The skies were dark and threatening as we arrived at the SouthShore Centre on May 31st. The wind was strong and cold, and I was grateful for all of my layers! But riding on the high that we had passed the half-way mark on our chair fundraising, and thrilled to see the MEC Barrie Runninjas come out in full force, I was ready for whatever came.
One of the challenges of being in a wheelchair is always logistics. I dislike sitting in my race chair when we’re not racing, as I have very little autonomy in the chair – I can’t get in or out on my own (for example, to use the bathroom), and can’t move myself around independently (so the group might wander off, but I might still be sitting there). So I like to also have my wheelchair, but then we have to navigate a wheelchair and a stroller and the fact that the roads are blocked off for a couple of kilometers in either direction of the start line, and you start to see that when it’s just Trevor and I showing up for a race, it’s a little more complicated than for your average runner! 🙂 Our learning from this race is that if I push the stroller and Trevor pushes me, we move pretty swiftly, so that’s good to know moving forward!
We arrived to find the MEC crew gathering, and when we asked who was planning on helping to push we got a rousing crew! Dave, Juan, Chris and Cher all committed to helping Trevor get me around, and the team fell into a rhythm and a speed that seemed to work well for everyone.
According to Strava, we over 10 km we averaged about a 4:30/km pace, and came in at 45:57.9!
I had worried at the beginning of the race that I would slow these capable individuals down, and make them feel like they had to hold back, but several of the team members repeated what I have heard regularly since I started this – that being a part of the team makes running and racing more exciting and fun, and actually challenges them to run faster than they otherwise would.
It was a great evening, and so much fun to be out on the course and a part of things!