On Sunday, July 22, I did something I’ve wanted to do for years. I ran the Tely 10!
Now for a lot of people, hoofing it across 10 miles / 16 kilometers probably isn’t all that big a deal. Heck, when I lived in Toronto I often walked to and from work and covered around nine kilometers a day.
But the Tely is different.
It’s a run that all of St. John’s and surrounding communities are aware of and make note. There are running clinics that can prepare you for the big day. It’s a rite of passage for a lot of runners.
On race day, there are thousands of runners who are local participants; sometimes they’re your neighbours or co-workers. And you don’t have to look far to find people from outside of the province who are in town for the race.
Last year I wanted to do the Tely, but sloppy training left me with an angry knee and I wussed out.
This year I was determined, but probably didn’t train as much as I should have…
If you’re wondering what the route looks like, the Tely 10 site has a great Google Map that lets you see the details mile-by-mile. Take a look…
Double-click on map for a closer look of the route.
So here’s how it all went down…
When the gun went off and the race started, I was in the group estimating run times to be around two hours (I figured I was being really optimistic, but what the heck!). Almost 5,000 people started slowly running at the same time. It was amazing to see, hear, and experience.
The group soon began spreading out as the faster runners went on ahead and the rest of us found our own comfy paces.
I went into it thinking I would run “10 and ones” meaning – run for 10 minutes and walking for one minute. But the momentum at the beginning was really great and I found myself able to keep up a decent running pace for the first 20 minutes. After that though, I moved into a comfortable “eight and twos” routine. I was also checking my heart rate regularly and if it started to get too high, I slowed down my pace or outright walked for a bit.
The first mile went by pretty quick. I remember passing the Coffee Matters and North Atlantic gas station on Topsail Road thinking, “Wow. One down already!” Matt was there watching and cheering me on so that helped too.
I don’t remember actually seeing the mile five marker, but I know it was around Mount Pearl Square (the former Sobey’s Square).
Mile six wasn’t far from Cowan Avenue and again, Matt was there cheering me on. I do remember feeling awesome at that point. I was more than half way and thought, “I can do this!”
Now the only incline or “hill” is around the Cornwall Avenue area and it was a bit tough, but I just kept telling myself to keep at it, sip water and remember that there was one more water station ahead.
I think the hardest part was mile eight. With just two miles left I was feeling really worn and in my head I was doubting myself. But a little voice reminded me that I managed to run eight miles already, so I couldn’t just stop now. But I did walk a little extra during that mile knowing the last mile/home stretch would be adrenillen driven and I wouldn’t want to walk at all.
By an awesome coincidence, my friend Tiffany and I crossed paths around mile nine and it was great to have a buddy for us to encourage each other along.
What a shock I received when I discovered my race time was only 1:53:39! I optimistically thought I could maybe finish it between two hours or two hours and 20 minutes. My run time was a lot better than any of the pacing I did during my limited training!
Oh and in case you didn’t notice in my photos, I was sporting my Bobble-head Ted doll during the entire race. I even bought a little carrier for him to make sure he didn’t get lost or accidentally dropped. He did bounce around a fair bit, but it wasn’t too bad.
Take a listen to the interview. It’s recorded through my cell phone while in my office. Not a great recording and you can hear a co-worker come into my office and at one point my office phone rings. Too funny.
So there you have it. That’s my Tely 10 story. Someday I want to run the Cape to Cabot (which is know as the toughest race in Eastern North America). Not this year… but at least I have something to work towards!
Here are some things I learned from doing the Tely 10:
- Have confidence in what you can do. Ten years ago, heck, five years ago I never would have thought I’d run the Tely!
- Go at your own pace. Yes it’s a race, but in my opinion the first time you run, you’re really racing yourself.
- If things don’t go well, there’s always next year or another race down the road.
- Enjoy the water stations! I had water on my running belt, so I dumped the water station’s water on my head to cool me off and drank the Gatorade they had when it was available.
- Think about packing a snack. I had some cheese wrapped up and in my belt that I munched on at times during the run. It was just what I needed when I felt like my energy was down and my stomach started making it’s participation known.
- And most importantly… have fun!! Cheer other runners on. Wave to the spectators! Enjoy yourself!
Have you ran the Tely 10 or completed another run/race that for you was a pretty big deal?