Day 4 of the 2010 Natal Day Festival started at 9:00 AM, with the Maritime Heart Centre's 17th Annual MACPASS Miles run, over the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. The race started on the Halifax side of the bridge and continued for one mile up one side of the arched Halifax Harbour suspension bridge, and down the other to the finish line by the toll booths in Dartmouth.
Not only was the race free to enter, but New Balance was on hand giving out free sneakers for anyone to try during the race. Since my old running trainers were over a year old, had crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and travelled across Canada three times, not to mention having spent considerable time walking, hiking and running on three separate continents, they were a little worse for wear (my toes had blown a hole through the sides of both shoes). Therefore I jumped at the chance to wear a new pair for free, even though my personal view is that expensive cushioning-heavy running shoes are the major cause of running related injuries, not their solution.
(My perfectly fitting racing false feet.)
Not having ran any race even close to only a mile since high school, or even having trained for running in over a year, I had no idea what to expect from the race. I just tried to pick a decently fast pace that I thought I could maintain, and see if I could finish the race looking strong and not so close to the back that I embarrassed myself.
In the end I felt that I finished a pretty good race. I estimated that I finished somewhere in the top 25 to 30 racers, and that my time was around 5:35. I even ran the second half-mile a little faster than the first, so that was a good sign too. As my new friend from the YMCA (a retired guy who has to be at least 80 years old) tells me though, "don't you worry about going fast, just meet some people and have fun." It's a great motto for running, and my new motto for life.
(Waiting around at the "start line" on North Street.)
(Heading on to the bridge. I apologize for the off angle picture here, but I didn't have time to stop and focus my shot during the race.)
(The winner of the Open Women's category "breaking the tape" in about 5:20.)
Speaking of the YMCA; after the race I went back there again to get in even more exercise. After lifting some weights and relaxing in the whirl pool and steam room, I went out for coffee with my aforementioned friend. We talked for so long though, that I missed the gospel choirs concert at the Waterfront. It was little worry though, as I was then more easily able to make it to the Mayor's Halifax Natal Day Tea Party in the Public Gardens, where I filled up on the free cake, cookies, and iced tea.
(A pipes and drums band plays for the crowd before the mayor took to the podium to address everyone. His speech was mercifully short and sweet, so that we could get to the cake sooner.)
(The very popular, very busy refreshments tent. The mayor was out carrying around a tray of cookies when I took this picture, so he is not in the shot.)