Sunday, November 25, 2012

First Snowy Run of the Season

After running in a Santa Suit in above seasonal temperatures just a few days ago, today I was running in the snow.

I headed out to the Grand River Trail this morning to do an out and back between Freeport and Blair. My actual plan was just to run along the trail for about and hour, then turn around and head back. My turn around point was slightly under an hour just because I would have had to cross a major road and get over to another section of trail to keep going. At my turn around point, I was over 58 minutes, so I figured that was close enough. :)

It was a very enjoyable run this morning. The snow fell gently the entire time, the wind was relatively calm, my legs felt good, and I even saw a fox a little over 5K into the run. I wasn’t quick enough to photograph the fox (wasn’t expecting him), but I saw him trotting along towards me and then quickly turning around and running away. I did happen to take a photo of his tracks, which show his turn around point.

The bridges over the Grand River and over Hwy 401 were quite slippery this morning, but the trail itself was in quite good shape. There were only a couple spots where it was a bit icy and some small slush puddles.

Overall, I had a great time on my run this morning. I took it pretty easy and it was quite pleasant.

I took some photos to share with you. Enjoy.

SnowyGrand (1 of 16)
Time to start my run at Schneider Park at Freeport

SnowyGrand (2 of 16)
From the starting point, I had to run over this bridge and then under it, to get to the main trail.

SnowyGrand (3 of 16)
Once on the trail, there are nice sections right beside the Grand River

SnowyGrand (4 of 16)
As well as tree lined portions, just away from the river.

SnowyGrand (5 of 16)
Here’s where the fox quickly turned and ran away.

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Bridge over the Grand – it was a little icy

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I couldn’t see the river from here, but this was my favourite section.

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Just under 60 minutes, but looked like a good place to turn around…

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And take a wee Sharkies break :)

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Headed back down the way I came

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Which takes you past the Pioneer Tower…

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And this interesting tree…

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past the small dam…

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and back toward the first bridge.

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After under, over, and under the bridge…

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I was back at my starting point and finished my run.

Total distance: 19.43 km
Time: 1:56
Weather: –3 C, snow, wind 17 km/h SW

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Santa Test Run

Next Saturday is the first ever Santa Pur-Suit, a 5K and 3K running race and 1K fun run. In this event there will be 800 or more Santas running through town in full out red suits and beards.

Jordan Schmidt mentioned to me earlier this week that he was planning on taking the suit out for a test run through Downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo on Thursday and asked me if I wanted to join him. Of course I said yes! This sounded like a lot of fun! 

Here’s how the run unfolded.

Jordan left his work in Downtown Kitchener around 12:15 and ran up to meet me outside of my work. He texted me when he was leaving so that I would know when to get ready and head outside.

My co-workers thought it was funny when I showed up at my desk withsanta (1 of 1) a Santa suit in a bag and they let me know that I HAD to come back to my desk with the suit on before heading out to run. When I returned in the suit, they insisted that I pose for a photo. My pose of choice? Holding my belly that shook when I laughed like a bowl full of jelly… but as pointed out to me by my friend Matt... “nothing fills out a Santa suit like a marathon runner.”

Around 12:30, I met Jordan at the corner of King & Union, where Julie took some photos as we started to run together.

Jordan and I headed up the street and ran to Waterloo Town Square, through Uptown Waterloo, and continued on to finish up our Santa Run at Runners’ Choice.

Along the way, as we ran through Uptown and past the university, we heard a lot of honks, "Ho Ho Ho", "Merry Christmas", and
comments of "you're going to make it snow", "you're a little early", and my personal favourite of the day "Thank you for putting this smile on my face".

It was fun.

Once we arrived at the store, Lloyd and Julie Schmidt were waiting for us. We took a few photos outside and then went inside and did a little video review on the suits.

peu_20121122_5The suits were hot on, but it was also quite warm out. It was 12 C (54ish F), which is definitely not Santa suit weather. I had shorts and a tank top on under my suit and I was mighty warm. The beard and hat were a bit warm on as well, but if the change in weather today is any indication (it was snowing on my way home from work), it will be much more comfortable on December 1st.

After we finished our little interview, I de-Santa-ed to the shorts and
tank top I had on under it, got a bag from Geoff (the store owner) to put
my Santa suit in, and ran back to work carrying the bag.

I got 5K of running in during my Santa Pur-Suit Promotion Lunch, half in a Santa suit and half not.

I hope to see many of you out in a big, bright, red suit next weekend. There is still time to register for the 5K, 3K, or 1K event on December 1st, so please visit Run Waterloo for more information on the Santa Pur-Suit and other races in the series.

To see the official suit review, click here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Grand River Trail: Freeport to Blair

Last Sunday, I took some photos during my run along the Grand River with full intentions of creating a blog post later that night or at least the next day. This didn’t happen, of course, as it is now a week later and I am finally posting. Better late than never, right?

Let’s see if I can remember any of this run… it was a point to point run starting at the bottom of Kitchener, and ending up in Cambridge.

There were many people out and about on the trail that day; I saw cyclists, walkers, and runners (although not many runners). The nice weather and the fact that the new pedestrian bridge had just opened up 2 days prior were probably big factors in the numbers that were out. I’m sure in a month or 2, I’ll see a lot less people out there.

All in all, it was an enjoyable run with good weather and nice scenery. I will leave you with some photos.


I had to take a photo of the giant house that is being build backing onto the trail. It’s huge!Kitchener-20120916-00015

These next 2 photos are of the new pedestrian bridge that connects sections of trail on either side of the river.


Not too long after crossing the pedestrian bridge, I had another bridge to cross, but it was over something much less scenic: the 401.


On the other side of the highway, I found a new section of trail that I had never run on before. These last few photos were taken there. As you can see, I took a wee break to enjoy the view.

North Dumfries-20120916-00026North Dumfries-20120916-00027North Dumfries-20120916-00031

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Flat Lands of Eastern Ontario

As I mentioned yesterday, I went for a run on the roads around my parents’ house and took some photos.

I think the title of this blog post says it all.

around parents' house (1 of 8)
Heron flying just above the water.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Labour Day Weekend:

I was in Eastern Ontario for the long weekend, attending a family reunion. While there, I went out for a few runs. The first one was just a short run squeezed into Saturday morning. I ran an out and back totalling 4.3 km. I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to run again later that day, so I just wanted to be sure I got some sort of run in that morning. It was a decent run. It was clear and sunny, but not too hot.

On Sunday, we had some family events during the day, so I decided to plan an evening run that would allow me to finish along the river at sunset and hopefully see some pretty skies over the water. I decided to take my phone along and take some photos during the run.
I ran 20.4 km on Sunday, mostly all in view of the St Lawrence River.

I started my run from a park in Cardinal, Ontario, right on the river. I decided to take a quick photo before starting my run, so here it is:

Cardinal to Iroquois and back (1 of 24)

I headed west from my starting location, down the road a bit, so that I could enjoy some of the water from a quieter road than the highway I was about to be running next to.

Cardinal to Iroquois and back (2 of 24)

One of the things I enjoy about running along the river in this area, is the water on both sides of some of the roads and paths.

Cardinal to Iroquois and back (3 of 24)

The area is popular for diving as there are shipwrecks and lost villages at the bottom of the river.

Cardinal to Iroquois and back (4 of 24)Cardinal to Iroquois and back (5 of 24)

I ran from the village of Cardinal to the Village of Iroquois (where I went to high school).

Cardinal to Iroquois and back (7 of 24)Cardinal to Iroquois and back (8 of 24)

Then headed back toward Cardinal, where I had left the car.
There were interesting views and also historical sites along my route.

Cardinal to Iroquois and back (9 of 24)Cardinal to Iroquois and back (10 of 24)

Apparently I watching the geese too much and was was running too slowly because the road had a message for me to race faster.

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The coloured part on the rocks of the below photo used to be a Canada flag pained on the side of the canal. As you can see, it has not been painted in a long time and more than half of it is now covered in plants.Cardinal to Iroquois and back (15 of 24)

The timing of my run worked out quite well, as I arrived back at the park, I saw the sun setting and beautiful colours were filling the sky.

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When I got back to my parents’ house, the sun was still setting beautifully, so I took a quick photo of the setting sun over the corn field.

Cardinal to Iroquois and back (24 of 24)

I went running yesterday (labour day) as well, and I headed out with the phone for some pictures again, but since I have so many photos from from Sunday’s run to share today, I will post Monday’s photos tomorrow.