adventure #25 – toronto (relay) marathon

(From my email to the company, announcing our results)

This weekend, imason's Toronto Marathon team made a glorious return to the 13th annual event, representing in the only way we know how – by overcoming impossible odds and unrealistic expectations to place 37th out of 97 corporate relay contestants, with a total time of 3:41:37.1.  Not bad for a team that had virtually no formal training and composed of a pair of supermodels, a clubbing, day-trading playboy, a former clubbing playboy, an expecting father, a hockey thug, a senior citizen from Edmonton, and well… a marketing guy.

Here are some other ways of interpreting our performance:

  • we soundly demolished one of the two Mercer teams (the one that placed dead last);
  • we beat both the Johnson & Johnson (89) and PWC IT (81) teams who had very pretty and young girls picking up their race packages Friday morning;
  • our average pace per kilometre was 5:16, which is pretty good, considering that i run fairly regularly and typically clock between 5:15 – 5:30/km… so non-runners, hold your heads up high!!!

Notable moments/statistics:

  • Greatest positive increase in elevation – Angela ("I can run 5km straight uphill and still look good enough to marry royalty") J:  over 50m incline over 1 full km;
  • Greatest negative increase in elevation – Nariman ("There's nothing I can't do better than 97% of everyone with two day's notice") H:  almost 100m over the entire leg, yielding possibly the fastest section time (along with his superior physical strength and speed);
  • Longest-section – Jim ("I cannot be stopped by any force in nature or made by man") S: whose 7km leg was dishearteningly lengthened by having to run all the way around college park before he could reach the college park finish line;
  • Most stoic running warrior: Cosmin ("If the run is outdoors, then I can still legally smoke") O: in spite of only recently quitting smoking and having to lower his Coca-cola intake to three pre-race cans to avoid cascading myocardial explosion, dug deep into his highly-classified military training to deliver superb results;
  • Most disconcerting announcement: Noorez ("Why did no one think I had it in me") K:  who called me after his hand-off to Salma to inform me that he had dropped the ball by running his leg in like 23 minutes and that I would have to run my leg in under 20 to make up for it… i took 24 minutes.
  • Worst transition: Salma ("I can kick all your asses all up and down this town") N. to George ("Whadya mean I have to run now?") Pechtol at km-30:  where basically Salma had to smash into me to get me going because i was busy texting Jim that I would be starting soon;
  • Worst table service ever – Over Easy (208 Bloor St. W):  granted, they were busy, but we had no ketchup, no side plates for toast, had chipped glasses for juice, the saddest excuse for "home fries" ever, forgotten orders, but one celebrity sighting (sighted by me… apparently, no one else in the restaurant was concerned);
  • Highest number of group emails sent complaining about the difficulty of his section: Andrew ("If I complain enough, then when I make it look easy, everyone will think that I had to work hard") S, for sending no fewer than 39 emails (+/- 38 emails) complaining about the "hill" he had to run up, when in fact, Angela did.

A huge thanks to all of our courageous athletes for coming out on a brisk autumn morning to show team spirit and what they were made of.  And a huge thanks to imason for generously sponsoring the team and without whom I might never realize that I will never be able to (want badly enough to) actually run a full marathon.  Finally, thanks to our team captain, Jim, for all of his efforts to coordinate the team in spite of a constant work schedule and the fact that he has been 1,200km away with a broken laptop.

Way to go team!!!  Proving once again that even though we might be full of "unhandled exceptions" we can still "run"!!!

– g