Four months ago, I had a crazy idea. I emailed two of my favorite people in the world and wrote: “Let’s sign up for the Nike 15K race in Toronto.” To my pleasant surprise, they agreed.
Lucky for us Americans, one of those people – my good friend Daveeda – lives in Toronto. Rachel and I had instant accommodations. Too bad, the weather wasn’t quite as accommodating.
We flew into Toronto Friday morning at the crack of dawn and spent some time soaking up the important sites in between the rain. For Rachel, this meant sampling poutine. For me, this meant taking pictures everywhere.
After picking up our race packets, we made our way to Kensington Market which is a hispster’s dream neighborhood. Think graffiti, overpriced trinkets, dilapidated storefronts, and trendy restaurants. Oh, and lots and lots of weed.
After a lazy Saturday, race day arrived. I checked the weather for the fifteenth time, and the weather gods promised us no rain until the afternoon. Shockingly, the weather gods were wrong.
The course was beautiful. I wish I had more pictures, but since I’m pretty slow as it is, I refused to drag my time down further by stopping to take pictures. We traversed pavement, grass, gravel, and even a stunning boardwalk along the water. I managed to take this picture while running, as we made our way through Billy Bishop Airport and Toronto’s skyline came into view.
I am happy to report that I finished the race, and I am the proud owner of my second Nike Tiffany necklace. I am also very proud of my friends who made excellent time. Daveeda and Rachel – you are legit runners.
By the time we finished, however, it had started raining. I was wet, freezing, and just a little bit grumpy – a terrible combination. The euphoria of running 9.3 miles was quickly washed away by the urgent desire to take the longest and hottest shower known to mankind.
That was not an option – at least not yet. First, we had to get back to the mainland. Instead of waiting three hours for the communal ferry, we hopped a ride on a private boat owned by Daveeda’s friend, Addler. This was a brilliant move on our part, except for the minor fact that it was still raining, and we were still cold and wet. As we squeezed ourselves into the boat, (including Daveeda’s husband and four kids) and zipped along Lake Ontario, the wind slapped our faces, and the water seeped into my bones. I didn’t know it was possible to be so miserably cold and deliriously happy at the same time.
Daveeda’s seven-year-old daughter, not the least bit pleased with the prospect of a rainy boat ride, summed up the entire experience best: “Mommy, why did you run this race???”