Race Recap: Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run

Remember that one time when I said that the Run 4 Donuts was going to be my last race of the year? I liiieeed …

I heard about Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run back in September, I believe, but it took me a while to decide whether or not I wanted to participate. (I had no ugly Christmas sweater, after all!) After canvasing social media to see if someone wanted to join me, my mom said she’d come as long as she could walk, and I told her she could as long as she didn’t mind if I ran. She didn’t, so finally at the end of October we registered! Isla even decided to join in, so she walked/ran with my mom.

A little back story on the run itself: It’s a 5k Fun Run organized by a young lady (Payton) whose brother was killed by a drunk driver when he was 10 years old. He was a lover of all things Christmas, so in honour of him, Payton created Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run, with 100% of the proceeds going towards the Boys & Girls Club Power Start Program.

Our “ugly” sweaters! A homage to John McClane and a sweet little llama!

We had been fortunate enough to have really nice weather so far, but alas, on Thursday we finally got a little dump of snow. Thankfully, the weather stayed relatively decent, so the trail/path we would be running on was mostly clear of snow and ice. The only downer was that on run day the wind had picked up and it was fairly chilly, but once we all got moving it wasn’t so bad. (Thank goodness I opted to squeeze a Santa hat on my head, or else my ears probably would’ve froze off.)

I’m so thankful that the ran was being hosted close to my house on a trail/path that I’ve ran before, so I knew what to expect! The hills were tougher in the cold, but manageable, although having to slide down a path to get to the trail wasn’t ideal. (No fault to the race organizer – Mother Nature doesn’t care about your plans!) I believe Isla slipped a couple of times, but she insisted on finishing the race, much to my mom’s dismay, haha. (The race was two 2.5k loops, so instead of stopping after 1 loop like many of the other walkers, Isla protested and said they HAVE to finish properly!)

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I finished with a time of about 35:15, which I’m pretty happy with considering the weather, course condition, and the fact that I made the silly decision to try out weight training the Friday before the race and exhausted every muscle in my body, haha.

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I’m looking forward to next year’s Ugly Sweater Run already and want to congratulate Payton on a job well done in honouring her brother! The support from the community for the race was unbelievable for it only being the second annual event, so it will be exciting to see where this goes in the future!

Now I’m done racing for the year ;)

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Race Recap: Run 4 Donuts!

It was a freakin’ beautiful fall day for some pastries and a run! Isla has been wanting to test her legs in a 5K run, so I thought the Run 4 Donuts would be a great way for her to do that.

In a nutshell, the Run 4 Donuts is a charity run for the local food bank, and during the race you stop at donut stations to eat a delicious pastry before continuing on your way. Sounds awesome, right? (Spoiler Alert: Mowing down on donuts while running isn’t necessarily a good idea, but it’s a great motivator!)

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We got to the race bib pick-up area with plenty of time to stand in the sun and warm up and before we knew it, we were munching on donuts before heading out for the first stretch of the race! Isla did great during the first lap but got pretty tired after Donut #2. (The fact that it was a Boston cream probably didn’t help either, haha.) We took a few walking breaks due to too many donuts and sore legs, but Isla finished strong and did amazing! I really couldn’t be any prouder of her.

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The Run 4 Donuts was a super casual yet totally fun race, and I hope we can do it again in the years to come! It was a great last race of the season, and I’m glad Isla got to join me!

Of course, here’s all that technical stuff just for curiosity’s sake ;)

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Thanks to Dirty Feet for organizing and putting on such a great event to support our food bank!

Race Recap: Dirty Feet Trail Run – Vista Run

If this race happened before the Mountain Run two weeks ago, I probably would have never run another trail race again. It’s a tough course! Or at least to me, the relatively green trail runner. Either way, it was still a great event with some awesome views, and I don’t think my legs have ever been this sore after a run, haha.

My new-found race-buddy picked me up so we could check-in with the race directors, and then we walked back to the car to stay warm until our start time. It was dang chilly!

It had basically rained almost every day the week prior to the race, so I was expecting a very wet and muddy course, but thankfully, aside from a few puddles it wasn’t too terrible. There were definitely some slick sections where you really had to watch your footing, but I was lucky enough to not bail and roll down a hill. Go me! (Kyle’s stepdad, who ran the 21K distance, unfortunately wasn’t as lucky. He’s okay though!) The views were awesome and I wish I was able to take a quick photo or two, but I had no time to stop, lol

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Fake smile. Dead legs.

The hills were brutal though! I definitely need to do more running outdoors if I want to keep doing trail runs, because my legs were just useless by the last mile and I had to will myself to keep my pace up the best I could.

While I was hoping for a sub-35 minute time, I under estimated how tough the hills would be and had to slow myself down a few times to catch my breath and rest my legs. I’m still pretty happy with my time though, which was officially clocked at being 36:41 – fast enough to place 3rd in my age category! (Hashtag: Humblebrag)

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Of course, I ate all the goodies at the end of the run, (nothing tastes better than jellybeans and cookies, haha) and hung around to see if I could win a door prize. I ended up having my number called and managed to snag a nice North Face shirt for Kyle.

So, overall it was a tough but fun course and I’ll definitely do it again next year! It was a great way to end the “competitive” race season for me! (There’s one more in October that I’m doing, but I’ll be acting as Isla’s pace bunny, lol.)