Now that's Reggae Marathon.

The absolutely best part of the experience is the result of the Run for Heart campaign:  with the generous donation yesterday, we topped out at $2,050...over the target.  It is simply not possible for me to describe my feelings at the generosity and support that you all showed toward this campaign.  I know I ran the distance in the Toronto 1/2 Marathon and the Reggae Marathon but it was because I was carried on your shoulders.  Thank you.

Until next time...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Daylight come and me wanna go run the Reggae Marathon

Enough talk, it's time to go running!

After a small delay this week, I'm off to Negril, Jamaica for Reggae Marathon 2011 this morning.  Didn't sleep a wink last night...I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.  Come to think of it, Reggae Marathon is a great way to kick off the Christmas season.  And since I arrive in time to go directly to the Reggae Marathon Pasta Party tonight, I'll do my best to sleep on the plane because I know there will be precious little sleep tonight.  It is a 5:15 am race start after all.

The wackiest thing about today is the staggered arrivals of Andrew, Court and I.  Andrew and his friend arrive at 2:20 pm; Court arrives at 3:20 pm and I arrive at 4:20 pm.  Whew!  Next year we will have to plan this much better.  The important thing though is that we all connect this evening at the Couples Swept Away Sports Complex for the Pasta Party.  Carbo loading here we come!

The really good news is on the Heart & Stroke Foundation fund raising campaign.  I'm up to $1,800 for the Run for Heart campaign.  Thank you everybody for your generous donations and support.  But don't be shy:  there is still time to donate.  Just click on this link, Run for Heart to make a donation now.  I'd love to get back from Jamaica having met my goal of raising $2,000 for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

Anyway, gotta go now...boarding shortly for Jamaica and Reggae Marathon 2011!

Until next time...