Thursday, February 9, 2017

Americans running in Canada by Amie Denman

No...not Americans running TO Canada. That's a different story.

My story today is about actually running a race. You see, I love to run. I belong to a tribe of four sisters, and we share the same eyes, sense of justice, and love of start and finish lines. One of my sisters runs a marathon or a half-marathon nearly every weekend and knows exactly how fast she needs to finish in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Another sister race-walks half-marathons and--I swear--zooms past plenty of runners. Another of my sisters makes it her New Year's Day occupation every year to get online and sign up for races throughout the coming year.

Are we crazy? No. One of us even has a t-shirt that says, "I run to burn off the crazy." Truth is, we like going outside and going places. The four of us have always been close friends as well as sisters, and we've included running in many getaway weekends. We've met up to run races in California, Chicago, Orlando, and even Niagara Falls--the Canadian side. Which brings me to my story.

A few years ago, my sisters and I signed up for the Niagara Falls International Marathon. We crossed the border and lined up at the start line of the beautiful and scenic half-marathon course (only 13.1 miles!) that would start and end on the Canadian side. Serious (and fairly serious) runners usually engage in pre-race math. We figure out how long each mile should take to run, how much time should have elapsed by miles 5 and 10, and stuff like that. As I ran along the Niagara River, I looked ahead and saw the first gleaming mile post. Boy, I thought, that mile marker came up fast! I must be running one of my best times ever!

My joy did not last. When I reached the "mile" post and discovered it said 1 kilometer, I realized my error. (You saw this coming from a mile away, didn't you?) Yes, I can do math in my head, but not while running a race. I gave it a solid try. Let's see...I know a 5k=3.1 miles and a 10k=6.2 miles, so how many "k" are in 13.1 miles? I puzzled for a while, trying to re-create my split times, and then I just gave up and ran. Do you know how beautiful Canada is? It's beautiful. I just ran, enjoyed time with my sisters, and powered through until the end of the "13.1 miles" for a strong finish at the Falls.

For the record, I'm NOT a fast runner and never come anywhere close to winning--except for one race I ran with one of my sisters. It was an "Amazing Race" themed event which included running, figuring out puzzles, counting items, memorizing and singing a song, answering trivia questions, and even doing math. My sister and I had the right combination of brains and legs that day, and we won! It's my only victory, but I'll take it.

Any other runners or racers out there? I'd love to hear your story! 


14 comments:

  1. The answer is 21.1 km! Doesn't that make you feel as if you've run so much more?! :)

    I'm very impressed by your commitment to running, Amie, and how wonderful that you do it with your sisters! You are an inspiration.

    I like hiking through forest trails with our pups, and we live in an area that's ideal for cycling (if the occasional really steep hill doesn't put you off), but I haven't run competitively since university. (I won't do the math on that.)

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  2. Wow, how wonderful that you run and with your sisters. That is so special to have something in common like that. I used to run when I was in my twenties and thirties. But as I got older, I ran less and walked more. Exercise is one of the keys to staying young though. So great going.

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  3. Loved this post! A looong time ago when we converted to metric (mostly - its kind of a hybrid situation here in Canada) I was constantly trying to do the math too, until time took over and now I have to do the math to figure out mileage (kilometrage??) and temperature (Celsius vs. Fahrenheit) when I'm in the States. As to weighing myself in pounds rather than kilos.....hmmmm, neither appeals.

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  4. How wonderful that you get to do something like this with your sisters. While I love my morning walks, running isn't going to be happening for me anytime soon.

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  5. Hi, Amie! Fellow runner here! I have two sisters and they both run a little. They will occasionally sign up for a fun run with me but neither really shares my addiction. (I've never been able to find a running buddy who sticks with it quite like me.) When I ran my my first half-marathon I didn't really do my research about the course. I just liked the gorgeous Columbia River gorge location and the sound of the taco bar at the finish line. I'd heard it was "hilly" but I thought that would be fine. We have lots of hills around here. I even did some hill training. Well...the first half was ENTIRELY uphill. Wow. Always check out the course now before I sign up for a run(:

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  6. Congratulations, Amie, on the win that required brains as well as speed. How cool that you have that in common with your sisters. We eat. I'm a hard-core walker, though, and love the sights, sounds, and wonderful smells along the way. I'm so proud of you that a writer would even try to do math. (Smart alek, Kate!)

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  7. I'm amazed by you and your sisters, Amie. An entire marathon or half, every weekend...thanks incredible. I'm a runner, not a racer. I completely agree with "I run to burn off the crazy." If I didn't work out every day, I'd be a basket case. Yay you! Thanks for this inspiring post.

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  8. I'm so impressed with Amy and you other runners. I'm strictly a fan. I do want to visit the Niagara area someday, though. I've heard so much about how amazing and beautiful it is.

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  9. I'm not a runner but I do enjoy a nice, brisk walk. It's certainly a plus when it's coupled with beautiful scenery. The relationship you have with your sisters sounds very special.

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  10. Amie, I am so impressed. I try to walk every morning, but with each passing year I seem to walk slower. It's wonderful you like to run and that you have people you love and admire to share in the experience. Keep on keeping on.

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  11. Amie, one of my son's is a cross country runner and I have close writer friends who run marathons. Me...I'm so out of shape I'm feeling out of breath from just reading about your run lol! :)

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  12. Canadian runner here - or I was, until plantar fascitis. Even though races here are in km, I have to run in miles. It's all a mental thing. Those higher numbers in kms just are too big - I've run up to 26.2 miles, but I cannot do 42 km, even though it's the same distance.

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  13. I have to agree with Kim! 42 km sounds so much farther than 26.2!

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  14. Unfortunately, running is on my list right after "Falling in love with green peas." Not gonna happen, but I enjoy those who do make it happen. Me? I like to hike. Does that count?

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