This year I did the Bluenose 10k, my regular Bluenose race with my stepdad. It looked like this was going to be my volunteer year but next year, I mean it. For a while it looked like I might not participate at all and that made me unexpectedly sad. I think I can say now that this is a race that I want to do every year and then just deal with that. This was the first year in 5 years honey didn’t come to Bluenose too and when I asked him about it he said he kind of missed the spectating aspect as well. So here’s how it all went down!
A bit about the race: Bluenose started 16 years ago with barer bones and there seems to be a tradition of bad weather on Sunday and lovely weather on Saturday but as any Nova Scotian knows that could change at any time. The race itself isn’t a fundraiser but you can opt into a great number of causes and fundraise as part of the charity challenge. About 13 000 people take part over two days and it’s broken down into a family friendly day with the 4k kids run and the 5k on Saturday. The ‘more serious’ runners show up on Sunday and I can officially tell you there’s a different, though still lovely vibe on Sunday. In the past I’ve fundraised for the brain tumor foundation of Canada in memory of my brother but this year my participation was more last minute, but I did donate to the old team! Overall it’s pretty shiny and glitzy and very well run race.
Parking and weather: I mentioned that there is a bit of a tradition of bad weather on Bluenose Sunday and apparently the first year it snowed! This year the race weekend was moved from the long weekend in May to June to accommodate some hockey thing in the city. The only reason I knew there was a hockey thing? They moved Bluenose, I’m a bad Canadian eh?
This year it was a really cold rainy spring right up until the week before Bluenose while everyone was tapering. The day of the race was 20 Celsius with no real wind and in the blazing hot sun. Major props to the guy in the north end who stood on his lawn for hours spraying his garden hose on mist into the street, you win cheerer of the year my friend! Those conditions were ripe for all but seasoned runners to run into trouble and I think some of that happened for some of the runners out there this year.
Once again my mom drove us like last year, which is amazing and we ducked right into Scotia square no problem. I’ve noticed that the Sunday at bluenose parking isn’t really an issue and we only got there 20 minutes before. It’s such a convenient little hop over to the Scotiabank centre it’s totally worth it!
Cheer Squad: This year it was just my mom cheering Ernie and me on since honey had to work and his second 10k didn’t necessarily mean the whole fam had to come watch him cross the line. You might remember that I was going to volunteer this year at Bluenose but my mom had registered for the 10k in a race induced frenzy and was away from her calendar at the time. Running a second 10k the week after her first one at sole sisters is too much too soon. So it was decided by committee that whoever was going to run with my stepdad would take her registration and that turned out to be me. So I guess you can say I was sort of cheer squad too and personal pace bunny.
Logistics and support: This race is established and runs very smoothly, this year was no exception. We have had a crappy, crappy, cold spring. But summer arrived the Thursday before Bluenose this year. In addition to a race specific what you need to know email (new this year I think and appreciated) they sent out a heat warning email since it was forecasted to be 22 Celsius. I really feel for the runners this year who will be out there on the course who trained in the freezing cold and rain only to run in summer conditions the day of.
My mom picked up our bib and kits early which was nice so we rolled up with 20 minutes to spare. Which was plenty to wait in the potty line and do the warmup with the crowd. There were three aid stations on course each with water and gator aid. This year though there was a bit of a snafu with the mile marker signs they were a km early for most of the course our pace bunny even conformed her Garmin distance with my apple watch. But alas the course was not short and there were not PR’s for all today.
Race goals: Pretty much the same as last week have lots of fun and bug my entrapped runner by talking his ear off the entire time. Also since I’d be going a lot slower this year than when I’ve run the Bluenose 10k in the past look extra cute doing it. I’ve gotten to the point with Bluenose that I really couldn’t imagine not participating in some way. I kind of realized that the day before this year because a recent wharf customer came over to his neighbor’s house for a visit. He had recently joined the injured list, had to cancel his fancy destination marathon he was training for and just that day was cleared to run his first 5k in weeks. I carelessly mentioned that Bluenose was tomorrow and he was really sad you could tell. Since it is the biggest race in the maritimes it’s a shame not to join in as long as you can! So I’m really happy that I got to participate and maybe next year will be the volunteer year after all.
Swag: Just the usual bluenose shirt and medal along with a Scotiabank reusable bag. No extras like last year since I’m not doing the giver twice option.
•Time: 1:27:58 (or 8:47 per km)
•Age Group: 256/303)
•Shoes: Asics Gel GT-2000 5
Looking back: I have to admit it now Bluenose is a have to event for me. It’s a bit of a pain sure getting downtown with all those other runners looking for parking at the same time. It’s early (usually) in the season for anything big like last year and I prefer smaller community races to the big shiny ones but I can now admit Bluenose is something special. It’s our big day in Nova Scotia after all. Plus, hearing the disappointment in someone’s voice about not being able to participate means I think I’ll be here again doing something at least next year! Off to tire trot next weekend and then time for a race rest for a bit after all half training starts in three weeks!