Around the Bay 30k Race Recap!

We survived! Weee!

So first of all, I wasn’t kidding you when I said I was going to strap on my CamelBak for the day and get hydrating.

Worked like a charm. You just get used to having a feed tube to your mouth essentially, hahah. When I took it off for the expo I kept reaching for the straw. Nerd alert.

On Saturday I went to the expo with my sister Jess, my bro-in-law Alex, and Josh. Alex and I had to pick up our race kits and expos are always fun.  We also met up with my one true love, Christina, and we took a trip to Kindfood in Burlington for some carbloading. We split a vegan grilled cheese and we each got a Budda bowl. It was delightful!

Then we galavanted over to Kindfood’s bakery down the street (I want to say it was called Holly’s?) and got vegan, gluten free chocolate chip cookie dough CUPCAKES. They tasted LEGIT. Just be sure to take out a small loan before you go there.

I stayed at my sister’s place the night before the race because she only lives around 15 minutes from the start. For dinner, we had whole wheat pasta, so Alex and I could continue to pump those carbs. (Why else do we run…?)

Alex and I pre-race, YA WEE

For breakfast, I had a giant bowl of oatmeal with a mashed banana mixed in. My go-to race fuel! We got to the start relatively early, and by the time I found Christina it was down to the wire, but we managed to get a pic!

Can you say nervous smiles?

We separated right after this picture because the gun went off, and SOMEONE (me) forgot to sync up their Garmin…woops. If you have one, you know it takes forever and a day.

The race really flew by. I was just taking it easy and really just using my Garmin to make sure I didn’t run too fast. I did not properly train for this race (thanks to the snow, and the residents of K-W who do not believe in clearing their sidewalks…), so I had no particular goal time in I was shooting for, but I knew that it shouldn’t take me longer than 3 hours. So with that in mind, off I went.

It was was smooth sailing at first, the roads were dry, so I got to wear my VFFs, and the weather was really quite nice. I was in my happy place!

AND THEN, at 10km, I heard someone beside me say  “oh my gosh there’s a train.” I looked at him and said “PARDON?” We look ahead, and lo and behold:

A FREAKING TRAIN came through in the middle of the race. I didn’t time it exactly, but it was long enough for me to send a few texts, take a few pictures, and chat with the other runners about WTF was going on? Once the train finally finished, we really weren’t in the clear. A few things went down once the train left:

a) We had to wait for the  barriers to rise

b) We had to start darting around each other, trying to find our rhythm, just like being at the start line all over again.

c) Because the train had stopped all the runners, A CAR managed to get on the race course right in front of us and then we had stop/dart around THAT

d) THEN when we were about to get moving again, we realized the 10k split sensor is only on one side of the road, and we all had to bottleneck to get over the timing pads.

Only after all of this were we able to get back into our rhythm.

I can honestly say that after all of this went down, I was REALLY HAPPY that I had not busted my butt all winter training for this race and a 2:45 finishing time. If I had done everything I could to perform my best, only to have something like this happen, I would have been FUMING. I really feel for the people who were in that kind of situation. It really just was not cool. It definitely added more than a few minutes to my time. Luckily, Alex and Christina managed to just miss the train ahead of me! I really hope they sort this out for next year, because train aside, this is a fantastic race that is really well done.

Moving on!

Jess and Josh rode around on bikes to cheer Alex and I on (and bring us orange slices!) which was awesome. Seeing your friends and family along the way gives you a serious power-up, like you’re in a video game. My parents and my sister Natalie, also came to the race to watch us finish, which was really nice!

As far as fuel goes, I tried to have something every 5k, and I had a few different things– Sharkies (aka fruit snacks they call running fuel), 2 Carb Boom gels and Salt Stick caps (review to come on those!)

It was smooth sailing from kilometre 10-25, at which point I got the mother of all ab-cramps. I had to stop and walk while I loosened it up, and focused on my breathing. There is nothing I hate more than walking during a race, but it had to be done. It was really affecting how deep I could breathe, and you just don’t mess with that. My knees/ankles did not make a PEEP in the entire race. This just reinforces that barefoot running is for me, and even zero-drop minimalist shoes don’t do the job. I will never run long distances in anything but my VFFs again! Sorry I cheated on you, my loves.

Kilometres 28-30 were easy breezy. I was SO EXCITED to cross the finish line in the stadium!

Weeeeeee! See me?

My “official” (if you can call it that when you are interrupted by a train, hah) chip time was 3:01:37. I wish I knew really what my time would’ve been sans train, but I DO know that it would have been sub-3 hours, which was really all I wanted out of this race. I finished strong and (aside from sore legs) felt totally fine after.

Alex and I post race! (p.s. he is also a VFF runner! But had already changed out of his before this photo!)

So this means (in theory…) a May 5th full marathon! I am still undecided on which one to do (there are two near me that day), but I better decide soon and get registered!

Thanks for all of the good luck messages and support! It was great weekend!

Have you ever had a strange race interruption?






  1. Amazing recap! I still can’t believe that damn train. I think you had an amazing time. They fact that all three of us conquered that race without dying is a miracle. Just be happy it’s done and that we can (sorta) walk today! I’m excited about your full marathon! You are INTENSE and a rockstar. Buuuut I think you should train for that one. Just because I want you alive, ya know? Kthanks.

    • Hahah I actually feel really good about it. I think it’ll be a non-issue….knocking on wood immediately.

  2. GREAT PERFORMANCE 🙂 they apologized for the train on the fb page….apparently the time it took for the entire train time was btwn 5 and 6 mins. Apparently this was CN rails fault and not the bays. I am sorry you had that happen to you though. GREAT job!!!!! You look, and sound super prepared.

    • Thanks!
      Yeahhh, I know it’s not their fault ENTIRELY, but this has happened before and they chose not to come up with a solution. It’s not a big deal to me (in this particular race), it makes for a good story! But I can understand that some people would be quite upset— regardless of whether or not they were going to win the race. We don’t set PB goals to win, obviously. They did a great job putting on the race though, I would run it again (if we have a mild winter for training…hahah).

  3. Amazing job on this race!! I am in awe that you were able to wear your VFF for this distance. I started running in mine, and switched to regular shoes when I started running half marathons! I would LOVE to run a half in my VFF, but I fear for my knees!! GREAT JOb!

    • Thank you!
      It just so happens that my knees freak out in anything but VFFs! I would stick with them, just build the distance slowly and make *sure* you are landing properly.

  4. So impressive. I have always admired people who can run for that long without collapsing or going insane. And now I really need to take a trip to Burlington to go to Kindfood. My god, that grilled cheese looks amazing!

    • LOL! We do go insane, that’s what keeps us going! Hah! And YES, totally worth the trip to Burlington! Grilled cheese WAS amazing!

  5. Congratulations on a great race! I found your blog through Christina’s and thought I’d stop by. I grew up in Ontario and went to university in Hamilton…really wish I was into running then so I could have run this race! 🙁

    • Danielle says:

      Aww! It was pretty fun– perhaps worth a trip from wherever you are for next year?? (Fingers crossed for no trains! hahah)


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