MEC’s First Annual Shubie Trail Run [UPDATED]

Yesterday morning I ran in Mountain Equipment Co-op’s (MEC) inaugural Annual Shubie Trail Run. They had mapped out three routes through Shubie Park, in Dartmouth, NS: 5K, 10K and 21K (half-marathon). I ran the 5K and finished with a time of 29:15 (which isn’t possible but I’ll touch on that later).

[UPDATE] I went back and traced the route at and verified that the route was, in fact, 5K. Sorry for doubting you, MEC. Still friends? And WOOHOO on the time! 🙂


MEC has traditionally sold camping and non-urban outdoor adventuring equipment. Recently, however, they’ve expanded to include cycling equipment and are soon going to be carrying road running gear in addition to their more typical trail running stuff. That being said, even though this was a trail running race, from what I understand, part of the drive behind organizing the event was to start linking MEC to running in general.

Well, this was officially my first running race in over 17 years, since my last year of high school so, I was a bit nervous and whole lot of giddy. The race itself started at 09:00 so, I showed up around 08:30 and parking was already scarce. I had originally registered in-store for the 5K with the understanding that I could switch to the 10K at the race if I really wanted to. Unfortunately, the line-ups and sign-in sheets were all organized by registered distance. So, I queued up in the 5K line and just decided to stick with it, and I was quickly handed my race bib, #209. 🙂

Shortly after 9:00 the 21K runners were off.


About five minutes later the 10K runners followed suit.


Then another five minutes after that, we (the 5K runners) were off.

Sometimes, leading up to a run, I question whether or not I really want to torture myself for the next half-hour but once I get moving, I wish I could run forever.

When I did the Run for the Cure last month I started near the front of the pack and was passed by a number of people so, I this time I chose to start at the very back and just work my way up as needed. Of course, being the genius boy that I am, I didn’t take into account how difficult it would be to pass people on a narrow path. Nor did my brain even register the runners with strollers. According to my trusty iPhone and today’s running app of choice, Kinetic GPS, it was a very slow first kilometre at 00:06:44. 😐

[UPDATE] According to the route retrace the time was closer to 00:06:38, which is still not that great of a pace for me.

The weather was beautiful! The sky was clear and the air was crisp — a tad cold on the lungs but it felt great. 🙂

The rest of the run was well paced. I managed to bring my average pace down to 00:06:17/km, which means for kilometres 2-5 my average pace would have improved to 00:05:39/km, with which I would have been very happy. 🙂 Of course now, me finishing a 5 kilometre race in 00:29:19 with an average pace of 00:06:17/km is not possible — 5 km x 00:06:17/km = 00:31:15. Glad it wasn’t and official race because I think the people out at the half-way turn-around point didn’t set themselves up far enough. Oops.

[UPDATE] Heh, heh. The half-way point was fine. The GPS app just didn’t maintain an accurate signal for the whole race. Super-oops.

The Kinetic GPS app tracked my total distance at 4.66 km and, given how slow my start was, that seems to be more realistic with my time. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the tree coverage could have thrown off the GPS signal a bit and the route really was 5 km, and I really am wicked-fast, and all this math would have been for naught.

[UPDATE] So, with a total run time of 00:29:19 my average pace for the whole race was 00:05:52/km which is quite good for me on a normal day. That being said, if we were to *ahem* ignore the 00:06:38 for my first kilometre, that means my average pace for the last 4K was just over 00:05:40/km which is a personal best for me in YEARS. 😀

Regardless, I had a blast. It was my first of what I hope to be many running races in my adult life, and I already can’t wait until next year’s. 🙂



Right… I ran for the Cure

Heh heh, this is a tad embarrassing… I had put together this post the day after I participated in the Run for the Cure but only saved it as a draft.


Well, here it anyway just, please, ignore the fact that it’s being posted almost a month late.

[Originally written Monday, October 3, 2011]
Overall, the run went better than expected. My main goal was to maintain a pace that allowed me to complete the course without walking. Plus, I was trying to run with “quiet feet” to minimize impact and spare my knees unnecessary anguish.

As my pre-run blurb said, I was running for “Aunt Anne”, my mother’s sister, who passed away from breast cancer a few years ago. And so, my mom wanted to support me and came along as my one person cheering squad — mom’s are the best. 🙂

The run itself started at 10:00 yesterday morning but registration started at 8:00. I had never been to one of these runs before and I didn’t want to be late so, I erred on the side of caution and showed up at 8:00 in case registration took a long time. Well, it didn’t. Once we figured where I had to register, I walked right up to two friendly volunteers who signed me in right away and gave me my T-shirt, my paper “I’m running for…” bib, and a few safety pins to bring the whole ensemble together. My mother and I were then directed over to the table of markers where I could write on my bib…

My Runner’s Bib

Well this, I was not ready for… my mother and I both got quite choked up actually seeing my aunt’s name written down. It seemed so… final? Like it was only then that it set in completely that my Aunt Anne had passed away. I mean, I knew it, it’s just the reality of it seemed to hit like a tonne if bricks.


So, then went outside where my mom helped me pin the bib onto my shirt. And then…

…we waited.

Yeah… 8:00 was unnecessarily early. There was barely anyone there. On the bright side, my mom and I got to spend the morning together chatting. It was really nice. 🙂 We walked around for a bit until it started raining, we headed back to the car, chatted some more, and watched as the other runner and walkers finally started showing up — a lot of teams.

I think I’d like to part of a team next year, their energy was incredible.

I stayed in the car to keep warm until when everybody started filing into the street, about fifteen minutes before the start. Okay, it was running time.

It was still raining so, everyone was bouncing around to stay warm. I was repeating my plan over in my head: no walking, quiet feet, no pain; no walking, quiet feet no pain… Then, before I knew it, the countdown started, and we were off and running.

I started off probably a bit quicker that I should have but managed to hold my own. I hadn’t walk around that part of Halifax for a while so, it was really nice. The route started at the South Commons in front of Citadel High, looped up around the North Commons, down Rannie, then Gottingen, Cogswell and Brunswick, before circling around the East and South sides of the Halifax Citadel, then along South Park and the full loop around Public Gardens, then back up to the finish line.

So, I didn’t walk, I avoided pain, it rained a lot, I got soaked and had a blast 🙂

On top of everything, I did quite alright for time — 5K in 00:28:37. I was planning on pacing it safer but the energy from being in the crowd of runners seemed to just pull me along. LOVED it.

Overall, a good run for a great cause.

A HUGE thank-you again to everyone who donated. It felt great to run with a purpose. 🙂

[steelie] has moved… sort of

Well, I’ve been toying with the idea for some time now and I’ve finally decided to move my blog over to a self-hosted version of itself. Similar to when I left, all it took was a simple export and import and now the new is virtually a carbon copy of this one (now All posts, pages, media, and comments — everything really — imported seamlessly. 🙂

Unfortunately, all my visitor stats were reset in the transfer, and all WordPress branded shortlinks (…) still link back to the “.com” site. Other than those couple of hiccups, we’re sittin’ pretty.

So, I’m not entirely sure how it works, not that I expect everyone to follow me over the new but “following” me through won’t work anymore and your RSS feed settings might get a bit buggered. I guess what I’m trying to say is… if anyone is still interested in hearing what I have to say, I’ve moved… sort of.

Hope to see y’all on the flip-side.


Run for the cure…

This year I’m participating in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure on October 2nd. I’ve been meaning to do it for a number of years and I’ve finally decided to stop just talking the talk, and start walking the walk.

Well, running the run, actually.

First and foremost, I am running in memory of my wonderful Aunt Anne, a hilarious woman with a huge heart and brilliant spirit, who passed away from breast cancer a few years ago.

I am also running for the estimated 23,000+ women (and 500+ men) who will be diagnosed with breast cancer, in Canada, this year alone.

I am running in support of the brave souls currently going through treatment, on their way to overcoming the disease.

And I am running for all you amazing survivors who have stood toe-to-toe with breast cancer and kicked its sorry tail.

For those not running, you can still make a difference! With your support, the Foundation will continue funding breast cancer research, education and health promotion initiatives across the country, making a difference from coast to coast. To learn more about the work the Foundation does, visit

Every donation counts and helps the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation move closer to achieving its vision of creating a future without breast cancer.

If you feel moved to make a donation, please visit my personal participant page at Any amount of would help.

Thank you for considering my request. I really appreciate it!