Race Report from Soo Owens (via the RunK2J Race Report Form)
Event Name/Date/Location: Winterman, Feb 20, 2022 / Beachwood Cemetery Ottawa.
My Race Experience: I had signed up to the Winterman not as an A race, but as a motivator to toughen me up for the bitter wintery running. It was notable that it was one of the few in-person races planned during the ongoing pandemic, and well before the spring running season. Race day, once I got past my wavering thoughts of running in -22C weather for 2 hours, was an overall positive experience.
Parking was easy and available. Most folks warmed up in their cars until just before the race. About 15 minutes prior to start, I braved the elements to join the rest of the runners (all bundled and masked as per COVID requirements). It was a spirited group, who like me, were just happy to finally have an in-person event!
The start went without a hitch – 4 loops for the half and 8 (!!) for the marathoners. The route was paved (gratefully so since it snowed heavily the day prior), but there were still snowy and icy patches that made for difficult running. This was made trickier as we continued our loops, and then sharing the path with the extra 10K and 5K runners.
There was some cheering along the route with brave family supporters and even more remarkable volunteers that staffed the aid stations and marshalled the course.
My personal experience was that it was one of my tougher runs. I admittedly was less prepared for the distance and conditions than I normally would be for an A race. A few near slips made me a more cautious runner throughout the course, and a pit stop (thank goodness for the port-a-potties!) between lap 3 and 4 was when my body must have thought I was done – because as I continued to finish that final lap, my legs didn’t want to run anymore. A mental struggle to finish that last lap (more walking breaks than I would have liked), but the atmosphere kept me going. Crossing this finish line was a real accomplishment!
Upon crossing the finish, you were able to safely pick up your medal and line up for a well thought out choice of hot (yay!) chicken broth or hot (double yay!) chocolate. Sponsor samples and freebies were available (thanks F2C) and volunteer group Imerman Angels provided some candy and snacks – true angels after a race effort like that!
Happy enough with my time and effort given the conditions and state of training at 2:04:39 (2/6 in my age group). I have really missed races!
Would you do this event again? Why? : YES. Always need a race to get me through the tough Ottawa winter.
Would you recommend this event? Why? : Yes! Well organized and full of crazy Canadian runners willing to brave our winters.
Closing thoughts. Any hints for others planning to do this race? Where to stay? Things to bring? What to wear? : It’s tough to organize a race at the best of times. But when you add the winter conditions, uncertainty of a pandemic, and then an unprecedented major city disruption, it’s a near miracle this race went on so seamlessly. Major kudos to Somersault Events for organizing such a great event.
Recommendations for runners – come prepared with multiple layers: you are out there for a long time. If you have shoes with spikes or Yak traks, bring them. And bring a set of clothes to change into for the car ride home – learned this one the hard way .
- Winterman RunK2J InfoCard:
- Venue Rating: 4 – Great
- Course: 4 – Great
- Weather : Overcast -15 with windchill of -22
- Aid stations: 3 – Good
- Aid stations Content: Water and F2C electrolyte
- Would you do this event again? Why? : YES. Always need a race to get me through the tough Ottawa winter.
- Would you recommend this event? Why? : Yes! Well organized and full of crazy Canadian runners willing to brave our winters.
Judy & Harold: you are our-kind-of-crazy! Well done, and looking forward to warmer days for everyone!