Sunday, 15 June 2014

Run the Runway

Movie buffs can check out my short film here:

For those of a more literary persuasion, here's the original screenplay:

The week leading up to this unique event has been my first of running since the marathon. I had found myself running at surprisingly high speeds, and unsurprisingly, loving it. 
So it was for the pure joy of running, and the uniqueness of the event, that I found myself at the opening of Calgary airport's second runway for "Run the Runway". 
It had been raining on my way there, the sky somehow clearing by the time the ribbon was cut and we lined up. 
There was no chip-timing, but there was a start/ finish and a clock, so it was highly unlikely I'd be able to restrict myself to going easy pace. There was a bit of a funnel of people standing in front of the startline along with lots of cameras, so it wouldn't be a quick start.
Mayor Nenshi high-fived me and many others at the beginning. Benard Onsare, multiple winner of the Calgary Marathon, was there and rocketed rapidly into the distance. 
I took a kind of double selfie after 2 minutes. I like the way it turned out, stretching back into the distance. 
I used a new attachment on the GoPro called "the frame", light and compact.
The volunteers were great, enthusiastic and loud. 
I kept up a fast pace most of the time. It was a very long, wide, even surface with the word "run" in its name: simply impossible not to blast down the runway. 
More hi-fives and cheers, and the final turnaround. 
A great blast of a race, by my watch I did the 8.4 k in 34:30, an average of 4:03/ k which includes the hi-5ing at the start. From the first turnaround to almost the end, I did that 5k in 19:48 - my PB is 19:25. Pleasing. 
By my standards, I bravely went up to Benard Onsare to say hi. He was amused by my camera. 
Having read quite a few stories about running in Kenya, I know 2 words of Swahili. I asked if he had been going all out or just "pole-pole" (pronounced "po-lay"), which means to go slow or take it easy. He was rather surprised to say the least. The 2 volunteers he was talking with were from Tanzania and Uganda respectively: "How much can you speak?" asked one. "The only other word I know is 'mzungu'." That word means "white man", and got a laugh. 
He kindly posed with me for the camera. He becomes a Canadian citizen in July 1, and I hope to see him representing Canada soon.
Back on the bus to the car park, and home to watch a few World Cup matches. A day that reaffirmed a love of running. 


  1. Exciting to run, for sure! And often after a big marathon race it might be common to have some really strong running? Nice to talk to Bernard. He is so genuine and sweet! Glad he becomes a citizen july 1st too!! Great run for you. And your vid of this race ROCKED!!!

    1. I had heard that about the post marathon period: strong at shorter distances.
      Benard is a great guy, I'll try to follow his results more closely.

  2. You're so clever ... "original screenplay" and some what of a dork :) Sounds like it was super fun. I liked your video too. Love that running brings these fun opportunities. What's next?

    1. My posts get dull if I'm not careful.
      On holiday to Korea and China next, will be taking the gopro.

  3. That is so cool, I love events like this. Wish I had the chance to do more like them. I don’t know much about airports but I didn’t know a runway was 4 km long! Holy cow!

    1. Longest in Canada, so I was told. The heaviest, fully-laden planes need that length of runway at Calgary's altitude. A volunteer read out a script on the shuttle bus.

  4. I wanted to do this event but was already sold out. Looks like you had a great time!

    1. I was a little lucky in reading about early, then registering immediately.