Humidity, Joy, Tears and fat shaming.
I’ll admit that the Navy 10k is not my favorite race to participate in, but being an ex-sailor and a current DND employee, I do sign up and run this race every year, not because of the route, or the after party or the swag, but simply because of my connection to it and the support that I will forever give it. This year, the Navy 10k welcomed over 800 racers! Though that sounds like a big number; and by H2H 5k standards, it’s staggering, and even though it’s almost 200 more than last year, I remember the Navy 10k could draw close to a thousand runners, if not more. The connection to the Epic Canadian is what I believe prompted the additional registrations. I mean who doesn’t like ‘special Canada 150 swag’?
The route is a good route in my opinion. It’s billed as a flat course, but that’s not entirely true. In recent years, the route went up Gottingen to Novalea which was a bit of an uphill climb. Nothing major, just a very slight incline but a long one. They have since changed the route to go in a clockwise direction but that didn’t lessen the uphill climb or shorten it, it just changed the street. I’m not sure which direction is better, if there is a better one. Not that either direction are terribly awful, I quite enjoy the route. The only reason the Navy 10k is not my favorite race is because the 10k is 2 loops. I very much prefer either an out and back route or a single loop. The double loop is too much of a mind jumble for me. After the first time around you know exactly where you are and exactly how much further you have to go and exactly how many more ups there are. The great thing about either direction is both end on the down so you can seriously give yourself an extra push to the finish. The thing I liked best about the counter clockwise direction is that the distance to the finish once it was in view was a whole heck of a lot shorter so you could really turn on those after burners once you saw the finish line.
The swag was on point! I really love the drinking glass that came with the swag this year! It commemorated both my epic finish at the Epic Canadian but also my epic Navy 10k finish! The shirts are very well designed and the medals were the best yet! Race Director Kevin Miller really stepped it up this year and I have to say I was very impressed!
Halifax Regional Police stopped traffic along the route so it was really nice to have the entire street to ourselves. Having this protection is a welcome but very expensive perk so another shout out to Kevin Miller for setting this up every year.
There were 2 water stops along the route. Considering the route is only 5k, you can double that to 4 water stops if you are doing the 10. This was key. According to regulations, only 1 water stop is required per 5k so doubling up on that was awesome because you could literally cut the humidity with a knife it was that thick!
Along the route there were plenty of volunteers happily cheering us on and the occasional resident would stand in their doorway to give us encouraging words. Running a race in a residential neighborhood is nice because you get the families standing in front of their houses and the kids will give high 5’s. It’s awesome to get a high 5 from a kid. The energy literally transfers from them to you and you can feel your legs get lighter. I have never met anyone who would not cheer on racers running in a race, even if they had to stop their car and wait for hundreds of racers to run by, I have never met someone who would out right be unnecessarily cruel to anyone who is doing all they can to better themselves and in some cases their community. That is until this past Sunday.
If you know me, you know I’m not an elite runner. It takes everything in me to take that first step. It takes even more to continue on with each step until my goal is reached. The war inside my head rages on and on. The voice that tells me I’m too fat to be a runner. The voice that tells me I’m doing serious damage to my joints because this much weight should never attempt to run. The voice that tells me I’ll never PR because not only am I fatter this year than last year I’m also a year older. That voice that just won’t quit until my foot lands on the finish line and I am filled with joy and jubilation at the fact that yes, this fat old body CAN do it, this old fat body WILL do it and whether I PR or not I got my fat butt out the door and I DID IT! My own inner voice is so loud that the fact that some man in a cowboy hat sitting in the comfort of his van yelling out that “this must be a run for fat people” and “looks like you could use the run” didn’t register until I read about it on Facebook. What can I say about how that made me feel. Nothing really. Feeling something would mean that this person had an affect on me and clearly he didn’t because I didn’t even register that he was there. The only thing I feel about this man is deep sadness. I feel like he is fighting his own demons and I pray that someday he will fight his demons off the same way I do, by lacing up and going for a run.
All in all, the Navy 10k is a fabulous event. It supports those that supported our Nation in times of uncertainty and they have races for everyone. Youth races at 1.5 and 2k , the 5k and the 10k. The swag is always a nice option and the fact that the road is closed for racers makes it even better. The route is fun because people don’t have to walk far to cheer you on and even though it’s not pancake flat, it’s flat enough that you can easily PR. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Navy 10k yet, I suggest you add it to your calendar for next year. As always, I will see you there!
I began my running journey in March of 2009. I began my journey of faith in September of 2012. Running releases stress from my body while my new found faith releases stress from my mind.