Beaches Jazz Run 20k Race Review

The Beaches Jazz Run is one of my favourites. As a tune-up run for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, entry is limited to 700 participants who can choose to run either 20k, 10k, or 5k. With a 20k run on tap for my Seawheeze training, this race fit in perfectly with my running schedule.

jenna and christa

On Sunday morning, I got to the race early to meet up with some friends and relax a bit before things got started. The weather was absolutely perfect, with a cool breeze coming off the water and the temperature hovering around 18 degrees. My friend Christa was coming to this race, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for us to finally run together! I met Christa through twitter and we’ve been virtual running buddies every since. Christa is training for her first marathon and has a really inspiring story about how she got into running! You can read more on her blog, Runnin’ on Empties.

Christa and I decided we’d run around a 6-6:30 pace for the race. I told her that she could pull away at any time if she wanted to go faster, but she stuck with me through all 20k! This was only the second time Christa and I had met in person, but it felt like I had known her forever and we had SO much to talk about during our 2 hour run. We talked about running, work, our families, and also pondered the question of whether a marathon or childbirth hurts more. Neither of us can answer that right now, but Christa will have an answer for us around 12 noon on October 20th.

finish line

I usually run solo, so running with another person is always a treat for me, and I could not have asked for a better running partner than Christa. Despite the fact that we didn’t want to go out too fast, we found ourselves running stronger together, and had to slow down a few times to get back to our 6/6:30 pace target. I took water and Gatorade along the course and had a Vega gel at 10k and couldn’t believe that my energy never wavered – I was strong through the entire run. Christa’s encouraging words certainly helped as well. As we were coming into the final kilometre, Christa made me promise that we’d give it our all for the last few minutes, because it was almost over, and we could rest soon. We finished strong and my dad snapped this awesome photo of me crossing the finish line. Official time: 2:09:02.

After The Beaches Jazz Run, I feel ready for Seawheeze. A 2:15 goal is certainly attainable and that is what I will run for. I hear there are lots of hills along the Seawheeze course so I am going to have to get in a few more hill training sessions before the big day. Christa won’t be running Seawheeze with me, but I told her on Sunday that I’ll be thinking of her and the encouraging words she gave me along the way! And when Christa crosses the finish line at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October, you better believe I’ll be there cheering!

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