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Date : 9th August, 2016
Time : 57’ 05”
Total distance run to date : 790 km
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1345252388
“So, is Canada as perfect as it seems?” I asked one of my fellow runners. She hailed from the UK so I thought I’d get an objective answer. “Pretty much,” was the answer “although don’t forget the winters.”
The question had been on my mind most of the day. I’d only been to Canada once before – to Nova Scotia including Cape Breton Island – when I’d had the chance to sample Canada’s great outdoors. And it was fabulous.
Toronto was my first experience of one of Canada’s major cities and I was equally impressed. The moment that summed it up for me was when I bought the wrong ticket for the (clean, efficient, regular) train from the airport to the city centre. The ticket inspector just smiled and gave me a voucher for a replacement ticket.
I don’t know whether any Canadians readers of this blog share that view of their country – or whether they’re rolling their eyes at my naivety. Either way it all seemed fairly idyllic that evening in Sunnybrook Park.
There’s a big space in the Park given over to sports pitches and people were playing football, various versions of rugby and that team Frisbee game who’s name I don’t know but which I’ve always wanted to try. Short of a ski slope or two (which you’d probably find in the winter), it was pretty much my sports nut idea of heaven.
And that’s where I met c.40 members of the XSNRG Running Club. They were doing interval training that evening and, as I didn’t think I’d be able to do 10 km worth of interval training, I’d done about half my run before I met them.
Introductions, a warm up lap and a group picture (above) followed before we started the serious stuff. The interval training was fine to begin with but I then began to regret having already run 7km – and having walked at least that much around Toronto earlier in the day. A walk that had been extended by the fact that I’d got slightly lost on the way to the Park. On the plus side, I’d come across the mysterious and remarkably tame creature pictured below. It’s no doubt a common part of Canada’s wildlife but I’ve yet to find anyone who can identify it so please, dear readers, let me know what it is! (And, no, I don’t understand why wordpress has rotated the photo through 90 degrees.)
Inevitably (this being Canada) everyone was very positive and friendly and that always makes a huge difference on these runs. Even so, I was glad to get to the end of my 10 km, say my goodbyes, and leave the others to their intervals!
Thank you, everyone from the XSNRG Club. You, and your country, were great.