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Ottawa Hypothermic Half 2009

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8 am this morning, the windchill was something like -23 when we began only my second half marathon, the Ottawa Hypothermic Half, Canada. My first was in the mid nineties with Manatita at the Hillingdon Half in West London.
It was so cold I was reluctant to take my jacket off and stow it for after the race, but sure enough, I had enough layers on that I didn’t feel any different without it, just the mind. I looked across and saw a lady with frost in her hair as we were standing at the start line – a race for which I have to add I was on time for, thanks to Utsahi who got up early and drove me here and despite spending 20 minutes looking for the location.
Anyway thanks to someone handing in their number at the Running Room, I was able to run the race for free. Unfortunately I didn’t have any pins on me to fix the number to my body and instead I stuffed it into my pocket and after a few hundred meters it fell out…

The course is on Experimental Farms, almost flat and a 5km-ish loop so that meant 4 laps. Not knowing what shape I was in I began cautiously and went through 10k enjoying myself. Began to pick it up a bit but some tightness made me hold back but nevertheles went through the third loop at 1:22 and began to feel for the bottom of the tank and had a good last loop though the finish line people were confused about my lack of number and also by that time I couldn’t remember for sure what it was. When I asked what my time was the lady said about 1:50 so that was that.

Then I ran home which was another 6-7k but by now I was wet from perspiration and tightening up – even had to walk a little and got home really feeling exhausted but satisfied that I had had the experience.

Many thanks to the volunteers who gave out water and the people who cheered the runners on in arctic temperatures, the race director and Running Room organisers.
I won’t forget.

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