A few of my friends and I met up earlier this evening, er, late in the afternoon for an after work run around the neighbourhood.
As the winter approaches, daylight runs are going to get increasingly rare, and I’ll need to fish my running headlamps from storage and make sure they are charged up.
Of course, the unusual hour for our meetup prompted a long conversation on the subject of daylight savings time, that twice-per-year ritual of shifting our clocks by one hour.
Spring ahead. Fall back.
And also because tagged onto the upcoming municipal election ballot for next Monday is a province-wide referendum on the very existence of daylight savings time asking the population of the Canadian sliver of this timezone if we wish to continue the ritual.
Perpetually staying on one time, never shifting to adapt our clocks to the shifting wax and wane of the seasonal daylight flux would be less exhausting for at least two days of the year.
I would also mean that the diminishing daylight hours would lock into a regular cycle wherein the sun may not rise until late in the morning during the deepest days of winter, or alternatively set in the middle of the afternoon.
I’m used to running in the dark in the winter, but even I have to pause and wondering what the right answer will be when I vote on Monday.
Or what I’ll tell my grandkids some day: y’know we used to flip flop our clocks back and forth twice a year, everyone was late for work and grumpy, and then one day…
Most everyone I know in the running community knows that in addition to Canadian thanksgiving, this weekend is also the Virtual Boston Marathon.
At least five people I know signed up for the race, which thanks to the pandemic was a once in a lifetime opportunity to run through your own streets, track it on the Boston Marathon app, and call it an official run.
I did not sign up.
… but I did go out on the dawn trails with a trio of friends who had signed up to run the pandemic version of the famous race.
When three of us tag-alongs met up with them early on Saturday morning near a local park, the sun was just peaking over the horizon and they had been at it for almost ten kilometers already.
We trotted into step with their route, followed it as it wend its way along the river, up in the neighbourhood, down into a local recreation area, and around the back side of a golf course. After about eight kilometers of support running, we turned back to where we’d left our cars … and ultimately logged just over thirteen klicks total even as we zoomed past a half dozen other virtual Boston’ers with their race bibs or support cyclists or multi-coloured tutus plodding along with fierce determination through the morning trails.
Our thirteen was not quite a marathon. Obviously. Not even quite a half marathon. I later calculated that my logged distance of 13.43 km as per my GPS watch, worked out to almost exactly one pi of a marathon. Weird. After all, forty two point two kilometers divided by thirteen point four-three kilometers equals three point one-four, or pretty much as close to one pi of a marathon as my technology can measure.
Mathematics and adventure collide on a Saturday morning in a curious way, it seems.
And then the event ended, and we cheered in the actual racers across the finish line via text message, as they completed their virtual distance … and won their real medals.
Every year on this weekend for a generation Canadians go for a run.
Forty years ago a young man named Terry Fox, long since deservedly held up as a national hero, attempted to run east to west across the country. He was in remission from cancer, and had lost a leg to it, but set anyways out to raise money and awareness.
He made it about a third of the way before ending his run and passing away shortly after.
The Terry Fox run is usually held annually on this very weekend and brings out countless folks from across the country to continue the run in spirit and memory.
It was a virtual run this year thanks to a lingering global pandemic.
So. It was pretty much a normal Sunday Runday for us.
Except a couple years ago one of our run crew passed from cancer.
Her family put up a memorial bench in the local dog park in our river valley, a convenient distance away for a modest Sunday run.
We might not have specifically run for Terry Fox this morning, but I’d like to think that ten of us adventuring down to find the bench, running through the autumn trails, and finding the memorial for our fallen crewmate was kinda a parallel effort in the right spirit of the day.
Sunday Runday and I waited until today to finally make a big blogging deal about the latest running adventure in which I’ve signed up to participate. I’ve been sitting on it for a couple weeks and have been excited to post about it.
In fact, shortly after I wrote about running inspiration and alluded to my good friend who was just finishing up a virtual cross-Canada race logging nearly five thousand kilometers over twelve months, the same friend sent out a group chat wondering if anyone would be interested in something similar this year, but in relay form. He wasn’t keen on the solo route again.
Eight of us put up our hands, and dropped our cash on the table… and that’s how about three weeks ago I found myself signed up for “leg number two” of The Big Canada Run where the nine of us are going to need to log ten thousand kilometers between July 1st and June 30th of next year.
That’s about sixty-two hundred miles for you imperial system folks.
And as I’m writing this on July 4th, you can probably imagine that we’ve already started logging those kilometers… and yes, your imagination would be very correct.
Our team is currently sitting at just barely two percent done having kicked off the meandering virtual trip across the continental map with a group breakfast run on our July 1st Canada Day holiday in the scorching hot weather which ended, as all breakfast runs should, with an eggs and bacon picnic in the grass beside a freeway. Yup, really.
With my share of ten thousand klicks to clock, it could prove to be a very interesting running year for me. Perhaps it might even inspire me to train a little harder and do some races that are a little more based in reality, y’know, sooner than later.
And I’ll drop some further updates when we hit significant milestones. Stay tuned.