Friday, 15 March 2013

Best Running Adventure of All Time - Part 1

I consider myself lucky for a lot of reasons. I have healthy kids, a pretty awesome wife (she's pretty, and awesome), great family, I can grow a beard now (finally!), and it's only 6 days until March Madness tips off. But one of the big reasons I'm lucky is that I love my job. One of the reasons I love my job is that I work with great people. I'm a huge fan of all of my department members. If we had a theme song, it would be something lame like this:

It's with 4 out of the 5 (we missed the heck out of Ross, the member that didn't join us) of those members and another work friend that Lexie and I had the chance to run a relay that still sticks out in my mind as the most spectacular running events I have ever been a part of.

Last September was the first, and sadly also perhaps the last running of The Great Muskoka Relay. A 100km relay around Lake Joseph in Muskoka, Ontario. So let me take you on a blogging version of the one of the funnest weekends ever, anywhere.


After educating the youth of our future for several hours, we left work at 3:07 pm and headed to Jonelle's house where we met up with Lexie, hopped in my trusty undercover cop car and headed to the carpool lot where we would meet up with the rest of the crew. FYI, the crew was composed of Jonelle, Matt, Victor, Laura, Lisa, Lexie, and yours truly. Lisa and Lexie are the only ones that don't work in my Phys. Ed. Department. Lisa is the dance teacher at our school and hosted us in her awesome cottage for the weekend that included a steam shower that I fully took advantage of.

We met up at a carpool lot because we love nature and the environment. Lexie, Victor and I hopped into Matt's rad Minivan and Lisa, Jonelle, and Laura headed north in Laura's highly tinted sedan. Destination: Bird Lake. We resisted the urge to stop at Weber's and made it to Bird Lake and Lisa's cottage safely at about 6:30. We spend a good portion of the drive through Muskoka talking about how beautiful it would be to run there the next day.

We arrived at the cottage where Lisa showed us around and we stared slack jawed at the accommodations we were sure to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

There is the view out of the back of the cottage, the view inside was equally beautiful. We sorted out our sleeping arrangements, and since no one else was into my idea of all of us camping out on the living room floor, I had to settle for sharing a comfy bed with my better half.

Despite our generally very progressive views on gender, we somehow broke up into two gender specific groups for the next part of the evening. The boys collected firewood and devised our plan to prove how tough we were by going "swimming" in the lake after dinner, while the ladies hung out in the kitchen and helped Lexie finish the dinner up. For the record, these gender stereotypes didn't continue the next day when the ladies KILLED the race, in a good way.

We had some Green Thai Curry for dinner as we attempted to Carbo Load for the next day as we were each running at least 10km.

Following dinner, Matt, Victor, and I decided it was time to live up to our word. An important back story: all week we had been talking about how we were going to "swim" when we got up to the cottage. When we were collecting firewood, we went for a little canoe trip to scope out a spot. We found a floating dock that looked perfect. So the three of us paddled out after dinner, and climbed aboard the floating dock. We jumped into water much shallower than we imagined, screamed like we were 9 year olds, swam 10 ft each then quickly jumped back on the dock, got back into the canoe, and back to shore. It was a short swim, but we did it when no one believed in us. Too dramatic? probably, but I'm doing what Mr. Shaw called "foreshadowing" in OAC english.

After our swim we sat down around the fire for some treats and chatted the about race strategy for the next day. The strategy was this: Run, and eat M&M's.

Around 11:00pm, we all headed to bed, as we had an early wake up call.


We woke up super early Saturday, I can't recall the exact time, but I'm fairly certain there was a 5 in it, which is a time I try to never see on a Saturday. We got ready quickly, tried to pretend it wasn't raining,  which it was and did, and had some breakfast. 

Heading out into the dark rain we started to make our way from Bird Lake (east of Bracebridge) to Cleveland's House on Lake Joseph. We had to be there early to pick up our race kits and do some team stretching. Muskoka wasn't looking quite as pretty in the cloud cover as it did the night before in the sun, but we were excited none the less. 

We arrived at the start to pick our packets that included some cool T-Shirts, free juice and bagels, and some swag for the Charity that we were supporting. On that note a big shout out to Donnie Minon of Dogg Pound MMA for sponsoring our charity. Since only about 100 people read this, chances are he never will, but we were thankful anyway. 

It wasn't long before we had to get Matt ready to for the first leg of the race. All teams took off at the same time, it was an organized and quick start. Probably because there actually were only a 12 or so teams.

Matt getting ready

Matt leaving on the first leg

before we left for the first transition we took a few team pictures. Here is one so you can check out the studs we had the chance to run with:

L to R: Lisa, Laura, Leigh, Jonelle, Victor
And with that we started an exciting team adventure. 

To Be Continued.......

P.S. I know 100+ people read each entry, if you guys leave a comment, I promise I will reply to it. Pleeeeeeeeeease leave us some comments!




    I hope this works.
    Sincerely, Devyn.

    1. Beautiful Cat Dev. Thanks for commenting. I thought for sure that was going to be a "Cool Story Bro" cat.

  2. I don't know how you guys do it, so much dedication! The health benefits are obvious but it makes my knees hurt just watching you. I admire the example that you set for your boys on the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle. But I also like that even though you are very focused on that lifestyle you leave room for treats. Keep up the great work and I love the blog! (Mom)