Race Recap: Running Room St. Patrick’s Day Run – Ottawa

Today was the first race of my 2013 Running Season – YAY!

I signed up for this race about a month or so ago when a few running friends told me about it. The race was put on by the good people at the Running Room and was held along the Rideau Canal, with a starting point at Immaculata High School. I choose this race since a few people said it was a good race and it fit my schedule. Since this was a “holiday” race – costumes were strongly encouraged!

It is March 16 – so one would think that it would be a nice spring-time race, but it was pretty chilly out!  When I checked the temperature at 7am, it was -11 with a bit of a windchill – yeehaw! Last year’s race featured unseasonably warm temps – and if you look at last year’s photos, many people were in shorts! Not this time! Everyone was bundled up, with many sporting the blue Running Room Jacket from the Resolution Run!

I had no big goals for this race since I’ve barely been out running yet this year, and can only manage 2-3KM on the treadmill at the gym. Anything hovering the 30-minute mark was good with me! I was not too happy about the cold, so I was a bit happy this morning when I walked outside and didn’t feel the need to bring my giant winter jacket. I did bundle up in two layers, plus a tutu and a jacket. I also wore my compression socks with a pair of warm socks on top.

Getting to the race venue was pretty easy. P and Max dropped me off and then went exploring for coffee and gas. I did not pick up my race kit before hand as I really didn’t feel like driving all the way downtown. It wasn’t worth it and kits could be picked up in the morning. The gym at the high school was open for us – which made things a heck of a lot easier. Basically the gym was being used as a holding area, and when it was time to go and race we were ushered outside. Therefore I wasn’t too chilled prior to the race. There was plenty of room to sit and relax, door-prizes and the washroom line wasn’t too bad. It was nice to see all the fun costumes people had on. I will say that it was next to impossible to find anyone – I looked for two friends, but couldn’t find them anywhere 🙂  Someone from the volunteers asked to take my picture because I had a good costume on – that was nice.






Race Recap

So around 9:00 the 5K races were told to assemble at the start line. Since I wasn’t wearing a full winter jacket (I would die of heat after 500m), I was getting a bit chilly. Waiting for the start was a bit like torture. All of us were jumping up and down trying to stay warm. There was a good sized crowd of runners!  The horn started and we were off!  The race took us out and back on Colonel By Drive (along the canal) which was closed down, so no chance of running into snow or ice (YAY!).  The route is pretty flat and is part of the 10K route for the Ottawa Race Weekend. I do like running the canal, and no matter how many times I have run it, it is always nice.

The first 1.5 were really cold – my face was frozen!  I also had to put my hand into a ball because the gloves I had on were doing nothing! It took awhile for me to warm up today!  The first KM went by fairly quickly. I felt comfortable, but was concerned about KM 3 and 4. At the 1KM mark, I noticed my garmin was about 100m off. Not sure what happened there, but it stayed that way for the entire race. I really didn’t glance at the watch too much though. I did try and stay under 6:00 per KM though. I did for the most part.

I felt like I was moving fairly slow though – even though the garmin was saying I was on my average 30:00 min pace time. I think it must have been all the extra layers!  I turned around at the halfway mark and grabbed a cup of water. At the 3K mark I started to slow down, which I kind of knew was going to happen. I really need to work on KM 3 and 4 if I want to PB at all this year. KM 1 and 2 were under 6 minutes, while KM 3 and 4 were at 6:00 and 6:09, which isn’t bad. I do want to get a bit faster and it is these two KM that really end up being slow. Oh well!

I reached the last KM marking and just concentrating on finding that red finish line. I wanted to stop and walk, but didn’t and kept trucking along. At the last 500 metres, I kept a close eye on my watch for the 5KM mark. Either my Garmin was waaaaay off, or the course was, because I hit the 5K mark about 100m or so before. I turned off the Garmin at that point and marked my time (29:46). I crossed the finish line at 30:30 with a chip time of 30:22. I will take it!

I finished and caught by breath. One guy decided to upchuck close to me – gross. After a week of all three of us having tummy issues, I skidaddled out of there quick! I then made my way back to the gym. There was water available right at the doors and some food and coffee. I just grabbed my stuff and went to meet P and Max who were waiting in the jeep. We stopped at the Timmy’s for a victory coffee and donut

My costume:

I wore my standard MEC and Running room attire, but topped it off with a green tutu, green hair headband and Irish gloves. Running in a tutu isn’t that bad! I would have worn my green running top too if the weather cooperated!




It was a good race! It was affordable, was a fairly small race, but not too small and was well organized. This race may have to go on my race calendar every year as my March race! I would have liked to have had nicer weather, but that is up to the weather gods! I do really think a 5K PB is in the cards for this season – I just have to get out there and run a bit more! I am hitting that 30 minute time pretty consistently – so it is time to kick it up a notch!

Next Race:

Mother’s Day 5K at the Aviation Museum! Who is going?!?


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  1. Stephanie@nowirun.com

    Love, love LOVE your costume! You’re adorable!
    Glad you had a good race and that you were feeling good ~ nice time, too!! 🙂

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      hehe thanks 😀

  2. Brittany

    YAY for the first run of the year!! Great job and I love your costume!

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      Thanks 😀

  3. Mary

    Your Garmin was not off – the race course was 100m longer than 5km! The same thing happened last year too and I thought they would fix it, but looks it’s going to stay that way! Glad you enjoyed the race – I always enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day race too!

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      K – so I’m calling it – sub-30 5K then 🙂

  4. Nicole

    Congratulations! That’s a pretty respectable time! Your costume was great. I hope to dress up for a race this year.

    Did you have gloves over your fingerless gloves? I find my fingers take forever to warm up. I started using hand warmers on the really cold days.

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      I did – I had warm gloves underneath the St Patricks Day ones – My fingers would have had frost bite if I didn’t!

  5. Anna

    Great time!!! Love your costume 🙂

    1. Rebecca (Post author)



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