Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sydenham 8k Trail run race report

Last weekend was another fun cottage weekend with my running buddies.  Greg and I traveled on Friday evening to the town (or village) or Sydenham, Ontario (near Kingston).  We rented a cottage on Sydenham Lake that had 2 themes - loons and the 70's.  The cottage owners especially embraced the 70's theme with the shag carpeting, retro furniture, 8 track player, a closet full of retro games, and even a magic 8 ball.  We would consult the 8 ball throughout the weekend, and found it to be quite accurate - Nelson asked if he was going to set the course record? "My reply is no".  His next question was also shot down: Will he win the race? "Outlook not so good".  Ray asked if he would win -"Don't count on it". I asked questions about my nagging knee soreness.  Is my knee going to be whiny tomorrow? "yes". Then I asked if I should try snowshoe running in the winter- "Signs point to yes".  Hmmm magic 8 ball wisdom to ponder. I gotta talk to coach Derrick about getting this snowshoe running set up.  The magic 8 ball told me so :)

On Saturday after a Sharon and Nelson-style fresh waffle breakfast, we headed into town and checked out a little restaurant called the Mill St. Cafe.  We were pleased with our meals.  I had the shitake mushroom soup with fresh bread, and roasted beet and goatcheese salad.  It was very fresh-tasting and delicious.  Our whole group enjoyed what they ordered, and we would go back when we're in Sydenham again.  Thanks Mill St. Cafe.

The race approached quickly, and we found ourselves on the starting line on Sunday morning.  We would run a short 500m road section until the access to the Cataraqui trail.   The course was along Sydenham lake, turning around at Boyce island and back along the trail.  I was a wide, gravel rail trail so I was excited that I could run fast!  When the race started, I tried to stay with Greg, but he has been super-speedy lately and pulled ahead early.  I wasn't paying close attention to my km splits or my ongoing time. I needed a pressure-free run to just enjoy myself.  I was running as fast as I could go, and even though I was in the spray radius of the guy ahead of me when he spit (and even worse - farmer's blew!),  I enjoyed the race quite a bit.  I haven't felt that tired - leg feeling from running a shorter distance race in quite a while.  I was happy with my effort, that was as fast as I could go on that day.  Greg finished in 32:48 for 12th overall, 2nd in the men's 30-39 age group.  I crossed the line in 34:08 for 20th overall and 3rd female. Ray was 39th in 38:21.  Nelson-44th overall, clocked 39:08. Sharon finished 59th overall in 42:57.

We enjoyed the best post-race coffee as we were waiting for the awards to be handed out.  That was a nice surprise - it was from the Hillside coffee company, which had donated many bags of fresh-roasted fair-trade coffee to the race.  I was lucky enough to win 2 bags!  When I was called up for my 3rd overall female award, I not only received a bronze-coloured rock award, but a gift card for the Running Room, fresh-roasted coffee (as mentioned above), and the cozy-ist home-made polar-fleece socks.  I was very greatful for the prizes - very thoughtful.  Race director (and my coach) Derrick Spafford had done a fantastic job of sourcing dozens of awesome prizes, including big ones for draw prizes like LaSportiva shoes (4 pairs), and a pair of Dion Running snowshoes.  It was impressive.  A big thanks to Derrick for putting on such a well-organized and runner-friendly race.  Thanks to the many volunteers who helped make it possible.  We enjoyed ourselves and would love to return for next year's Sydenham Trail run.

Further information about the run and results can be found at this link:


  1. Congrats on your great races! It was nice to meet you both, and thank you for the lovely card! Hope to see you again soon.

  2. Hi Sara, it was nice meeting you and Derrick too. Thanks for the great event. We'll be back in the area in a few months for some snowshoeing fun.