Spending Time with the Toronto Running Club

Maya’s Journal (visiting from Japan)

Today I would like to introduce the Toronto Running Club. This is a club for runners who gather and share the fun.  They practice twice a week on Wednesday night and Saturday morning. The meeting location is the North Toronto Memorial Community Cenrer near Eglinton station, which is the four stops north of my school.  The average attendance is 15-30 runners. The runners are divided into three groups based on their ability and the length they want to run. I always keep up with the first group and run around 13K. After running, I usually go to the pub with them on Wednesday and for a coffee on Saturday.

 

Finding the TRC might be the best things about this study abroad. I can not only enjoy running but also have good opportunities to listen to native English and to speak a lot. And we have the same hobby – running, so it is easier to keep the conversation going.

To extend friendship to local Canadians and to become accustomed to how fast they talk.

 

 

The Fantastic Runners

■Peter

Before I joined the first practice on April 13, I contacted Peter.  He is so kind and very gentle. I have never seen such a nice cool man as Peter!   In fact, he is 63 years old, but he looks very young!

■Bob

He is an amazing man!  He is 74 years old, but he can run faster than me. I couldn’t keep up with him many times. Actually,he always wins the races, sweeping his age category. He is also very kind.

■Christopher

He lived in Hymenia, Japan for 6 years. We are the same age; moreover he wants to try Ultra Marathons. He seems to be interested in my experiences of running ultra trail races in Japan. So, we immediately became friends.  ※Ultra marathon= over 42.195K.

■Andy

He is so funny. I have never heard him say anything serious.  I think he maybe only tells jokes. I need to understand all jokes!  I’m very glad he always starts a conversation.

 

■Dan and Steve

They are adventure racers※.  I took part in Adventure races four times in Japan, but to find an adventure racer is very rare. Naturally we often run with each other – “Birds of a feather flock together”?   Can you imagine I ran with a Canadian as a pacer-moreover as Cameron’s pacer?

 

When he asked me to be his pacer, I was so excited. This was an unexpected happening like a dream, but I did on May 25-26 at Ancaster. The name of the race was “Sulphur Springs Trail Run”

 

It took place on a 20K loop, – the running surface was 97% prepared forest trail .The 100 Mile runners had to complete eight laps of the 20km loop within 30 hours.  A Pacer could run  the last two loops. He had another pacer named Maryka.  We ran with him each one loop.

 

Before the race, he said he just wanted me to run beside or behind him and he would take 3-3.5 hours a loop. So I was to start running from midnight. Until midnight, I was going to take a nap in his tent.

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Adventure race=the combination of two or more endurance disciplines, including orienteering  and navigation , cross-country running, mountain biking, paddling and climbing and related rope skills.

But when I arrived at the starting point and checked his results, he had already run 100K and it was much faster than I thought. After I calculated when he would arrive, I set my alarm and I tried to take a nap, but it was difficult because I was nervous.

 

When I met him, he didn’t look so tired. He ate some pieces of pizza and drank chocolate milk. So, I thought he was his usual self.  But I asked him ‘how are you?” his answer was “I don’t know”.

 

Definitely no one knows what would happen to him next. After 130k, the temperature suddenly descended. It is felt like it was blow zero degrees. It was unusual for the end of MAY.  When I saw him, he was freezing. I lent him my neck-warmer, and took my rain jacket off for him. But it was too late. Due to being frozen, I thought he would waste a lot of energy, so he wouldn’t able to run fast. I think he suffered hypothermia.  According to his comment after he finished, the idea to quit hit him at least 20 times.

 

■Cameron

I am very curious about this guy called “Crazy Cameron”. He is an ultra trail runner※ and he a ran total of 800K in May. I still can’t believe that, but it is true (I checked his record in RUNKEEPER ). He is the craziest guy in my life.

※Ultra runner=a person who runs over 42.195K.

But he got it done.  His goal was very impressive.   I was glad to see his big smile.  160K is never easy.  He is awesome, excellent, very strong and super cool!

 

On the other hand, I was disappointed in myself.   I felt sorry that I couldn’t support him well. I should have noticed his physical condition earlier. And I wanted to cheer him up more, but I couldn’t speak English well enough.

 

On the next Wednesday, I was able to talk with him at the running club. He said he was satisfied with his result, because this was his best time.  And he said “Thank you again for ALL your help. You were really great “That comment made me feel much better than before.

 

He started running 20K two days later; nevertheless he was still feeling sore in his legs.  After all, he is crazy.