(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!!!
- 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"!!!
|i’m making a new resolution to make my blog entries a little more concise. i’ve recently encountered long expositions that were really laborious and i don’t want to fall into the same trap. we’ll see how it goes.
this weekend was fairly mad. i took in nuit blanche this year, which is a festival that originated in paris, and has grown in popularity throughout europe and has spread to toronto last year. i missed it last year, so i resolved not to miss it two years in a row. it’s an all-night festival running from 7pm saturday evening to 7am sunday morning in arts districts to promote interest in local arts and galleries, and more than anything else, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy your home city and share in a truly social event in a safe and exciting environment. there were many exciting public exhibits and the entire event was free thanks to corporate sponsorship by the scotiabank. my favourite exhibit was a space that had a projection on its exterior windows that made it look like the entire interior of the building was being filled with water. chairs and tables were slowly floated to the ceiling, and the effect was incredibly convincing (from across the street), until later on in the presentation, gigantic lobsters and goldfish were seen swimming into the scene turning a fabulous trompe l’oeil into a ridiculously enjoyable aquarium screen saver. i had to end the evening early (1am) though because…
sunday, i did my first run in toronto, a 5km run for the cibc run for the cure. this summer has been so busy that i haven’t had much time (or willpower?) to keep up my training, so i was pretty worried about how i would hold up for the duration of the run. so i was all nerves and excitement when i arrived an hour early for the race. i hadn’t picked up my race kit or registration or t-shirt, so i had all that to do before i could hang out with my running mates. in fact, i wrapped all the administrative stuff with only 5 minutes until race start. i then had to wend my way through about 25,000 other participants to the starting line. at 10am, the race started, but everyone was creeping along the track, and i finally realized that i had lodged myself in with the walking group – so i had to push and shove my way past strollers, dogs, elderly people and people in motorized chairs until i got out into the back of the running pack. i double-timed it as much as i could through the runners, and finally managed to catch up to some of my running mates. but by then it was the last kilometer, and i had to pour it on (because that’s what you’re supposed to do). the clock said that i came in at 32:31, but i’m pretty sure that if i had been where i was supposed to be, my time would have improved by at least six minutes, so i feel pretty pleased.
my team went for brunch nearby at eggspectations, which is hopelessly close to the apple store in eaton centre. i’d been itching to go there to “examine” the new iPod Touch, so that i could see how i really didn’t need to get one, and move on with my life. i went in and played with it for a couple of minutes, gliding the interface around elegantly with the swipe or a pat of a fingertip, and i thought to myself, “yeah, that’s pretty cool…” i was extremely proud of myself for walking out of the store and convincing (conning) myself that i didn’t need to look at it again. i walked towards the subway station for about 35 seconds and then headed straight back to the store and bought the maxed-out 16GB version with a heady and delicious mixture of joy and guilt!! all the way home, it was all i could do to keep from tearing the box open and stroking its glossy surfaces! but then, once i got home, i discovered that over the course of the afternoon, i had somehow LOST my former iPod, my much beloved iPod nano. it had been my running partner and iPod of choice for almost two years, and a gift from someone dear, and it bruised me dearly to realize that it was gone. even the thrill of the new iPod couldn’t assuage my pain at having lost so precious a device. now it has to be replaced (so that i can continue to use the iPod+nike sport kit) unless you are the person who has found my nano and have looked through the contacts list to see who i am. please return my nano – there’s a reward in it for you – maybe a new iPod nano. what do you say?
pledges raised for breast cancer research: $165.00
brunch at eggspectations: $17.00
iPod Touch (16G) (with tax): $511.86
if i sub-titled these adventure blogs, i would sub-title this one "death of a fanboy". i went to the toronto fan expo 2007, canada's largest convention for comic/sci-fi/anime/game/horror fans, and it was at this event that i discovered that i have no patience whatsoever for a bunch of new things i didn't previously realize for which i had no patience. therefore, i have to begrudgingly proclaim this the worst adventure this year.
as a relatively new torontonian, i've come to accept that things worth doing here are worth doing for a large – very large – number of other torontonians. accordingly, they all come with large queues of people all waiting to take in the great spectacle of … whatever. this event was no exception. once again, i grossly underestimated the appeal of this event, or at least, the vast number of people who might find it interesting given that there are 50x as many people living within driving distance as in edmonton and underestimated the effort required JUST TO GET INTO THE EVENT. there were literally a thousand people waiting to BUY TICKETS to this thing – which compelled me for the first time in my life to buy tickets from a kid scalping his day pass. i guess that saved me about half an hour of irreplaceable life for the lowly additional cost of five bucks – all around an equitable arrangement.
i have fond recollections of the last comic convention i went to. i was twelve years old and with $20, i was able to fill in some gaps in my New Teen Titans collection that had been giving me some problems. this convention was like an acid flashback to that afternoon at the renford inn on whyte. there were fucking millions of comics at this thing – in fact, SO many fucking millions of comics that i was utterly discouraged from looking for a SINGLE one. i suppose that part of the blame rests with me for having left my comic collection at home (it weighs about 300lbs, which, when you are moving back and forth across the country, gets rather unwiedy) and not coming with a list of "need-its". but come on! if i need it that badly, i'll get the damn thing on ebay, right? so the comics were a bust for me.
they had other shit at this con too. there were collectibles for anime (re: perverse japanimation of schoolgirls with the skirts blown up so that you can see their white panties – who are invariably shooting at giant robots, while fending off the sexual attacks of demon-hoardes), sci-fi (for overweight guys who would have a heart attack if they had to run to catch the bus), horror (just about the only cool lot in the bunch, but altogether too leery for my tastes), and gaming (spindly-armed adolescent boys who must spend literally thousands of hours smacking down grumps like myself in online multiplayer environments). yes – you can see from the stream of bile issuing forth that i was rather surprisingly NOT in my element.
there were celebrities though – like number one, jonathan frakes here. poor jonathan frakes. he's tried so hard to rise above the star trek stereotype, and done better than most. however, here, people still want him to sign autographs of him as will riker and talk about the TNG days. hayden christensen couldn't be bothered to show up for the darth vader reunion, even though he lives in goddamn toronto. and i missed natasha eloi's autograph signing by scant minutes.
the one thing that did make me happy was seeing my favourite horror-lovin' friends and one of my very favourite couples in toronto, nicole and gary at the festival of fear booth for rue morgue. i also discovered that i can't get excited about comic illustrators anymore, being a pretty fair illustrator myself. but gary's really really good, and he's made a commitment to being an artist that i could never follow through on, so i bought one of his prints. it's actually really fantastic.
so, now i have a year to strategize whether i should plan properly, get a deluxe pass and show up to the con dressed as superman or the master chief or something, or whether i should put this whole fan-boy crap behind me. can you guess from this posting's tone which it will be?