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.

SnowyGrand (6 of 16)
Bridge over the Grand – it was a little icy

SnowyGrand (7 of 16)
I couldn’t see the river from here, but this was my favourite section.

SnowyGrand (8 of 16)
Just under 60 minutes, but looked like a good place to turn around…

SnowyGrand (9 of 16)
And take a wee Sharkies break :)

SnowyGrand (10 of 16)
Headed back down the way I came

SnowyGrand (11 of 16)
Which takes you past the Pioneer Tower…

SnowyGrand (12 of 16)
And this interesting tree…

SnowyGrand (13 of 16)
past the small dam…

SnowyGrand (14 of 16)
and back toward the first bridge.

SnowyGrand (15 of 16)
After under, over, and under the bridge…

SnowyGrand (16 of 16)
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.