gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Weekend recap

May 25, 2009 @ 23:59 By: gordon Category: General, Out and about, Photography

IMG_0849 I had a lot of fun this past weekend. Saturday started with a dragonboat practice followed by brunch with some of the other people on the Algonquin College Singapore Slings. Once sated, I did a bunch of errands that saw me drive back and forth across Ottawa from place to place. Tiring of that, I headed out on my bike along the Ottawa River path to the top of the locks and into the Market for gelato at Piccolo Grande on Murray. Happily full of a double-chocolate gelato that had big chunks of white chocolate in it, I headed back towards the Cenotaph to check out the festivities related to the Ottawa Race Weekend.

To say the area was crowded would be a bit like saying the Pacific Ocean has a lot of water in it.

Most of the roads were closed to cars because they were packed with people. People who had just finished a race, people who were getting ready to race, people who were in a race, people who were watching the races and people who were trying to figure out how they could get to where they wanted to be given all the road closures and people.

A friend of mine was doing the 10 km race, so I found a good vantage point near the first turn and waited for the race to start.

Start of the 10 km race

The race started pretty much on-time (1 minute early according to the clock on my GPS) and the people started flowing along the course and down Elgin. And they kept coming. And coming. And coming. I think it took the better part of ten minutes for everyone to actually cross the start line. I caught a glimpse of my friend on the far side of the course as she rounded the corner before being swept down Elgin.

I wanted to continue my ride along the west side of the Canal. Due to the people and road closures, this involved crossing MacKenzie King Bridge, looping around past NDHQ, picking up the bike path along Colonel By Drive and crossing over the Canal on the footbridge near the University of Ottawa. Now back on track, I continued along the path next to Queen Elizabeth Driveway where the 10 km race was being held.

A couple of minutes later, the first runner passed me, so I stopped at one of the water stations to watched some of the runners. Some drummers were standing on the other side cheering the runners on.

Eventually, I moved along to Pretoria Bridge where I waited for one of the pace bunnies to pass so I could figure out how far along the race was. I called a friend who lives nearby and convinced her to come cheer our friend on (and I promised her I’d cheer for her on Sunday). She showed up and we waited for our friend to pass by.

Soon enough, our friend jogged by. We called out her name, but she was focused on the task at hand and didn’t hear (or see) us. Mission accomplished, we headed to the Royal Oak for some munchies.

We parted ways and I rode the rest of the way home and met up with the friend who was running in the 10 km race later in the evening.

The 4:30 pace bunny from the full-marathon (roughly 2:30 in the half-marathon) Sunday saw me and that friend meeting up and heading downtown to cheer on various people we knew who were running in the half-marathon. She dropped off her medal to have the time from her race engraved on it and we found a place to watch the people about 125 m from the finish line. We knew the time our friends were aiming for, so we watched the people flow by and kept an eye out for the appropriate pace bunny.

Watch though we did, we didn’t see our friends pass by. We waited until it was clear that most of the people had finished and decided that they must have finished. Eventually, one of them answered their cell phone and we learned that they had finished in just over two and a half hours, much faster than they’d thought. Seeing as we had no one left to cheer for, we headed back to the finish line area. My friend collected her now engraved medal and we made our way to the Fox and Feather to meet up with some of her running friends for a couple of hours. A couple of hours turned into three or four hours because she bumped into another group of running friends on our way out.

All in all, a great weekend! 🙂

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