The Nike Women’s race has officially come and gone. The lead up to the event was epic in every sense, Nike has left no detail behind- the pavilion, located near Harbourfont, was transformed into a true athlete’s village, which of course, couldn’t be any more inspiring!
33 NTC training classes were held at the Crystal Coliseum, a barge on Lake Ontario has morphed into a floating studio, with garage-door style windows opening to the beautiful lake vista. Master trainers from all over North America have been putting us through the paces, with workouts to challenge and motivate us to do our best, in either workouts, or for the 15K run that just took over the island.
I have had an absolute blast getting buff with Eva’s Thursday morning NTC classes at Academy of Lions. The fitness, the support and the camaraderie have been life changing. I’m so thankful to have stumbled into this squad of incredible women!
The course itself for the run was even better than I anticipated. Majestic views of the city are magnified by the distance out in the lake. An impressive array of terrains proved challenging and uplifting, from airport tarmac to grass and sand, or like the last few km’s leading up to the finish line- all boardwalk spanning in and around Lake Ontario.
I suffered a few mishaps, unexpectedly, and well, that sort of stuff happens and you have to find the strength to overcome. I did not achieve PB like I was hoping- dehydration can knock the wind out of you that way, but I did come pretty close, and was jubilant upon finishing.
Although the rain came, and went, and came again, the organizers did their very best job to keep the course moving and runners safe and warm. I was handed a heatsheet by a total stranger, the vibe was just spot on- everyone helping everyone to get to the finish line. Drone helicopters were in flight, capturing stills of us runners and the route itself had a choir, a slew of drummers and countless volunteers and well wishers high fiving and cheering us on. It was truly a race like no other!
I have to mention my favourite encounter of the entire weekend would have to go to Sarah Reinertsen. For those of you that don’t know her, she’s a paralympic triathlete, and her story totally rocked me. She’s competed in some of the world’s toughest races, like the Ironman in Hawaii, and during a training session with her this week, I inquired as to what her fave sport is- running, biking or swimming. She quickly answered biking, and then running, with swimming being last. She then asked if I was considering a triathlon, which, nope, never- ever. ever. ever. Did I mention nope, not once? Okay, clear on that, I offered that I only learned how to swim 10 years ago- she countered and said she didn’t learn until she was 30! She took lessons at her local YMCA and never let it hold her back. During the shakeout run she channeled my personal hero, Terry Fox into her speech, and I got goosebumps. Huge thank you Sarah for inspiring me all weekend long to do my best- and going forward, maybe a triathlon is in my future- never say never!
Huge thank you to Nike for empowering women everywhere! I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the Nike Women’s 15K and look forward to next one!