ENDURrun 2012: The Pre-Race Show

Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic. –Tim Noakes

It’s 10:22pm in Waterloo, ON, and I’m getting ready to do another ENDURrun. Hard to believe it’s come so fast. Feels like yesterday that I finished the 2011 version. But here I set, in Chateau Laurier, after having unpacked my suitcase, stowed all my food and cooking utensils, and packed up my race bag for tomorrow.

The pre-race reception and bib pick-up was tonight. it was great to see so many returning faces, as well as a bunch of new ones. The swag this year was most excellent; in addition to the technical race t-shirt, we also got a beautiful jacket. There were other things, different for most people. I got a nice technical running hat (good thing, ‘cause I need an extra one this week!), but some others got some cool gloves, or headband. Lloyd, the race director, knows how to supply us with some cool gear.

I had such high hopes for this year. Signing up for the entire Run Waterloo race series, I told myself that Jan 1 I was going to train, work hard, and be way more ready for this week than last year. It’s sort-of funny, but last year’s pre-race post is pretty much exactly how I feel this year. Training was meh, too many excuses not to go out running, and too little work. SIGH.

People have told me that I am CRAZY for doing this event. That it just sounds hard, or impossible, to do. My dear wife, fearing for my safety, has told me repeatedly that I should just pull out and volunteer for the week. I’m almost too ashamed to even write this blog, or even tell people to read it, because I really haven’t earned the right to say anything. It’s one thing to train hard for an event like this one, and then write about how it went. You see those articles all the time in running magazines. Who would want to read about someone who signed up for a real hard endurance event, then barely trained, and is going to write about how tough it is?

One thing that is different between last year and this year, is my attitude. Last year, I was very close to bailing out of the long events, and just do the short ones. This year, that thought hasn’t crossed my mind. Barring an injury, I will do all the events. I will finish them, even if I have to walk it in.

Despite the state of my training, I can’t begin to express how happy I am to be back! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this event! The other races that make up the Run Waterloo Series are great as well, but this one is the crown jewel. It is, by far, the BEST racing experience anywhere; well at least as much as I’ve done. Fellow ENDURrunner Bob Jackman summed it up tonight; it’s like running camp. You run your race, then hang out with everyone and chill. Sure it’s competitive. There’s a gold jersey to be had by the leading runner, both male and female. There’s prize money. I’m not exactly at that level (no kidding). For me, it’s a chance to take a week off work, off my normal hectic life, and focus on being a runner. Run, rest, relax, and do it all over again the next day, all the while being pampered, and doted on, and catered to, by the best race volunteers on the planet.

So this week, my goal is to settle down into a comfortable pace, enjoy the beautiful scenery that rural Kitchener has to offer, and finish strong and happy. It all starts tomorrow morning at 8am with Stage 1: The Half Marathon.