Scotiabank Rat Race for United Way (5k)

Scotiabank Rat Race for United Way (5k)

(June 10, 2010)

I ran my second 5k: the Scotiabank Rat Race for United Way. It was an excellent run – a great route, with great people, for a great cause! I will definitely do this one again next year.

First off, the race benefits the organization I work for, so already I had a vested interest in participating and supporting the work in a different way. Knowing I work with a number of fitness fanatics, I decided to organize a staff team in hopes I would recruit a few colleagues to run with me. Our team, called United We Scurry, was seven members strong, and everyone did a fantastic job – congrats guys!

Some of the “Scurriers”: Joanna, Helen, me and Allison

I saw a number of familiar faces volunteering throughout the event – from race kit pick-up to water and food line-ups to cheering sections along the route. This event has THE best volunteers I’ve seen so far – enthusiastic, friendly and helpful.

The deejay started pumping the tunes a few hours before race time and there was plenty of pre-race entertainment. The lines for face painting and complimentary massages never died down enough for me to take part, but that’s okay as I was technically working prior to the race. We settled for whiskers drawn on with eyeliner instead!

Nice whiskers 🙂

I felt totally at ease as I headed to the start line with my teammates. I’m usually feeling some pretty serious butterflies before a race. I think I was so calm because my only goals were to have fun and not injure myself – both goals that were easily reached.

At the start line: Ready to go!

Conditions were perfect – it’s a later start (8 p.m.) so the temperature had cooled off. A mix of sun and cloud meant I didn’t have to squint or worry about rain.

Joanna, myself and another coworker Allison stuck together for the entire race. The route was on a slight incline for the first half. But after our water station walk break, it was smooth sailing downhill to the finish.

Throughout the run, several on-lookers commented on the ‘rat ears’ Jo and I were sporting on our hats. And Allison’s ‘cheesy’ neck-tie was amazing! So much fun. But our outfits were nothing compared to the brave souls dressed up in head-to-toe furry rat costumes! These guys must have DIED of heat.

Rat #1. Is it just me or does he look more like Alvin the chipmunk?
Rats #2 and #3. I will have nightmares about the one on the right.

One thing I noticed was that the km’s weren’t marked along the route – which meant it was a little tougher to judge how far you’d gone. However, we were running in a rectangle around the downtown core, so it wasn’t too difficult. As we approached the final turn, with about 30 seconds left, I asked Jo: “Are we sprinting?” At first, she wasn’t into it. But as we turned the corner and saw the finish line, beyond a very enthusiastic cheering section, we both just went for it. I felt like my legs were going to fall off/my lungs were going to collapse, but I’ve learned you can do just about anything for 30 seconds. And it was an awesome way to cross the finish line!

After downing about a gallon of water and having a mini group hug session, we went on a quest for food. I’m never hungry after a race but by this point, it had been about six hours since I’d eaten and dinnertime was long gone. I grabbed half a banana, a mini spicy burrito and a slice of cheese pizza. The delicious scents of the pizza brought on the return of my appetite. 🙂

Next, we checked our times. I felt like we had kept up a pretty good pace throughout the run, and according to my watch, we were under 30 minutes. This alone I was extremely pleased with – only having done two short runs prior to the race, I didn’t have high hopes for a new PR. However, my time was 27:10 – 47 seconds faster than my St. Patrick’s Day 5k in March! Weeee….

Afterwards, Jo and I walked to her place for a celebratory glass of wine (or was it two…). We left our hats on as we walked up Yonge Street, as I can guarantee the sweaty mess underneath would have attracted many disgusted stares. We still got some curious looks from evening strollers – the things people are willing to do for a good run, seriously!

Thanks to everyone who came out this year as a runner, volunteer or sponsor. I could be really cheesy right now and say something like “Without you, there would be no way.” But instead, I’ll just say you’re awesome. And I’ll see you next year!



  1. […] been well over a year since my last 5k race, and I forgot how much fun the shorter distance can be. No need to prepare for months on end. No […]

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