The day the Santas came to town


As I mentioned in my New Year’s resolutions for 2012, I will run a race. But here’s a secret: I may already have.

I will have you know that this particular race, which was in no way MY idea to participate in, was 3k race, held last December, in the dead of winter… wearing Speedos. Yes, people, I ran the Santa Speedo Run in support of the Sick Kids Hospital. Okay, so this particular race maybe took 15 minutes to complete (thank goodness!). It was still a race.


Team 292 Borden: me, Shannon, Charlie and Graham.


December 10, 2011 will go down in the history books for myself and the entire 292 Borden household. Now, back to my point about my complete un-involvement this crazy diabolical plan. How did I get myself into doing this? It all started opening an email. Subject: “Santa Speedo Run.” Message: “Who’s in?” My first thought: “Hell, no!” This message, from one of one of my neighbours living above me, was sent to everyone in the house, Santa Speedo Run instigator’s girlfriend, my roommate and myself. My roommate, who was getting ready to move back home to Nova Scotia at the end of the month, agrees to this madness for this exact reason. The girlfriend, Charlie, says yes because Shannon said yes. This left me completely out of luck and with no other choice. I couldn’t be the only one not running. Thanks a lot, Graham.

It was cold — 4 below to be exact — and sunny. But the shock — not including the shock to my system — was how may people took part and came to watch, and how fun it actually was! Mind you, the drinks before the run and the drinks afterwards may have helped. A lot. Showing up at Hemmingway’s in Yorkville for noon ensured plenty of drinking time and dibs on a Speedo. Matching bright red speedos.

Grab a bunch of friends crazy enough to do with with you. You’ll have a few drinks and a few laughs with a close group of Speedo running experts of all ages, shapes and sizes. The die hards will pick you out of the crowd as a newbie like a swore thumb, but it’s totally worth it.

I may even be there running with you.


YaxTrax Attack!

Here’s a secret about Toronto: the winters are cold. And snowy. (I know, right? No one has ever told you that before.) This year, we’ve been really lucky, with little snow and mild weather. That changed this week, when temperatures dipped well below zero and Friday brought us our first substantial snowfall .

I don’t mind winter running, but, like many sane people, would like to avoid embarrassment — or worse, injury — by falling on the ice. So I was on the hunt for something that would make winter runs more interesting than out and backs on Queen Street.

Enter the YakTrax.


I put these....where?!


I discovered these snowshoe-like contraptions after reading a review on Run With Jess. After reading several more positive reviews online and finding out they were relatively cheap ($30 at Mountain Equipment Co-op), I decided to give them a go. I’ve spent $30 on stupider things in my life.

The YakTrax are basically a weird sandal that you slip over your shoe. The stainless steel coils act like spikes, cutting through ice and snow to give you a firm grip. I got a unisex medium (because I have GIANT lady feet) and they fit snugly, but weren’t difficult to get on. (I put them on wrong the first time. I figured that out quickly, thanks for the handy “toe” and “heel” labels!).


Success! Now to actually walk with these things...

Success! Now to actually walk with these things...


I decided to give them a try on a recovery run through the Don Valley Trail. It was snowy, icy and uneven — the perfect place for a test run.


Just like running on a treadmill, right?!


How’d they do? They passed with flying colours! I felt sure-footed and confident on ice and on packy snow. They weren’t bad on the parts of the trail that had been salted, either. They weren’t great in loose, powdery snow, but I have no plans to run frequently in that stuff. I just tried it for the sake of trying it today. Running was more difficult, thanks to the extra weight due to the YakTrax and the uneven terrain due to the ice, but not insurmountably so.

It was a challenge. I accepted. I won.

This photo is probably too cocky, isn't it?

I can’t wait to do it again.



The run:

7.0k @ 54:08

The route: