Going Long

Sudbury Rocks Marathon

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Garson - Sudbury,ON,Canada

Member Since:

Apr 20, 2013



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I ran my first marathon in 1998: "The Friendly Marathon" in Massey, Ontario.  I was 32. I had never raced in a shorter event, and I trained really poorly - ended up running it in 4:00:30.  After that, I gave up running for the most part for 6 years.  I got into karate a bit more seriously, until I got my knee kicked out and had ACL surgery.  Then I became a 'fair weather runner' and started to run half marathons every so often.  As a priest, entering weekend races always meant having to book a holiday, so it just didn't happen much.  My holidays were primarily focussed on various canoe and kayak trips.

At some point, I started training more consistently, and started to think of myself as a runner.  I guess doing that in your 40's is better than never doing it at all.  I even started to wonder if I had it in me to qualify for Boston.  Well, I did - twice.  First time didn't count, I suppose, since I didn't make the "cut".  But the second time was a charm, and on my sixth Marathon, run in Chicago in 2015, I beat my BQ by almost 6 minutes.

Through it all, I've made tons of mistakes - and have had lots of injuries to show for it.  Hopefully, now that I'm in my 50's, I'm a bit wiser and can use that to my advantage to continue running for a very long time.

My PRs:

5k (11 run):      Guelph, ON.     October 10, 2016   (50 yrs.)   20:10

10k (9 run):    Collingwood      October 5, 2013  (47 yrs.)  43:37

Half Marathon  (22 run): Cleveland   May 18, 2014  (48 yrs)  1:33:08

Marathon (8 run):  Chicago       October 11, 2015   (49 yrs.)  3:24:07

Ultras (3 run):   

Run for the Toad 50k Trail   September 30, 2017 (51 yrs.)  5:31:23

Niagara Falls 100k   June 17, 2018 (52 yrs.)  12:26:30

That Dam Hill 24 hours   September 15-16, 2018  Completed 100 Miles in 23:20:44

Click for Options

Pacing my sister in her 1st Half Marathon.

Short-Term Running Goals:

The Disney Dopey Challenge in January, 2019.

Sulphur Springs Trail Ultra (50 miles) in May, 2019.

The Haliburton Trail (100 Miles) in September 2019.

The Toronto Marathon in May 2020 (qualify for Boston).

The Sinister 7 Trail (100 Miles) in July 2020 (big maybe).

125th Boston Marathon on April 19, 2021.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Run until this old body of mine won't let me run any more.  I was inspired in the Spring of 2016, watching the start of the Ottawa Marathon.  Near the back of the pack was an 'old man', running with his walker.  I loved it!  I thought ... there's me in 20 years.  Maybe.  


I am a Roman Catholic priest of 25 years, ministering in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie.  I spent 8 years ministering in the small town of Wawa (where I helped establish the annual Blackfly Run) and 9 years in Sault Ste. Marie.  I have been in the Sudbury region now for 8 years.  Currently I Pastor 2 small Parishes:  St. John the Evangelist in Garson, and St. Bernardine of Siena in Skead, covering the area just Northeast of the city, surrounding the Sudbury Airport.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 18.00 Month: 178.00 Year: 594.17
Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 Lifetime Miles: 250.00
Brooks Cascadia 11 Lifetime Miles: 167.50
Saucony ISO Triumph 3 Lifetime Miles: 357.08
Brooks Glycerin 13 Lifetime Miles: 340.23
Brooks Glycerin 13 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 471.37
Triumph ISO 3 Treadmill Lifetime Miles: 279.00
Race: Sudbury Rocks Marathon (26.2 Miles) 03:50:29, Place overall: 7, Place in age division: 1
Total Distance

May as well report this as a race, as unorthodox as it was for me.  It was actually a lot of fun.

I parked 3 miles from the start line and ran there.  Made it about 10 minutes before start time.  Ran the race, paused a bit, and then ran 2 miles back towards my truck, walking the final mile, giving me a 50km Ultra race time of 4:34:11 (not including the pauses, and not officially measured as such - so not an official Ultra).

I made a mistake by leaving my auto pause turned on, so I didn't have an accurate measure from the marathon portion on my GPS.  The advantage of that is I know exactly how much time I spent at the aid stations:  10 1/2 minutes.  That's not bad, actually.

Excluding those aid station stops, my mile splits were very even.  Between 8:15 and 8:30 mile pace throughout, with some faster splits along the way.  The exceptions were the miles after mile 26, where I hit a couple of 9:00 mile splits.  Since this was a double loop, I'm able to compare my timing mat splits accurately between the first half and the second half:

1st Half           2nd Half

27:20                29:12

23:20                23:47

32:29                33:45

30:26                30:14

Those splits correspond to the 8 person relay transitions, so should be about 3 1/4 miles apart, give or take.  So, I did slow down in the second half - but that must have been mostly longer time spent at aid stations, as my recorded paces stayed pretty much the same.

There were only 21 of us in the Marathon, but there were also 157 in the Half and 10 teams in the 8 person relay, so just under 200 of us on the start line.  I was the only one in my age division, by the way, so I won it :)  Was the 4th of 16 males.

Beautiful day:  Sunshine with some gusty wind in places.  7C/45F at the start, and 17C/63F at the finish.  I just had fun with this, so was able to high five the spectators and chit chat with the aid station folks along the way.  I never pushed myself at any point and felt strong at the finish.  Well, the marathon finish anyway.  The final 2 miles after my pause were REALLY hard to do.

Since this was a dress rehearsal for my 100 km Ultra in 5 weeks, some comments on things I learned:

Pace was good.  I might slow it down a bit to around 8:45 for the longer event.  Even if I'm hitting 9:00, I'll be okay with that as long as I don't linger in the aid stations.

Aid stations:  I tried to time it so I was emptying my hand held every 3 miles.  I carried 10 baggies in a waist pouch, each holding 1.5 scoops of Tailwind.  Before I got to the aid station, I pulled out one baggie and I took the lid off my hand held.  Then things got really messy.  It was just too hard for me to efficiently pour the powder from the bag into the bottle.  I was consistently losing a fair portion - on my hand, arm, ground, helpers.  Sticky when wet.  I discovered the best technique was to have an aid station person do it for me.  Well, 3 of the 4 who did it, did a good job.  The one was as bad as me.  I'll have to look at using smaller baggies.  I used the sandwich size.  I'll try the half size for the Ultra.  Trying to do it while running was impossible, so I think I have no choice but to get someone to do it for me in the aid station.

The water was less of an issue, but it was a lot easier to fill the bottle directly from the big water container, as opposed to pouring cups of water in.

There are 20 aid stations in my 100 Ultra, so it would be good to be as efficient as possible in them.

Other than having to run twice the distance, the only other challenges I anticipate in Niagara Falls are the heat - likely to be a LOT hotter than it was today - and the big hill going up (and down) the escarpment.  I'll likely end up walking a good portion of that ... I did not walk anything today.  Oh, the travel too.  It was SO nice to have only a 15 minute drive to the start line today!

Oh, one small feel good victory:  of the 10 teams in the 8 person relay, only 6 finished ahead of me, and 3 of those by less than 5 minutes.  I noticed they were pretty young runners on those teams, so it gives this old man a certain sense of satisfaction that I can keep their 5km pace over a 42km distance :)

That's it.  Now I'm heading 'home' to celebrate my mom - it's Mother's Day, after all.

Saucony ISO Triumph 2 Miles: 31.00
Weight: 158.50
From Tom K on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 09:23:41 from

Great race! I can't think of a bigger confidence booster going into your big race than the-younger-relay-runner's-5k-pace-is-my-marathon-pace thing! That is Sweet!

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