On an unusually cool and crisp fall morning, I was in Sunnybrook Park in Toronto running the Women’s Series 5k.
I have fallen in love with this park. The fall foliage was so pretty. The leaves – the bright oranges, bright reds, and bright yellows all blend into one beautiful collage. The beauty of what nature has to offer is truly remarkable.
Last time I ran in Sunnybrook Park was on a muggy summer day for another race that was part of this women’s series, but what a difference 2 months makes! This morning was breathtakingly beautiful. When we arrived at the park, it was already filled with lots of runners. All of them seemed to have an abundance of energy. I always compare the difference between shorter and longer races, along with all women’s races versus a mixed races. Women in general tend to be so much more expressive, with girlfriends chatting all the way to the race start, whereas guys would typically be more subdued. There’s definitely a positive vibe with women’s races.
Another reason why I wanted to run this race was because proceeds went towards the Pediatric Oncology of Ontario (POGO). Their mission is to “make a meaningful difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families by providing equitable access to the best possible care”. I feel for young children especially – they are supposed to be free of illnesses and live a happy childhood. As such, I cannot stress enough how much this charity means to me. And of course, with a number of firemen manning the water stations, I definitely could not pass on such a race! 😊
The winner of the 5k had won the Toronto waterfront marathon 5k the week before. So for her, it meant a back to back first place win. The top winners were an amazing group of fast ladies. Very impressive they all run sub-20 minute 5k’s.
For me I was lucky that the super speedy runners in my age group did not show up, so I managed to sneak in a 3rd place. What a pleasant surprise! We received a very nice age group plaque. See pictures.
What a way to wrap up a gorgeous Saturday morning. Women’s running has come a long way and I hope this fitness trend amongst women – young and old – will continue to grow leaps & bounds. Because we can demonstrate that our place is no longer limited to raising children, and being selfless and doing things for others, but also to take care of ourselves and participate in a sport which is so beneficial to our well-being.
To all race directors of women’s races, I thank you and encourage you to continue growing your races. We have only just begun!