I never used to view myself as a runner, although I liked runners' bodies and wished mine was like that. I had tried running a few times but never managed to develop the ability to run further than a mile. But when I was getting ready to turn 30, I felt like I was turning 50 and that, if I wanted to be healthy by the time I did turn 50, I needed to do something. Cycling wasn't an option as Boston is a terrible city for cyclists, unless you're on one of the few paths; the drivers are the most aggressive I've seen in any city I've been in (well, except for Paris). But I lived near a cemetary that was about 2.5 miles around. I had already been taking walks around it, and decided to make part of the walk a run, and run a little bit further each time and walk the rest. My inaugural run was September 9, 2001, easy to remember because my second run (the telling "am I going to stick with this?" run) was on the famous 9/11. By not setting too intimidating of a goal at once, I managed to build myself up to running the entire loop nonstop.

When I started coming to Ottawa for work in summer 2002, and later moved, I found it a much better city for outdoor activities. There are lots of pathways, and particularly the Rideau Canal is an easy choice. However, there isn't as much of a set loop to run, so I would run what I estimated to be half the distance, then turn back. I found myself increasing my distance without realizing it, and decided I should take the next step. I took a clinic at the local running store and prepared for a half marathon, which was a way further distance than I had ever imagined running before. I completed that race and almost immediately began training for a full marathon. I pulled off that race, but overtrained for it and have had foot problems ever since. However, I still keep with the running, it's an easy sport to be involved in, a very good calorie burner, and amenable to doing with other people. I've been with Ottawa Frontrunners since fall 2003, and that helps me to stay connected even when I'm feeling lazy.

Race times

Race time summary
Event Location Date Distance Gun Chip
Montreal Pride Run Montreal, QC 15 August 2015 5 k  
Hintonburg 5k Ottawa, ON 12 July 2015 5 k 25:08 24:40
Montreal Pride Run Montreal, QC 16 August 2014 5 k   25:21
Hintonburg 5k Ottawa, ON 13 July 2014 5 k   25:58
Montreal Pride Run Montreal, QC 17 August 2013 5 k    
Montreal Pride Run Montreal, QC 18 August 2012 5 k   26:55
Hintonburg 5k Ottawa, ON 15 July 2012 5 k 25:59  
Pride and Remembrance Run Toronto, ON June 27, 2009 5 k 25:02.3 24:32.8
London Pride Run London, UK August 16, 2008 10 k 54:47  
Pride and Remembrance Run Toronto, ON June 28, 2008 5 k 25:57.2 25:18.0
National Capital Race Weekend Ottawa, ON May 25, 2008 Half marathon 2:07:49.4 2:04:10.5
Run for Reach Ottawa, ON April 13, 2008 10 k 52:34.5 52:16.9
First World Outgames Montreal, QC August 5, 2006 10 k 51:34.5 51:22.0
National Capital Race Weekend Ottawa, ON May 27, 2006 10 k 58:25.3 53:05.9
National Capital Race Weekend Ottawa, ON May 28, 2005 10 k 54:53.4 51:44.1
National Capital Race Weekend Ottawa, ON May 30, 2004 Marathon 3:38:19.0 3:37:38.7
Fall Colours Race Cumberland, ON October 12, 2003 Half marathon 1:59:38 1:58:54

Montreal Pride Run 2013

I ran the second Montreal Pride Run with a fairly large contingent from Ottawa. Same course halfway up and down the mountain. I had been doing speed training with the frontrunners, but was from a fairly slow base. So my time was about 25 minutes. Unfortunately the chips didn't work and I didn't take note of my gun time.

Montreal Pride Run 2012

The first Montreal Pride Run organized by Montreal Frontrunners, and the third city's Pride run I've gotten to do. This one starts at the base of Mount Royal, runs half way up, then turns around and runs down. So it's an exercise in hill running. I hadn't been particularly training for that but enjoy hills and did ok. A lot of work went into this first event. I neglected to update my time on this site and it appears to be no longer available on the chip timer's site.

Pride and Remembrance Run 2009

My second time in the Pride and Remembrance Run was a much better race than the first. The weather was ideal, and I was able to pace myself initially by goal pace (5 min / km), and when my heart rate went up, by heart rate (170 bpm). I kept pretty steady and was quite happy with how it went. All sorts of people participate in this race, which is great to see and be part of.

London Pride Run 2008

I happened to be in London (UK) to visit a friend at the time of the London Pride Run so I signed up. It's a 10k race that was organized by London Frontunners. Considering I wasn't particularly trained up for the race, and had had 3 hours of sleep and a hangover, I did all right.

Pride and Remembrance Run 2008

This was my first 5 k race, and my first opportunity to participate in a GLBT-specific race, the Pride and Remembrance Run. They had nearly 1000 participants of all types. The weather was muggy, and I hadn't run much since the half marathon a few weeks earlier, but did ok at 25:18. I forgot to charge up my GPS watch so wasn't sure what pace I was going, and started out too fast and slowed down quite a bit in the last couple kilometres. It was a fun race, though, would that we could pull something like that off in Ottawa!

National Capital Race Weekend 2008

My first attempt at a distance race in 4 years. I trained lightly, partly to minimize risk of further injury to my foot and partly because life is busy. I definitely under-trained, this race was harder to complete than the marathon I did four years ago. The second half of the race was just painful, and it took an increasing amount of will not to manufacture an excuse to give up. I didn't have any good excuse and I did keep going. The last kilometre was excruciating but at that point the route is line with crowds cheering people on, and what am I going to do, stop?

It was a good race in terms of setting an understanding of an appropriate level of training. It was also good to remind me that I can apply will to get through tough situations. This is will is often lacking when I'm at the gym or getting through stuff at work, and may be one of the most important benefits of racing for me.

Run for Reach 2008

This was a warm-up race for the National Capital Race Weekend to follow, since I hadn't been involved in another race in quite some time. It was good to get back into the swing and find I could pace myself appropriately.

First World OutGames 2006

I had hoped to be back in form to run a marathon at the OutGames, but it just wasn't happening. I decided to focus most of my competition on swimming, even though I'm completely new to it, and do a 10k in order to have some level of participation. Although the week was very hot and humid, the race day was beautiful. I felt good and ran my best 10k race yet, in 0:51:22.0.

National Capital Race Weekend 2006

Once again, a 10k, that I didn't train much for, and achieved 0:53:05.9.

National Capital Race Weekend 2005

I signed up for the 10k just so I could participate, and did it in 0:51:44.1.

National Capital Race Weekend 2004

I didn't really set out to train for a marathon, but was running with a friend I had made at the running store's weekly runs. He's very competitive and keeping up with him meant I was training for a marathon without meaning to, so I decided to go for it. I had an excellent first race, completing it in 3:37:38.7. However, the overtraining has led to constant foot problems and I haven't attempted another distance race since.

Fall Colours Race 2003, Cumberland ON

This was my first actual race, a bit of an unusual starting point for racing. My main goal was to complete it, and I did in 1:58:54.