It was not the best day for running as it was a typical October day in Toronto…..cold, overcast and wet. The marathon starting point was about 10 minutes walk from our house and I got there well in time for the race start. The problem with running in your home town is that you know how much distance is still left before the race finishes. The initial 21K was a loop around North York and I even passed through my house. Nadia was there cheering me on. The latter part was a run down Yonge Street and all the nicer areas of Toronto. Due to the cold weather and rain, I started cramping up near Davenport. From there on, a walk and run for the next 10k’s ensured I finished the race in about 5 hrs. About 5 kms before the race finish, I saw a guy running his first marathon on his 60th b’day. He did finish the race about a minute before me!. Nadia was there at the line and since I was late finishing the race, I got two massages instead of one as there was no line ups !!!!
My first marathon in Europe! Nadia, Asim, Shazia and I drove from Glasgow to Inverness the day before the race. We found a B&B just in time as almost all the places were fully booked for the race. I went to collect my race bib but somehow it got misplaced, so they had to issue a new one to me. That evening, we went to a nearby pub for a dinner and had an early night. Asim was doing the 5K run. On race morning, I jogged to the race gathering area as it was a 10 minute walk from the B&B. We were bussed to the race start which was in the middle of nowhere, 26 miles from the city. The race start was very picturesque, with hills on one side and the loch on the other. The initial part of the race was along the loch and mostly downhill. The weather was amazing, cool but sunny (the first time I saw sun since arriving in Glasgow a week earlier). As usual the first 30k’s were fine and then I started to struggle. But with not much at stake, I slowed down, walked a bit and with Nadia running the last 200m with me, I crossed the finish line in under 5 hrs. The festivities after the race were brilliant, with BBQ, post race massage and a very nice medal and T-shirt. We all drove back to Glasgow that evening. A great trip indeed!
It was a small, low key event in a very small town. I drove from Kingston on race morning. Glengarry is a town situated off 401 on the Ontario Quebec border. A total of 38 people were registered for the half and the race was held on quite an uneventful out and back course. The windy over cast weather made the first 11 kms really difficult. However with the wind on my back, the 2nd half of the race was much easier. I met a couple of local women who were competing in their first half, so chatted with them along the latter part of the course. I reached the finish line with a handful of volunteers present. The finishers medal looked like it cost the organizers 10 cents each ! After the race, I hopped into my car and drove back to Kingston. Nadia and her mom were there as well. That evening, we drove back to Toronto.
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.