Rattle me Bones Race Review/Recap

Yesterday morning was the Rattle me Bones 1K, 2K, 5K and 10K races at the Ottawa Hospital – General Campus. This was my second time running this race, having run the 5K previously in 2010. I was a bit too pregnant to run last year, so I sat that race out. Rattle me Bones is one of the last ‘big’ races of the year and is my last race of the 2012 season.

I decided to run the 5K yesterday as I pretty much have reduced my running schedule to maybe once a week. In the next couple of weeks I make the transition to running indoors until the weather warms up (or rather when the sidewalks are less icy).  I’m glad that I stuck to the 5K plan as the 10K would have probably eaten me alive!

Here is my review of the race and a re-cap of my run:

Race Size:

Rattle me Bones (RMB) is a small-large race. Yeah, that statement is probably confusing. For those who are familiar with the Ottawa races – RMB is bigger than a Somersault race, but way smaller than Army Run or the Ottawa Run Weekend races. There were 1219 participants in the 5K, which is a really nice size! I didn’t feel squished during this race, nor did I feel alone. Almost the perfect amount of people!

Race Route:

I will give more info in my recap, but the race is essentially just on Ottawa Hospital property (keep in mind the whole campus includes 3 hospitals – Ottawa, CHEO and the Army hospital). There is a bit of a stretch on one main road, but the rest is in the hospital campus. The route was ok – kind of boring, but so is running on Aviation Parkway! The route was fairly flat with a few little hills, but nothing compared to running up that damn bridge in Army Run!

Race Kit Pick-up:

Easiest by far for my races this year. I was in and out in 5 minutes. Parking was free for 15 minutes, which was more than enough time. The race pack itself was fairly simple: bib and t-shirt. The long sleeved t-shirt was neon yellow-green this year – great for running, but not anything else! The race bib had the timing chip already attached, which I prefer to the one you have to tie in your laces (I’m lazy…).

Day of organization:

Ok, so we took the dumbass way to the hospital (Riverside to Smyth) which is NOT recommended for those running next year. Why we took that route it beyond me. The traffic was a nightmare. It took 20 minutes to travel less than 2K! Going onto Smyth from St. Laurent is a much better option for those coming from the east! The parking area closed at 8:20, and we got there at 8:45. We simply parked at the high school next to the hospital where there were lots of spots. When we got to the hospital, everything was very clearly marked. Again, with a race this size you don’t have to line up 10 minutes before and try to squeeze in the crowds trying to get around the crowd barriers. Everything was easy to find. The only thing I would suggest is more port-a-potties as my usual ‘pee-trip before a race’ became a problem.




The Race:

So, noting the above traffic issues, we got to the site at 8:45. I thought the race was at 9:15, so we had plenty of time. We parked and got Max in his stroller and headed across the big parking lot to the front of the hospital. We got there just as the 10K runners were heading out. After that I saw all the 5K people start to head to the start line (the start lines change for each race). I decided to go tinkle and stood in line for the porta-potties. After what seemed like ages, I finished there and went to take a couple of pictures of the site. We started heading up the road when one of the officials said to get off the road. When I looked at my phone I saw 9:08 and thought “okey dokey, I have about 5 minutes or so til I want to be in line”. A minute later I heard ‘BEEEEEEEEEP’  (or HOOOONNNKKK I guess) and thought “oh sugar (I’m being polite here), the race is at 9:10″. At this point I was still half a parking lot away from the start Luckily I already had my bib and costume on, so I quickly tossed P my jacket and ran to the start. I got to the start and just merged with the crowd that point. This was not where I wanted to be. For smaller races I prefer to be in the front as it does seem to make me go a bit fast and affect my overall time.

So…hold back a second and let’s flashback to 2010.

In 2010 I ran with a bunch of my students. We had a bit of a mix-up in meeting locations and some kids didn’t have their bibs. We stalled until the last possible second and I was literally in the same damn spot yesterday as I was two years ago with hearing the gun go off and I was in the wrong spot. Oh my!

Back to 2012

Although I was in a bit better spot in 2010, this time I knew I was a minute or so off from the gun start vs. my chip time. I quickly made up some space by going around the slower runners and trying to catch up to my speed group of runners. I saw P and Max, but they didn’t see me. At this time I was fiddling around with my iPod to try and get my music going. I was listening to the music from the recent Batman trilogy which went along with my ‘Batman’ Theme. Yes, that is correct, I dressed up like Batman….well Batgirl I suppose.

I ran around the hospital and eventually turned onto Smyth Road. I was feeling pretty good at this point and felt that I was moving fairly quickly. I kept passing people, but I didn’t want to go too fast. This part was the relatively flat portion of the race. Turning onto some sort of hospital road, I saw a X-Country friend/coach and cheered her on (she ran the race in 18 minutes by the way – wowzers!). We travelled down the road, turned and then headed up Alta Vista. This was the slight hill portion right before the water station. I did not stop at all and just trucked it up the hill. I got to the water station, took a cup and walked to drink. Soon as the drink was done – back at it. I turned back up to Smyth and headed back up towards the hospital.

So those ‘good running’ feelings were starting to go away and I started feeling tired. I definitely slowed down at this point (around the 3.5K mark – figures! This always happens). Turning back onto a hospital road I knew that the finish was coming up. As soon as I got to the main back road, I started booking it to the finish. At this point I saw a colleague from school and waved hello – well at least I attempted a wave, I was kinda tired. Seeing the finish line, I sprinted to the finish and went over the timing mats.

I saw the time as 9:40, which was the actual time, not that I ran for 9 hours (ha!). I knew that I got really close to a sub-30 if not actually getting a sub-30 time. I wasn’t sure though. Unlike the Ottawa Run weekend where it really does take 5 minutes to get to the mats, I was unsure whether it took me 30 seconds or 2 minutes to get to the start. I found P and Max and took a couple of minutes to catch my breath (I was done like dinner). This time I didn’t check out the snack table as it was starting to rain and I didn’t want Max to be in the rain (we did not have the Chariot). So we left and headed to Starbucks for my ritual coffee after a race.

When I got home, I checked Sports Stat for my time, which said 30:59 ‘gun time’. I thought darn, I was kind of close to a sub-30, but perhaps not this time. I didn’t notice a chip time, so I decided to check later. After an hour, the results went off-line and I had to wait til almost 9pm before I could see my chip time. Chip time was 29:40!! This is a season’s best, my 3rd fasted time. I was only about 40 seconds away from a PB. Sooo close!


I should also add at this point that I ran this race ‘blind’ with no Garmin watch nor my Nike+ app. I had no idea what my pacing time was (nor did I really care for this race). I just ran it. Could I have PB’d if I knew how close I was? Perhaps, but I think I ran a hard race! I have to keep in mind that I did not train nearly as hard, at all for this race and just ran it for fun. Unlike the Aviation Route where I get a killer downhill portion, this route was a bit more flat.

Next year I do have some plans to finally break that 29 minute barrier! But that will be for another post!

Overall, RMB is one of my fave races. One of these days I will run this race in beautiful weather! Although I would personally like to thank the Weather Gods for holding off on the rain! I would recommend this race next year for anyone in the Ottawa area. Come out and join me next year!

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  1. solargalaxy6

    Haha, that’s awesome! My friend and I saw you (with Robin) during the race, and yelled encouragement at you! It was nice to see fellow 5K’ers in costume. 🙂

    — Dorothy (with Toto in a bucket)

    1. Rebecca

      Hmmm..I wasn’t running with Robin this time! Unless he was following me….. There was for sure someone else running in the same exact costume as me. Pretty sure Batman/girl is a popular costume!

  2. Mary MacDonald

    Great race recap! I am working on mine for Rattle Me Bones as we speak (it’ll be my first recap since joining the blogging world). Great costume too by the way!

    1. Rebecca

      I look forward to reading it! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Running.Food.Baby. – Rattle me Bones is a Go

  4. Molly

    Do you know if we can sign up the day of the race?

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      I’m not sure 🙁


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