I haven't given a personal update since this one last month whilst still injured. I am not currently injured (woot!). Feeling good in fact, and a little under-trained (not a bad thing; beats the alternative). My shins were getting a little sore after the extra land-based running so I'm taking this week easy. Nevertheless, I will race this Sunday. The lead-up will involve plenty of pool time. And rest. Rest, rest, rest.
As hinted by the title, the race I will be running is Around the Bay (30km) in Hamilton, Ontario, and for the first time. I signed up months ago therefore mighty pleased my injury has faded. I suspect that around 30 km is my ideal race distance, well at least if I were in ideal shape. Right now the goal is to run (mostly) for fun and avoid any new injuries. I'll aim for 1:45 or thereabouts.
Some assorted ATB facts: it is the world's 10th longest running (active) road race. There have been 103 races held so far and counting, the first in 1894, which indeed makes it the oldest race in North America, beating the Boston Marathon by three years. [Love the ARRS website; they provide more running stats than would be normal to ask for]. The men's course record is 1:32:22, the women's 1:46:04. In 1970, and 1970 only, officials tried making ATB a marathon. In 2011 ATB had over 6000 runners in the 30k (counting walkers) and almost 1900 in the 5k. And the race has been increasing in popularity of late. I remember observing years it would not sell out, then a few years ago it sold out the month of (March). In the last three years it has been selling out months in advance, including this year: the relays, the full 30k and even the 5k are full. At this rate, like Boston, they'll be adding minimum time standards.
ATB is generating an exclusive club aura; i.e. the sell-out crowds are creating a feedback loop of attention, which does seem to explain the recent increases in total prize money. I learn Reid Coolsaet may or may not be racing. I think he wanted to break the course record. Perhaps he'd like a front page spread in the sports section; Reid recently pointed out the local paper, the Hamilton Spectator, isn't that interested in local running talent. I understand both points of view. At its heart Hamilton is a Ticats football town (that's all anyone talks about sports-wise who grew up there, at least among the parts of my family that live there). Will things will change? Who knows.