The Road to Philly: Pit-stop in Cleveland, Ohio

Spoiler alert: running will be talked about during this first (and last) update leading up to the Philly Half.

Ah, it’s November, the best month of the year. It’s the time of year when the snow starts to fly and the pumpkin spice everything starts to disappear. More importantly, it’s Movember. During this month, you’ll see epic mustaches, average mustaches, and down-right awful mustaches; but no matter how bad your mustache is, mine will always be worse, so grow it out and suck it up.

To keep things short, simple, and sweet; XC season went according to plan. On the first weekend of October, I ran in the Jordan Fish Memorial XC Race in Calgary. This race was special to me – Jordan passed in January 2016 and he was my XC/Track teammate in 2012/2013. The kid never gave anything less than 100% when he was a Trojan, so to keep his memory strong through the sport is huge for our SAIT XC/Calgary community.

Before the next XC Race, I had the pleasure of spending time in Boston, MA for work. When I found out about this work trip, I knew there’d only be one place for me to run – Jamaica Pond. Even though there’s pathways along the Charles River, Jamaica Pond is legendary from Bill Rodgers days (and still is); so if there’s a legendary place to run, this legendary luchador is going to run it. For the next 3 mornings, that’s where I was, and not once did I run past the legend himself (maybe one day). Other than JP, Boston is stunning. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend spending time in the downtown area. Here’s some pictures to do the justice:

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NB Corporate on Fenway Park
NB Corporate at Fenway Park

The day after arriving from America, I was up in Camrose, AB for another XC race. Due to an oncoming cold, this one was rough, but it went according to plan. Afterwards, the cold hit with full force and that took any weekly workouts out of the books. Colds suck! Supposedly it’s dumb to run with a cold, and even dumber to do workouts, so I took the dumb road and continued with the easy miles. After all, Stewart Cup was a week away.

Once my health got back to near-normal, I toed the line in Edmonton for my final XC race of the season. The Stewart Cup was stacked! With names like: Matt Johnson, Erik Widing (that’s the Swedish kid from U of Saskatchewan), Yussef, Pennock, Grieco, Madsen, Kieran McDonald, Justinen, Stefan Daniel, Alex James (out due to illness) in the field, this race was going to be quick. As the race started, I was in around 70th spot overall because EVERYBODY sprints off the line like it’s a 800m race. Seriously, I don’t get it. Unless you’re planning on running a 30min 10K, sprinting off the line serves no purpose. After about 700m, I wiggled my way up to 4th place and got into a good rhythm. At that time, Yussef was just ahead of me, with Matt and the Swede pushing the pace. After about 4K, I pushed up a couple hills to make my way past Yussef and hung out in third for a couple kilometers. At the next go-around through the hills, I made the move to pass Matt and the Swede to take over 1st. From there, the rest was history as I claimed my first AB XC title. Without having Gareth Hadfield in Alberta, somebody from Calgary had to keep the title within the city! Overall, the Stewart Cup was a great experience, and I wish the guys (Pennock, Grieco, Madsen, McDonald, Justinen, Daniel, James) from Alberta the best at CIS Champs. You kids are the future of Alberta XC/Track/Triathlon, so give ’em hell.

Now that XC is over with, I’m locked onto the road for the next three weeks. On this 16 week road to Philly, I’m metaphorically in Cleveland, Ohio; realistically at home. After these next couple weeks of work, I’ll be spending 4 days in Kelowna to deflate, then it’s off to the east coast. Here’s to ugly race faces, spicy times, and mucho success:

When you find out there's cookies at the finish line
When you find out there’s cookies at the finish line
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