Run as fast as you can: Ekiden recap

On the longest day of the year, Toronto runners meet up on Leslie Spit for a relay race.

A very, very, very fast relay race.

Last year, when I agreed to do it, I had no idea what I was getting into. “Those running the 10k need to be fast,” I was told. But fast is relative. In my run crew, I am not fast, but not slow. So I said I’d do it.

Then a teammate looked up last year’s times.

Oh shit.

When we showed up, it was a who’s who of the fastest runners in the city. There was an Olympian. But we did our best, didn’t come last and team #notlast was born.

I said yes this year, hoping for an easier assignment. Then they changed the format.

Teams of 6 running mile repeats, 4 times over. So I’d ¬†have to run like hell. Repeat. Run like hell. Repeat.

I was nervous. I had just raced the Waterfront 10k. I did my second-ever post-injury speedwork on Tuesday. I didn’t tell my coach about this. I didn’t know how my body would react.

But I got out there and ran like hell. ¬†I felt OK. I was tired and got lapped by almost everyone. But I didn’t come last. My body held up. It was hard, I was tired. I got slower with every repeat. But I did it.

I need to work on getting out of my head. Laying it on the line, and seeing what happens.

What’s the worst that could happen? I slow down? I come last? I DNF? It’s happened before. It’s not the end of the world.

This is supposed to be fun. I’m the one making it work.

And, despite how intimidating and hard Ekiden was, I had fun. So let’s keep having fun.

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