Friday, September 3, 2010

High Park

I finally had a week off work. The endless summer of getting up at 4:30am and commuting to my desk for 6 am has almost ended, when I go back to work on Tuesday, I go back for 6am. I’ve been able to adjust my sleep schedule a bit, and get some much needed rest, but other than that, it’s been a very quiet week.

Vacation started with a 26km on my birthday followed by a house warming party at Becc’s complete with firefighters. My wife provided an ice cream cake for the festivities and it was great to have Shane and Victoria back with the Mob for the day.

The highlight of my week was a training run in Toronto’s High Park organized by Canadian Running’s Editor-in-Chief Michal Kapral for the Team MarathonQuest runners. About a dozen participants ran a 5km loop over the paths and trails.

I arrived early, to avoid Toronto rush hour traffic. Getting between Hamilton and downtown Toronto for 7pm during construction season can take anywhere from an hour to a week and a half depending on the alignment of the plants, tide table, and number of participants in the daily demolition derby. Getting to the park early gave me time for a quick explore.

The first thing I noticed was the pathways were decidedly turtle –friendly. This bodes well for those of us on Team MarathonQuest running Scotiabank .


Signage seems to be a big thing in High Park, the next sign I observed, was this unusual warning regarding coyotes. My most immediate concern was regarding falling anvils. The park may be turtle-friendly but those guys have a hard shell for protection. Getting dusted by a roadrunner wasn’t in my vacation plans for the day.


Continuing my walk through the park, I was pleasantly surprised not to see a single roadrunner, but this group of feathered cousins obviously ignoring any looming threat from wayward coyotes.

High Park is beautifully maintained with trails for biking, running or walking, truly a gem in the heart of Toronto.


At 7pm, I caught up with the group running. Michal led brief introductions, and we waited patiently for the fashionably late but ever so sweaty Rebecca Gardiner. Although having a major highway named after her, Rebecca didn’t get the VIP treatment on the Gardiner Expressway (downtown Toronto’s combination elevated highway/parking lot). Adding insult to injury, VIP Parking was also full.

During our 5K tour of the park, Rebecca and I hatched our devious plan for winning her challenge. So intent were we on perfecting our evil laughs we missed one of the trail turns and had to run yet another hill along Bloor Street for added penance.


The group reassembled for rehydrating with Infinit a draw for Brooks prize package and with a sweet running chapeau from Canadian Running Magazine. Matt ( the Fartlek Runner) captured a group photo before we called it a night

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