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Well, that wasn’t so bad.

I completed the World Vision Canada 6K Run for Water on Saturday morning, under brilliant sunny skies and comforted by the chill embrace of sub-zero temperatures. Moments of it were actually fun and rewarding.

There were about 200 runners at our location in north Mississauga. I’m not a runner and now I remember why. One kilometre into the run, we passed a sign marking the distance. It was one of the most demotivational moments I have had in recent times.

Really? I have to so this five more times? The first kilometre was the worst.

My route strategy was simply to run until I felt uncomfortable and then walk a bit. I never needed to walk.

The six people I ran with, all also members of The Athlete Training Centre, were younger and faster and better runners and I was content to let them sprint away from me. The fastest finished the run in about 33 minutes. I toddled in about seven minutes later, respectably in the middle of the pack.

Big picture: Our group raised almost $1000 for fresh water wells for Africa and across Canada in similar runs, more than $400,000 was raised. The 6k distance is symbolic – in Africa that’s how far a child has to walk on average to fetch fresh water, or even water that’s not so fresh. The walk poses the double challenge of bringing back the water and depriving the children of the time they need to attend school. Not educating the kids condemns them and the villages to more of the same.

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Team ATC, enjoying water and bananas while everyone else ate pizza.

So, building wells has a ripple effect.

Small picture: I ran every step of the 6k, which for me is an achievement. A year ago I don’t think I could have run the length of our block to get the mail. So while averaging over six minutes a kilometre is not likely to grab the attention of the Canadian Olympic selection committee, it’s something I wasn’t sure I could do.

Better yet, no aches or pains after the race, and no aches or pains on Sunday either. All systems normal and my knees are fine. I can’t explain that, but I’m glad.

Into Year 2 of the New Fitter Me, this was the first race or fun run I’ve done since high school. I do not intend to make it a regular thing, but I’d do this one again if the same friends are back. My guess from the early reaction at the club is that we will have more people next year.

There’s talk now of the group taking on the CN Tower climb for the World Wildlife Federation next month, and a group entry in a Spartan or Tough Mudder competition in the summer. (Those are quite physical obstacle course races through mud, over walls, under strung wires, etc. We’ll see.)

Chris and I spent some time on the weekend looking at new bikes. Such an expenditure feels a bit indulgent but I am looking at entering the GTA Granfondo in September and maybe doing the 80km cycle event. If I do that I would want more modern, comfortable and safer technology than my 25-year-old Bianchi road bike offers. The Granfondo attracts some 7,000 riders of all fitness and speeds – I’d just like to do it for the experience. We will see.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the cause.

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The end of the ATC 2016 Challenge is now in sight. A week from Thursday will mark the end of the 81-day event to challenge our diets, our thinking, and our bodies. I’ll have more to say on what I got out of the experience later.

Let’s just say veggie burgers were never on the Sunday night menu before, with Greek salad (with no cheese.) And lunch with Chris was a mushroom bisque with whole wheat bread at Jack Astors.

You get the idea. Eat more plants.

The Canadian university hockey season ended last night with UNB beating St FX in the final. It say just about all you need to know about the quality of the hockey in that Atlantic conference that it produced both finalist and three of the four semi-finalists.

 

 

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