On Sunday Dan and I took part in a run called The Chocolate Race, I just hoped it was as good as it sounded.
The weather was perfect around 8 degrees Celsius and lots of sunshine, the run took place in Port Dalhousie right along lake Ontario. We were warned that parking could be tricky but there were shuttles, just make sure you give yourself enough time. Of course we didn’t give ourselves enough time and decided to park in the marina parking lot, on the map it looked so close to the run start and the fact that the website said you could walk from there I assumed there was a pedestrian bridge across the canal. Wrong! So we got a 1.5km warm up and a short preview of the course.
We got ourselves checked in, well sort of, our names were on the list and my bib was there but Dan’s was nowhere to be found. The race volunteer was great he immediately gave Dan a new bib number and chip. Alright time to pick up t-shirts, again Dan’s took along time eventually the young girl came back red faced and apologising for being out of x-large and asking if we’d take large instead. We were in a rush at this point so we just grabbed the shirt, Dan rarely wears them anyway. We quickly got changed and managed to make it to the start line with a minute or so to spare, there we bumped into our friends Andrea and Amanda. Good to see you ladies!
The race started with a “go”, I prefer a klaxon horn, but whatever. We were off. About 100m in Dan asks what the race plan was. Hmm, well we did a couple of hours of hills and trails the day before so let’s be smart and run no faster than a 5:50min kilometer. As we passed the 1km sign we patted ourselves on the back, a 5:53 km, perfect. Well I’m just going to say this now, that was our only “no faster than 5:50min kilometer”. Somehow kept getting a little faster, discussed it but never bothered to slow down, way to stick with the plan! In hindsight we probably should’ve decided on a plan before we started the run.
True to the run title at the first aid station not only were we offered water and gatorade but also chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows. Sadly I had to sit this station out because I’m allergic to strawberries, I could’ve just eaten the marshmallow but I didn’t want to seem rude wasting the strawberry. Dan also skipped because honestly he is a bit of a chocolate snob and can be very particular about sweet stuff.
The course itself is pleasant and weaves along the water front trail, which sounds straight forward enough, but in fact meant we followed a plethora of pylons for the entire race. I felt sorry for the person who had to go along the full 10 miles placing pylons every few meters because without them we all would’ve been lost very quickly. So well done race director for the route marking!
The second aid station was only a water/gatorade station but number 3 had chocolate covered pretzels which both Dan and I went for, bad move, we found ourselves choking on the pretzels for the next kilometer, thankfully we had opted to carry our hand held water bottles otherwise I think Dan would had turned around for more water!
After the turn around you head straight back the way you came. This time I grabbed a gatorade and a pretzel and had no issues getting everything down! Dan played it safe and opted out. As we made our way back through the chocolate fruit aid station we politely declined the offering of gatorade from a very eager young volunteer, a bunch of us must have passed her by because we eventually heard her cry out in frustration “Come on already!” Kids working aid stations are awesome.
About 1 km out from the finish line we were passed for the first time, by a young man no less. Dan wondered where he came from, I didn’t care. I told Dan to go, I knew he wanted to race that guy to the finish, so off he went. But then I start hearing race strategising from behind me. “You should run her down now, without him she wont have any kick.” What the heck? Are they talking about me? I quick look around confirmed that yes two girls that had been just behind us for most of the race were plotting to overtake me. Well that did it for me suddenly it was my turn to care about being passed in a fun run (how pathetic are we?). There was no way anyone was going pass me so I turned it on, we hadn’t really been running hard so I had lot’s left, I could hear them pursuing but I managed to stay a head (and pass another girl) and finished just milliseconds in front, but that’s all that mattered.
I found Dan as we received our fantastically cute medals.
When asked if he got his man, Dan responded with “of course”. (Seriously what is wrong with us? FUN RUN, FUN RUN)
But this is when things got really good as I was handed a massive pain au chocolate and chocolate milk.
We stretched then headed into the village of Port Dalhousie where “Bonkaville” was taking place, there we received some truffles and were supposed to get a brownie and chocolate martini, but the line up was too long and it was too nice of a day to wait around so we headed back to the city. I wasn’t that disappointed as I haven’t had a chocolate martini since I was about 19 years old and I spent a night at the bar drinking them, then the rest of the night bringing them back. Would have hated to have triggered any type of memory association!
This run did not disappoint it did everything it said in the name (which actually says “race” so that totally justifies our behavior at the finish). Will definitely do this one again.
To find out what happened with Dan’s large t-shirt, click here.