January Running Recap

The month of January was a cold month, sprinkled in with some warm days which I took advantage of for my marathon training. It’s always a nice treat to run some days in the winter time when the temperatures are above freezing. Overall I was happy with the month. I will be happy when warmer weather returns for good though. Below are some highlights of my month of training.

January, 2018: 380.0 mi 12.25 miles a day average

Biggest week of training: 101 miles

Shortest week of training: 77 miles

Longest run: 22 miler on January 20th it was 36 degrees out a nice day.

Days off: 0

Best workout: January 30th a 14 mile tempo workout on the treadmill with 10 miles in 59:44.

Worse run: January 18th was really cold and windy gutted out an easy 10.5 miles at 8:42 pace.

Races done: One. I Disqualified myself at a local 5k  since I got lost and went down the wrong road. Wasn’t my fault except I should of studied the map a little more. No volunteer or arrows telling us to cross a major intersection and I turned right and went until I saw a stop sign and turned left. I had huge lead. It happens. I had 3.5 miles on my watch before I got near the finish line. I tore bib and didn’t cross. I did the honorable thing since I didn’t follow the correct route. At least I got a good workout in.

 

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Marathon Training 101: 101 mile week recap

The week of January 1-7 2018 I was set on just doing 70-80 miles of running. I was on my school break from teaching and I was going to recover and enjoy my time off.  It was going to be a cold week anyways perfect to chill inside after running. Well how my plans changed quickly mid week and I decided to go after triple digits for the week. The big 100 mile training week. I actually hit 101 miles for the week. I’m thankful that God kept my body feeling good throughout the week. Sometimes in training even 6 mile runs are tough. I felt like I was on cloud-9 the whole week, maybe it was all the endorphins from running so much. Anyways below is my 101 mile week recap. Like I said above I was off work so that helped with time constraints with training.

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January 1:  Got back from Wisconsin in the evening. Busted out an easy 5 mile run in the evening 42:22 (8:29 pace). Week total at 5.

January 2: Easy 6 miles on treadmill in morning 6:55 pace 41:25. 10 mile run outside in 5 degree temperatures in the evening with a 3 mile tempo in that run at 19:40. Overall time 1:12:17, 7:14 pace. Week total miles at 21. In line for a 70-80 mile week.

January 3: Late in the evening on January 2nd a local runner Matthew Rogers wanted to run with me we arranged to run in the morning on Jan 3 at Abshire park in Goshen. We were thinking 14-16 mile run. Well when you get two crazy runners together sometimes things go out of hand. We felt great in the 7 degree weather and decided to do 20 miles at a rather easy pace of 7:45 in the snowy / cold/ windy conditions. Total week miles at 41.

January 4: Wife was working so it was going to be a treadmill day. Did 4 miles in the morning on treadmill 27:38. Afternoon did a tempo on treadmill of 12 miles. Weekly total 57. This was when I was thinking 100 is possible.

January 5: Did 10 really easy outside. Was cold morning again and little snowy. I knew 10 miles wasn’t going to cut it if I wanted 100 miles for the week. Busted out 6 at 6:36 pace on treadmill while my wife was running outside. Went to the mall that evening and rewarded ourselves with Orange chicken from food court. Week mileage at 73.

January 6: This was a weekend my wife had to work. I knew the rest of my miles were going to be on the treadmill. Saturday morning I did 8 miles at 6:40 pace. In the afternoon my goal was to beat that time I ran in the morning but not to kill myself my legs were already fatigued enough. I ran the afternoon 8 miles at 6:27 pace. Week total 89.

January 7: I was set up good to hit 100 miles for the week. Just needed 11 miles more. It was going to be another treadmill run day. I thought about doing two runs again, one before church, and in the afternoon. However when I woke up legs were a little tired. I knew then I had to knock out the rest of my running in the afternoon. Unaware of what I had left in the tank for the week I set the treadmill for 82 minutes. Knowing for sure I would hit 11 miles. After a few miles I was feeling good. It was time to crank it up a little. I ended up doing most of the 2nd half of the run at 6:40 pace. When I hit 11 miles I saw how much time I had left, and thought I can get another mile in. So I did. 12 miles just under the cut off 1:21:29. Week total 101 miles.

Final thoughts:

I don’t normally run 100 plus miles a week. I was feeling good, and had a great base from December training. 56 of my miles ran were on the treadmill which did help keep legs feeling fresh since I didn’t have snow to battle, and the treadmill surface softened the blow. Running more meant I was a little more tired at night, and seemed to eat a little more.  If you ever attempt 100 plus mile training week just be smart about it. Having a couple of days where I did 2 runs helped.

Total stats are below from the week.

1/1/2018 – 1/7/2018: 101.0 mi 12:13:40

 

2017: Running Recap

Sometimes when your in the moment of something in life things don’t always go as planned. There were times I felt like that with my running, in 2017, some races I would of loved for things to go my way. However, overall I am proud of my 2017 running, God gave me the talent to be a somewhat mid level elite runner and I am thankful for the injury free fun filled year. I want to thank all those who supported me for our Boston marathon trip in 2017. Want to also thank all my sponsors for 2017. Here is my 2017 running recap.

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Most miles in a week: 100 miles

Most miles in a day: 31 miles. On my birthday June 11. When I turned 31 years old. Warmed up, Sunburst marathon, then ran more later.

Lowest total in a week: 39 miles

Total days off of running: 10 days. Random days off before marathon races or after.

New Marathon States or Countries: 3 new states: Georgia, Massachusetts, and Utah. One new country in Canada.

New Personal Best times: 0. I did not hit a single PR in any race.

Highlights for each month:

January: Hit a 100 mile training week Jan 16-22. Also won a 5k in 12 degree weather.

February: No races in the month. Did a fantastic 20.5 mile run.

March: Won Maple leaf indoor marathon 2:54:19. Happens to be the last Maple leaf indoor marathon at Goshen College too.

April: Ran Boston marathon for first time in my life and so did my wife. Was awesome to have my parents come and support us plus watch our kids. Race was warm and I didn’t run what I had hoped. 2:53:42. I was upset about my time for a while.  18010629_10154989697290071_4713936409631567857_n.jpg        (Post Race at Boston Marathon)

 

May: Was 4th overall at very windy Kenosha marathon. 2:48:20. Conditions were bad.

June: Laura and I did a marathon in Morgan, Utah. I was 2nd overall. 2:50:52. Was leading until mile 23 and got passed. That really was a heart breaker.

July: No races in the month. Full training mode. Did 83 miles in one week.

August: Won running wild 5k on August 19.

September: Won a marathon in London, ON, Canada. 2:53:51.

October: Paced the 3:25 group at Chicago marathon.

November: Won Chicamauga battlefield marathon in Chicamauga GA 2:43:38.

December: Won Santa Stroll 5k in Elkhart.

Santa Stroll 5k race recap

It’s been 3 years since I last ran a race in the month of December. I wasn’t even thinking about running Santa Stroll in Elkhart, Indiana on December 9. My friend, Paul Kern convinced before Thanksgiving to register. I knew my wife had to work the day of Santa Stroll. However, Paul checked with his wife and she didn’t have to work so she was able to watch my kids inside while I raced the 5k. I appreciate her kindness with it.

The race offered packet pick up on Friday evening, which I did so I wouldn’t have to get the kids up so early Saturday morning. Packet pick up was quick and easy. Paul, his wife Jeni, and Doug Walter did a fantastic job at packet pick up.

For a few days before the race the weather was predicted to snow Friday night and Saturday. So I was not surprised that when I woke up there was snow on the ground. The bigger question was what I was going to wear. I decided after checking the temperatures: shorts with compression underneath, singlet with arm sleeves, compression socks, stocking hat, and gloves. I was going to be that “crazy guy.”

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We got to the race around 8:15 am, perfect timing for 9:05 am start. On the drive the roads were covered with snow but it wasn’t too bad. I wanted to do a little warm up on the river path to see how bad it was on our course. There were some spots that seemed slick. I knew that fast times were not going to happen, and in sections where I could run fast to push the pace, and on slick spots to ease it down since I didn’t want to tumble.

At around 8:45 am I went inside and was getting game ready. I shed all my warm clothes off, and had my race gear on. Then went outside for some stride outs. The 10k started first then a few minutes later the 5k would start. The gun went off and I darted off like a rocket, I knew that I had to take advantage of the road section at the start since that was clear, plus needed to see if I had any challengers. Once we entered on the river path I had to ease off the pace on a few turns we did. Then I picked it back up.  Nobody was around me at the mile which I only hit a (6:00) but I knew I needed to keep pushing the best I could. After the mile we had a road that was really slick I had to watch my footing in this section. We got off that road and I put a surge in to make up some lost time. 2nd mile was (5:57) We then get back on the river path and I was meeting up with some 10k runners going the other way so it slowed me down some, plus it seemed the footing was worse then when I ran that section earlier in the race. I did my best to keep pace as I had to go on and off bridges and wind around various things on the path. 3rd mile was 6:10. I kicked it the last little bit and finished in 18:35 and first overall. My pace slowed some in miles 2 and 3 due to the conditions of the course and snow but last thing I needed was to fall.

The post race food was awesome, it felt like a marathon post race food spread. Free egg casserole, free sandwiches, biscuit and gravy, cookies, candy, and great baked goodies. There were plenty of door prizes under the Christmas tree I ended up winning a $10 Jet’s pizza gift card. Age group winners got a Santa plush thing. Top 3 overall in 5k and 10k got fleet feet gift cards.

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Although there were some issues with 10k course direction, and even some 5k runners got miss guided it wasn’t a bad race. Having 2 inches or so of snow on race day is never ideal either. I’m sure they will iron out the issues and learn from them for next year. Not many 5k or 10k races have that many door prizes or that much food. Overall I would recommend it. It had a fun atmosphere.

November training recap

IMG_20171205_192841639.jpgWell just like that November is gone. Had some great runs in November and even raced a marathon. November weather was fantastic for running. We now turn the page to December running which usually means being about 10 pounds heavier with gear on to keep me warm. But I plan on plugging along this winter in hopes for a great 2018 of running. Here is a little recap of my November.

Some stats from November: 283 total miles ran in November, basically on par for what I did in October.

Best week of mileage for the month- 72 miles

Lowest mileage week for the month- 58 miles

Best workout in the month- 11-29-17 I did a 15 mile tempo run on the pumpkinvine towards Middlebury and back.    2 mile warm up, 3 x 3 mile with 1 mile jog after each, two mile cool down: 7:47,7:08,6:10,6:07,6:14,7:14,5:59,6:01,5:55,7:03,5:38,5:36,5:36,8:36,8:22

Proudest moment in the month- Winning Chickamauga Battlefield marathon on November 11. I didn’t go in expecting to win. I just wanted a great race in a new state Georgia. Was awesome to be Road Runners Club of America state champ in marathon.

Slowest run of the month- 4 mile recovery at 8:22 pace. Sometimes you trust your body and don’t get wrapped up in hitting certain times. Recovery pace means SLOW pace.

 

I’m Thankful for my Treadmill

This is the time of the year people stop to think what they are thankful for since we are drawing near Thanksgiving. While busting out a 12 mile workout on the treadmill today I got to thinking to myself  “treadmill I may hate you sometimes, but I am thankful for you.” Some of you reading this might think I have truly lost my mind. I’m not here to convince you that I haven’t lost my mind, but I have 5 reasons why I am thankful for my treadmill.

  1. Work Schedules: 2-3 times a week my wife works long 12 plus hour shifts as a nurse and sometimes gets home at 7 pm or later. I on the other hand usually get home by 4 pm Monday-Friday. With two kids in our household I don’t want to bust out a run at 7 pm or later after my wife gets off work and is exhausted after working. In warmer weather I take the kids to the track, but in cold seasons I’m not doing that. So it’s very easy to bust on a treadmill run when I get home while kids play, read, or work on computer.
  2. Speed Work in Winter time: Sometimes weather gets in the way and it’s just impossible to get a quality speed session in. I’m thankful for all the hard bouts I have had with my treadmill. Sometimes they have been pretty brutal.
  3. Mental Toughness: Running takes toughness. You reach a point in the race where it is make or break it time. Knocking out runs on the treadmill helps me practice that toughness. While I run on the treadmill I have music playing, to help keep me engaged.
  4. Cheer Squad: I have fond memories since we got the treadmill 8 years ago, of the kids cheering me on. It started with Natalie in the pack n play watching me run and cheering. Then 5 years ago Brayden was in that same pack n play cheering me on. Now that they are older they don’t cheer as much as they used to but they still watch me.
  5. Convenience: Having a treadmill right in my basement is very handy. I don’t have to go to a fitness place to run, and drag the kids along there. IF life happens and I need to run at a later time after kids go to bed it’s right there in the basement. If there is a blizzard or -20 degrees I can run in the basement.
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After a nice workout last winter. 17 miles in 1:41:29

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon Race Recap

For those who have been following my running from the past few years you know my wife and I have a ultimate lifetime goal for marathons. We would like to run a marathon in all 50 states. It is a great way to see new places, and explore areas we would not normally go. Well the weekend of Nov 10-12 we had our next adventure.

When planning our marathons for the fall this past summer, we wanted to try to squeeze in some new races, and new states if possible. Sometimes it is time consuming to find races that are close by and ones that fit our schedule. I came across Chickamauga battlefield marathon on www.marathonguide.com I had never heard of the marathon. A quick search on where the race was, 600 miles away, just inside Georgia, got my mind thinking “man this is about as close as you can get inside Georgia.” I wanted to do it. The deal got sweeter when I saw there was a marathon in Louisville, KY on Sunday for Laura. Excellent plan. We were to drive about 600 miles on Friday (I took off work and my daughter had to miss a day of school) to Fort Oglethorpe, GA for my race, then after I raced on Saturday get in the car drive 5 hours to Louisville, KY. Then drive 4.5 hours back home on Sunday after Laura races her marathon. Lots of time in the car, but was nice to see new places we wouldn’t normally see. Below is my race recap of Chickamauga battlefield marathon.

Packet Pick up:

Packet pick up was very simple. It was at a church. We were in and out in probably less than 10 minutes. They gave you the option of getting a blanket or arm warmers. I choose the blanket. While I was getting my stuff the kids made a cheer poster. Also there were some various free items like moon pies that the kids wanted.

Race:

The morning started pretty chilly, there was frost on the ground, and on the car. I knew that it would be ideal conditions for running since there was hardly any wind. Nice and chilly just like I love to race in (Just ask my wife). I did my normal pre race warm up, and bathroom stops pre race. Before heading to the start for last time I decided not to wear gloves since the sun was going to warm things up to about 50 at the my finish time. Going into the race I knew that it had some hills on the course, and we did two loops in Chickamauga Battlefield area (a Civil War battle site). My plan was to run relaxed the first loop and not trash my legs on the hills, and then the 2nd loop pick it up. At the start line chatting with some runners I knew there were some fast half marathon guys, and a marathon guy who wanted 240s. My main objective was to stick with the 240s guy, but also stay to my game plan. The race started with some nice pre-race activities: the color guard, moment of silence, national anthem, then the countdown was on and the cannon went off to start the race.  I will admit the first few miles my hands were a little cold, but eventually warmed up as the sun came out more.

The first few three miles I eased into it 6:29, 6:26, 6:23. We had a pretty chunked up bike path and crossed some grass between miles 1-2 on our way to the Battlefield road loop. The other 240s guy was right in front of me and we were the only marathon guys up there. So I knew then to stick in his back pocket.

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A little friendly battle.

Once we got in the Battlefield it was very neat to see different cannons placed by the woods where different battles were during Civil War, you ran by several monuments as well. Very humbling experience. The rest of the first loop I made sure to keep 240s guy right in front of me as we went up some hills and had some downhills. The furthest he was ever from me was about 40 meters. I hit the halfway mark pretty much right next to him at around 1:22:35. I was feeling really good, and knew the final loop was when I need to pick it up. At this point I think he was trying to see what I had left as well. We dropped a 6:02 mile on a point of the course where we had a decent climb at mile 14. Then we followed that with a 6:07 at 15 and a 6:02 at 16. Like a trained boxer I was taking all the punches he was throwing and was able to keep standing. At mile 19 we both were taking our energy gels. I thought in my head, “man this is a fun little battle.” There was a section of the course where we run an out and back on a road that is like ¾ of a mile long. He was just behind me at the turn around cone which was roughly mile 20.5. I told him I will go wide, and he took the inside at the turn. After the turn I took some quick steps and was in the lead at mile 21 with a 6:23 mile. Mile 22 I knew the pace needed change since it was a little slower than some of previous ones we hit, plus I needed to create more separation, so I dropped 10 seconds faster to a 6:13.  Then mile 23 at 6:04. Mile 24 we had a nice climb and I dropped a 5:59. I knew the last 2 miles would be a little slower since we had to get back on that chunked up bike path to make our way back to the finish. I hit 25 at 6:06. We had some turns, and again the chunked up bike path for most of the 26th mile. I hit a 6:11. The finish was half a loop around the circle that we started around. Plus it was all down hill. I pushed hard after seeing I could get a sub 2:44. I approached the line excited since I knew I just won. 2:43:38 was my finish time. A negative split too. After I finished the cannon went off to acknowledge that I had won.23379999_1487234368059150_4498239170566830602_n

I was very happy, and enjoyed my marathon “battle” at Chickamauga Battlefield marathon.  A little side note it was Road Runners Club of America Georgia State Championship for the marathon. So it is neat to have that medal saying I was State Champion in Georgia. If you are looking for a race in Georgia I highly recommend this one.

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October Training Recap

Fall time is one of my favorite times to run in. Especially if you get a real nice, cool day to run. I enjoyed seeing the colors change in trees, farmers in the field combining, and a stray deer or two during my October training. Overall I was really happy with the month of October training. Here is a little recap.

Some stats from October: 282 total miles ran in October, with two days off of running. Not my biggest training month by no means, but was consistent.

Best week of mileage for the month- 80 miles

Lowest mileage week for the month- 50 miles

Best workout in the month- 800 meter repeats at Goshen College track on Oct 3rd. Kevin and I pushed each other hard that day.

Proudest moment in the month- Pacing the Chicago marathon and seeing people so excited to hit their best times, and get Boston qualifying times

Longest run of the month- 26.2 miles at Chicago marathon.

 

Pacing Chicago Marathon

This past weekend I had the great opportunity to be a pacer for Chicago marathon. This would be my 2nd time pacing Chicago marathon. I was suppose to pace 3:20 however, Saturday when I was working the expo the pace coordinator asked if I could pace 3:25 instead of 3:20 since a guy who was going to do 3:25 was sick, and that left only one other 3:25 pacer. For as big as Chicago is the pace coordinator likes having at least 2 pacers per time slot. I said no problem to bumping down and pacing 3:25. Just meant I would have to run little slower than originally planned. For those who don’t know how a pacer works in a marathon, you are suppose to hit every mile as close as possible to the overall average pace. So for 3:25 it meant 7:49 per mile pace. For some runners a 3:25 meant a Boston qualifying time, or trying to get the personal best they have been training for.

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(Photo by Bonnie Mescal)

Being a pacer is a different experience. The obvious one is that you’re not racing the marathon. You have to stick to the pace assigned to you. Sometimes there are fluctuations with the pace especially going thru aid stations.  One thing neat about pacing is you get to pump up those around you, which we always had a huge crowd of runners with us at Chicago marathon. Also you can interact with the crowd more, and really take in the sights and sounds of a race. I saw at least 8 people I knew who were either volunteering or just out there watching the runners. One of the takeaways from my experience of pacing Chicago marathon was that the city really rallied behind the runners,which was great on a warmer Chicago day. Mike the other pacer with me, and I came thru the finish line exactly as planned a 3:24:42. After we finished we got high fives and hugs from runners we helped throughout the 26.2 journey. One girl said she hit a 5 minute personal best time. To see the runners you helped pace throughout 26.2 grinning ear to ear about their perfect race is priceless. If you have never paced a race before it is definitely something I would recommend you doing. It is a neat way to give back to the running community.

That Dam Hill race review

The weekend of September 16-17 my wife, Laura Gillette and I had a weekend of marathons. We had planned that I would run “that dam hill” marathon,” in London Ontario Canada on Saturday, my first time racing in Canada, and she would run Rochester NY marathon on Sunday September 17 to get a new state done in our quest for 50 states. Below is my race recap of “that dam hill marathon.”

That Dam Hill consists of several different races around a 1.4 mile park loop in Springbank Park. My kids loved that they had a nice playground to play at there. The race had the 24 hour championship, 50 mile race, marathon, and half marathon.  Packet pickup was very easy on the day of the race. I love that they had race day packet pick up, since we couldn’t make it to Friday expo pick up. SWAG (stuff we all get) items were goodie bag with some gels, shower wipes, protein bar, and some medicine for leg cramps. Also the race gave hoodie shirts to runners, when you registered you can decide what color you wanted, a nice touch if you ask me.

The start line was about 300 or so meters ahead of the finish to get a certified distance for the full marathon to be a boston qualifier. One good thing was the bathrooms were right next to the start line. After some very important instructions the race was off. The full marathon had a total of 19 loops, with the first loop being about 1.2 and the rest 1.4 miles. Each loop you saw the dam that  went across the river and then you had the hill. Hence the name that dam hill. There were a few other  hills on the loop as well. But the big one was after the dam.

At beginning one guy took off like a rocket, I had no idea if he was doing the full or half since he was so far ahead. I settled in my pace to get a feel for the loop. About half mile into the race you saw the dam and then a little after that you have the gradual and steep hill. I got in the lead around mile 2. I continued to hold my pace running around 6:20s. I knew it would be a tough run with the humidity and heat. My goal was to get in the 2:40s going in. I started lapping some runners after doing several loops and that helped me out as it was fun to pass people and encourage them.

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The Dam
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Starting to climb the hill

 Later in the race when I had about 5 laps to go I was running a little slower in the 6:40s. During one of the laps I had to stop quick for a bathroom break, that mile was in the 7 minutes due to the break. Finally I was on my last loop, 1.4 miles to go I thought to myself. So I was pushing it hard to make it to the finish line. Right around the dam area I looked back to see if anyone was gaining on me. I thought I saw a guy without a shirt who was gaining on me. Now I was in no mood to get passed at the end. I started sprinting like I was doing a 5k race. I still had to climb the “hill,” too. I am nearly out of breathe pushing up the hill I make the turn right and sprint into the finish, still thinking I was going to get passed. I crossed the finish line and no one passed me I was relieved. I WON! 2:53:51 was my official time.  As soon as I started walking after finishing I was getting dizzy, then all of a sudden I plopped down on the grass.

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My wife Laura and kids came right over. I said I need ice. HEAT EXHAUSTION came on.

I tried to move my body up but everything was cramping even my arms.I would close my eyes some because I was feeling dizzy. I felt like I was going to puke each time I tried to sit up.  The race volunteers pretty much helped pull me to a shady area. My heart rate was thru the roof. I was ghostly white and clammy skin. The race volunteers got an ice bag and wet towels and started putting them on me. My body was hot and I couldn’t even feel the coolness of the ice or towels. Luckily my wife and the volunteers were forcing chips and gatorade in me to get salt and electrolytes in me.I asked my wife “did I win by 4 seconds?”. I have no clue where the 4 seconds even came from. She said no one was even close to you. So obviously I was probably seeing things when I thought another runner was catching me, it was probably just another runner who had more loops to do. I was able to sit in a chair but still didn’t feel the greatest even 45 minutes after finishing. It was then when I saw some other runners had Coke, and Sweet Tea. I asked Laura to get me some. I ended up drinking 2 teas, and one Coke. About 30 minutes after that I started to be able to walk around. I wanted more to drink. I got a Ginger Ale. I took 2 drinks, then all of a sudden I started puking, everything I ate after the race came up. I was feeling fine at this point, I think it was the Ginger Ale. As a precaution though I went inside the building with ac to cool off more and to sit down. I was able to change my clothes and pretty much was back to normal. I think the volunteers did a good job helping me after I finished and throughout the race. That Dam Hill was a very well organized event, chip timed, and had a big TV screen at the finish area so you can see how many laps you have done. If your looking to do a race in Canada that dam hill is a neat one  to do. Thanks for all your support!

 

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