This past weekend, I was finally able to start my first race of 2014 after so many false starts and it was a fun one. I posted last year about the Perth World Record Kilt Run that is held each year in the town of Perth, Ontario. To prepare for this race, I changed up my medication timing to help ward off any anxiety or panic attacks. Once we got to the race location, it was important that I find an area where there were few people until the race started and luckily I was able to do that. Rather than get in the coral with the 2000 plus runners, I waited near by with my wife Renee and my good friend Jenn until all the runners had passed by. The three of us were the last ones to cross the start line.
Warrior Class Marching to Start Lin
Once across the start line, it took a couple of minutes to get into a comfortable pace and navigate through the walker. I never looked back, just forward but I could not hear the ladies so I realized I must have left the ladies in my dust. Now, one would think that for a fun race that the course would be easy but this one was certainly challenging. If you were not running up a hill, you were going down one and as you can see by the map, there a lot of turns as well.
Course and Elevation Profile
Again this year, the temperature was very warm so it did not take long to build up a sweat. Many thoughtful residents of Perth were out on their front lawns cheering the runners on but some went the extra mile by cooling the runners down with water from their garden hoses. The community really did come out for this race as you could hear many calling out runners names and shouting words of encouragement.
I can most of the course but had to walk a little between the 6k and 7k mark as I was overcome by heat but other than that I was happy with my progress. Before the start of the race, I set up a meeting point with the ladies as it was thought that I would finish before them. As I approached the finish line, I decided that I did not want to cross the finish line alone so I waited for the ladies about 250m short of the line. This was a good idea except for a couple of reason, one I really needed to use the bathroom and second, standing around alone caused my anxiety to rise. After waiting 20 minutes, I saw the ladies coming up the hill and I fell into line to make our away to the finish. It was a pleasure to cross the finish line with these two ladies as both have been such great support for me over the last 6 months. Without their support, I do not know where I would be at this point in my recovery.
We did it
This year, I wore my sports kilt that I purchased last year and my Bell, Let’s Talk t-shirt which is very similar to the bike jersey that Clara Hughes is wearing in across Canada bike tour to raise awareness of mental health issues. A couple of times I did hear people say ” Let’s Talk” which I hope was in support of the cause.
Instead of medals this year, the race committee went with a rather unique item, kilt socks with the race logo imprinted on them. I know what I will be wearing next year when I do this race again.
After picking up our swag, we made our way down to the party area to receive our free beer, yes free beer. Unfortunately, the crowd was big and I almost had a panic attack but my support crew got me out of there before it set in. Rather than try to find a place to eat in Perth where we knew it was going to be busy, we went to a nearby town to enjoy a drink and have some good food.
Coming up one of the many hills
Coming into the finish
Waiting for the start
If you zoom in, you can see me waiting in the doorway on the right
Love the sound of bagpipes
Before the race on the dock
So if you are looking for a unique race to run at the end of June next year, you cannot go wrong by taking part in the Perth Kilt Run.
Until next time…..Taking it one day at a time.