Immediately tempted to decline. Since it’s the Summer of Yes, slept on it and replied the next morning.
Ensuing panic; the last organized run I’d participated in was probably around 2004. Anyway, here’s a recap.
Run With Hart at 8:04/Sunday morning.
5:30 – alarm goes off
6:30 – M texts to see if I’ve chickened out
6:40 – chilly breeze comes in the front door
6:42 – text M to ask if it’s best to rock a sleeveless or long-sleeved shirt? (Sleeveless…duh)
7:04 – head out
7:24 – miss the turn and end up tailing a Toronto Police cruiser. The officer stares me down as I follow him into a tiny area to pop a U-turn. I smile, indicate left, and pray he doesn’t pull me over. Victory before the run begins/registration is complete!
7:30 – parking across the street and waiting in line to pay the machine $14
7:33 – M calls to ask where to park
7:40 – registration complete. We meet M’s bestie, N, and crazy fit (and fun) running group friends
7:43 – swag: a white Run With Hart T-shirt
Coaches warm up the crowd…THEN…
Kevin Hart pumps up the crowd and takes photos with his back turned to us
8:20 – start running (route: Martin Goodman Trail. Mostly flat, minus the Ontario Place hill)
8:24 – want to stop. Keep going. Running partner, N, graciously offers to pause whenever I need a break (M is way up front with fellow speedster, S, and bypasses Hart (!!!), we later learn)
8:25 – seriously, want to stop but keep going
8:36 – will anyone notice if I “fall back” or “re-tie these laces…I’ll catch up?”
8:58 – tell running partner, N, it’s time to “drop the hammer” and sprint for the finish line
8:59 – high fives galore. This running community is uber supportive and happy-go-lucky
9:00 – mission complete. Immediately given more swag: Black Nike Run Club towel
9:02 – beeline for the bathroom – not to vomit – but to wipe off and rinse face
9:07 – snack time: banana, Kind bars (the dark chocolate sea salt was incredible), water, and the shirtless, bearded dude with abs-on-abs-on-abs, with whom ladies are lining up to snap photos
M photographs me with Mr. Abs, while Hart addresses the crowd and poses with them again to feed the Insta beast
The event was sponsored by Nike, and they sure as heck know how put on a clinic. Yes, it was a ‘free’ run (with no registration fees), but it was also an optimal marketing opportunity. Inspired to download the Nike+ app and train … well done, capitalism.