The 1st run of 2007, that too without any training. A week before the run I went for my yearly medical and found out that my cholesterol is much higher than usual. So, taking into consideration a) lack of training, & b) the new illness, I decided to take it easy and run at a very slow pace. Throughout the race Nadia kept calling me to see if I’m ok. The race temperature was ideal, sunny, no wind and 13c. Nothing interesting happened along the way apart from desi volunteers at the 30th Km eating samosas. I was so tempted after being offered one, but then decided not to have one as I couldn’t risk going to the washroom! I finished the race quite comfortably in a little over 5 hrs. After the post race massage I met up with Nadia, Zara, Mama & Lala at Square One to celebrate both Mothers Day and Mama’s B’day. We had dinner at Bombay Bhel in North York. In the end, it just goes to show that with no training, I can still finish a marathon comfortably:)
Not a bad Autumn day for running...in fact it was sunny this year compared to horrible weather the last 2-3 years. Another half marathoner collapsed and died. The race started from Mel Lastman Square and it was my first one as a daddy. As usual with no training I started off with a 2,000 odd runners and felt really good through the first 20k's. I called Nadia as I was approaching yonge/steels. By the time I got to Yonge/Finch, Nadia and 5 month old Zara were there waiting for me at the half way point. We took some pics, kissed Zara (who looked totally uninterested) and then off I went. The latter part of the race was nothing unusual. A nice jog down Yonge st to Forrrest Hill, Rosedale Valley, Distillery District, Lakeshore and then back up towards Queens Park. There I was greeted by Nadia and Zara again. I finished the race in under 5 hrs (my expected time). The post race party included some left over bagels, bananas, and a great massage. The medal was huge! All in all, a good feeling of completing my first marathon as a daddy !
The race that I wasn't supposed to run. The due date for Nadia coincided with the Marathon. So I waited till the expo to register for the race. Even on race day I was praying that she doesn’t go into labor. That morning I drove down to Mississauga and checked up on Nadia a few times before race start. Knowing that everything was OK, I started the race with the cell phone in my back pocket. Throughout the duration of the run, my mind was more on North York General Hospital than the race. It was a blessing in disguise as I completely forgot about the race pain and finished in a pretty decent time. I even came across a Chinese runner who was running in PT shoes (crazy!). After the race, I enjoyed a nice massage and drove home to find Nadia completely normal and no signs of labor. I’m glad I ran the race as Zara was born 2 weeks later!
It was my home marathon but got there late. By the time I found the parking in the exchange tower, the race had already started. The good part about starting late was that the photographers took numerous shots of me! The race was up and down lakeshore avenue, the route I’ve already run during the half marathons a couple of times. However, after the 21K the course took a turn towards the spit which is a lonely causeway down the southern most part of Toronto. (The picture is taken from there, highlighting the entire Toronto skyline). The sun came out midway through the race and it got quite hot and boring. It took me over five and half hours to finish the race and I was happy to finish it my mind wasn't in it in the latter part. The medal was nice but couldn’t get a massage. The good thing was that I didn't have to drive far to go back home!
This was the 2nd year in a row that I took part in this marathon. The best part about this year was that the finish was at the 1976 Olympic Stadium. I drove to the race in the morning from Kingston where we stayed the night. I took Yasser’s car with me as my rental car was not insured in Quebec. I got lost as I entered Montreal but found a metro station in the outskirts where I parked the car illegally and got onto the subway, I did reach the Olympic Island on time and had to make a dash to the starting line. The race start was as usual quite impressive with the wheelchair division getting a head start. The course went through the Formulae 1 race track. This time I stopped a bit to view the pit lane. It was a good feeling running on the same course where Schumacher won so many races. The remaining race didn’t have that many interesting things as I ran through the industrial parts of the town as well as some nicer areas as well. However, the end was great as I entered the Montreal Olympic Stadium and there were loads of people there. There was a live video of me on the giant screen as I jogged my way to the finish line. My name was announced on the PA system when I crossed the line and it was a great feeling. The medal was nice and I even got a post race massage. After the race, it took me about an hour to head back to the station where I parked my car. Luckily the car was fine and I drove back to Kingston. On the way I stopped over at KFC for a well deserved meal. I picked up Nadia on the way back and after some rest, we headed back to Toronto.
This marathon was part of the 92.2K Conquer the Canuck Challenge. I only decided to run the 42.2K that was on the 2nd day of the event. It was a tough ultra marathon course held on the Niagara Escarpment in Milton. We had to run up and down the escarpment 4 times to complete the course with the highest point been 300 ft above the starting line. I hiked all the uphill and tried to run most of the downhill but had to be careful due to uneven surfaces and sudden drops. I met some interesting people along the way as most of them were hard core ultra runners in mid fifties and sixties. It took me quite a while to finish the race but was greeted by a cheering crowd when I crossed the finish line. The medal was amazing, a maple leaf with Canada inscribed on it. At the presentation ceremony, I was surprised to find out that I had finished 2nd in my age category and received a bottle of wine. The proceedings finished with buckets of KFC ordered for all the runners!!!!
On Saturday morning we drove to Kingston with Khalid Noon and Nosheen and had a really nice BBQ at Mama’s place. After spending the night in Kinston, I drove to Ottawa in the wee hours of the morning. I got to downtown Ottawa at least half an hour before race start. The race started at 7am with over two thousand full marathoners under clear blue skies and moderate temperature. The race route was breathtaking. Running along Rideau Canal was a treat and there were plenty of supporters along the course. In the last few kilometers, the runner traffic increased as most of the half marathoners were also finishing their race. The best part of the race was the medal, probably the biggest and most expensive medal I ever got. Post race party was as usual quite nice with plenty of fluids and food around. I drove back to Kingston after the race and after a few hours rest, headed back to Toronto. So after 6 hours of driving and 5 hours of running, I was back in TO around midnight. After all, I am super human!
This was the 2nd edition of the Mississauga Marathon and a much better organized race. The field was much bigger than the inaugural race as more and more people found out how flat and scenic the course is. I even had my name on the race bib. The race started after the national anthem of Canada and a speech from Hazel McCallum, the mayor of Mississauga for the last 40 odd years. The course zig zagged thru all the upscale neighborhoods of Mississauga, including UofT to finally finish at the Promenade Park where the spectators were aplenty. Finishers medal was quite nice and they even had burgers and fries for all the runners.
Ziyad Rahim is an adventure-runner from Pakistan. He currently holds 10 Guinness World Records in long-distance running, ranging from marathons to ultra-marathons.