ATB Relay Recap:

I actually don’t even know where to begin. I really want you guys to understand how amazing of a day this was – on all levels.

First off, in order to know how fun this race was for us you’d have to understand the alternative: ALL relay participants were to meet at 9:15am and load their respective buses to take them to their starting positions prior to race start (boring). That would mean that Lyndsey and I would be sitting alone waiting for hours well Colin & Mike (Jamie’s hubs) would be chilling at Copps Collesium for 3hrs or more – alone.

That’s really not how Spatula Runners roll….

So during our dinner outing and Grandma house takeover we devised the best possible scheme of having the maximum amount of time together!!!

We all drove in one car to Copps and got some pre race photos….

I asked the camera man if he wanted a photo of the winning team – he said he got it already πŸ˜‰ ….I just left out the part about how we weren’t going to win πŸ˜›

*we all had to exchange a shoe chip so Lyndsey had a cool pocket that cliped onto your laces. We put the chip in there and this nice guy actually let us test it – it worked. So I screwed up…which we’ll get to later*

We left Jamie at the starting line and walked back to our car and awaited her arrival for some race pics before heading out to our next relay destination….

we saw Elvis!!!!

and then got to wish Jamie off – yelling at her to hold the spatulas ‘properly’ πŸ˜‰

Then we left! Mike, Colin, Lyndz and I all got back in our car and drove to try and get Lyndsey to the next relay point.

This one was the trickest because of it’s vancinity to the start and finish of the race. We literally JUST missed sneaking through the main road before the pace truck and the elites went by….but we got there!

With enough time to pee and wait for the fastest Jamie – coming in at the 55min mark!!!! And a new PR!!! You go Girl!!! (I may or may not have pulled a “Seinfeld” and peed on the side of a building)

She was much better at carrying the team spatulas after 10k of practice πŸ˜‰

and then Lyndz and her switched off…..

As we were congratulating Jamie on her amazing performanceΒ (you can read her recap here) we got back into the car and Colin drove us all to the final exchange point (mine)

I was trying to look for Lyndsey, along with about 20 other dailymile friends and Payden. Speedy Payden was doing the two person relay and saw me and yelled as she breezed past us going super fast!!!! I want to say congrats to her for finishing 15k in 1:15!!!! YAY PAY!Β 

Then around the 2hr point Lyndsey came in!!! finishing her leg (which was 9.5k) in 1:05!!! A new PB for her :) WOOOHOOOO!!! (you can read her recap here)

She put the shoe chip on me while I got myself all spatula ready (and Mike cheered me on from the sidelines)

Then I was off!

You will notice I wore my old Brooks Glycerin 9’s (only 300 miles on them) – BEST DECISION EVER!!!!! my ankle didn’t bother me and the run felt great.

I rocked those hills! I tried really hard to pace myself but the thrill of running was just making me go forward (Jenn had warned me not to go out like a jack rabbit, but I did). I ran easy up the hills, sped down them (not at all like the plan) but I was feeling good.

My hip was taped up, I have ibuporfen and tylenol in my system and I just went with it. I did however, walk through all the aid stations. I wanted to make sure I got a good drink of water as the temperature just kept rising!

When I got to the monster hill I felt good enough to run it….so I did. I stopped briefly right before the top but then I saw a camera man and didn’t want to risk having a photo of me walking so I ran on!

When I got to the top I shouted “How come there’s no water up here!” and this random cyclist let me grab a drink from his gatorade. <—- Thank you!!

NOTE TO SELF – racing Ali hates gatorade. It made me feel so sick, I should’ve learned from the last race.

One thing I did love though were the oranges. I heard Jamie making fun of the fact that we had oranges at our Canadian races but it was so easy to pack in the side of my mouth and suck on while running. DEFINITELY found my new fuel for long runs! I loved how it sat with me.

Anyway, once at the top of the hill my legs were really bothering me. The fact that I could see where I needed to be less than 4k away sucked! it was really hard to look at that big orange “C” and know I was nowhere near it.

It also didn’t help that I had a huge “RELAY” bib on my back so people didn’t take me seriously and I swear I may have even been pushed aside πŸ˜›Β 

I saw these cool grim reapers around the 27k mark and gave one a spatula high five. I met another blogger while racing and to my surprise I actually remember her blog name – Radioactive RunnerΒ she did the whole 30k so I can’t wait to read her recap!

I think racing with music was a bad decision. I don’t like it. It really slowed me down and I think it would’ve been nicer to not have it like at Scotiabank.

Somewhere btwn the 28 and 29k mark I saw this guy stop to walk and for whatever reason (as this was happening for the whole race all around me) I yelled out “C’mon, let’s go! You got this!he said that was just what he needed and we ran on together. I said “I failing fast, my hip and legs are killing me, I need someone to pace me” so we ran on. Just after the 29k mark I said “I’ve gotta walk” my legs were soooooo heavy, latic acid argh….We stopped briefly for a short recover and then ran on to finish the race together :) I don’t know his name but I want to send a huge thank you to him because I don’t think I could’ve pulled my mind into focus to run to the finish if it wasn’t for him! THANKS!!

I passed Lyndsey and Jamie outside right before heading down this insane ramp (apparently people were falling, I’m not surprised) into the Coliseum….

I finished inside Copps at 3:12:41 for the team. I stopped my watch at 1:07 and due to the fact that I missed going over the exchange mat, that’s the only time I have….

Can you spot the blue spatulas???

Colin and Mike were inside waiting for me and regardless of my time I felt great to be done!!! I forgot how fun racing was!

As you saw yesterday I am so dang proud of everyone on our team! we literally rocked it. In hindsight we probably should’ve let Jamie do the last leg but I needed to prove to myself that I could do those hills, as I’ve only run a flat race prior.


So how was it running a race of a distance I’ve never raced prior with only having run 12 miles for all of March, running crazy hills with a hip injury to boot??

Not as bad as I thought.

I know I didn’t finish with the best time. I know that the Ali of February could’ve achieved that same race faster, I know that a fully trained Ali could’ve totally rocked it and obtained her sub 60min goal no problem. However I am still pleased all things considered.

Especially with this elevation chart:

Any time was a PR because I’d never raced it before. I seriously can’t wait to sign up for another 10k because I know my PR will be huge :)

My leg was over 11k! I noticed that a lot of people logging the whole ATB on DM had it longer than 30k too. My leg was supposed to be 10.5k but I logged 11.26k – mind you I didn’t turn off my watch until I was way inside Copps, way past the finish.

I logged the run as 7miles finishing at 1:07:17 avg pace 9:36/mile – it’s funny to me because if I think back to this training run I managed to maintain that same pace for over 18k – it just goes to show you how fast your body loses athletic ability.

Thanks Strong Stride, I am convinced you are the only reason I was able to pull that off at all! :) YAY for strength training. I definitely noticed a difference :)



1. have you ever had a race you weren’t prepared for/were injured running?? how did it go??

all I can say about this race is “I’ll take it” I feel neither really good nor really bad.Β 

2. can you believe we literally ran with spatulas??? :)

3. what’s your current 10k PR??

4. did you run Around the Bay yesterday?? did you see me/us??? πŸ˜‰

112 thoughts on “ATB Relay Recap:

    • You are so super fast Ali! – is it weird that my hip seems to hurt the same as it normally does??? it’s the rest of my body that feels torn apart! lol

  1. LOVE the race recap!! I’m working on mine right now, I hope you don’t mind that I am going to “steal” some of your photos (I’ll definitely credit you, of course).

    No, I can’t believe I ran with spatulas and this morning while I was in class I looked in my purse and saw the spatula and almost burst out laughing!!

    Definitely one of the BEST weekends ever!

    • Thanks so much Theresa! I feel the same way – I have missed so much blog reading due to this and the virtual race – I am planning on catching up today/tonight :)

  2. Running with spatulas might be dangerous for me. I would probably try to smack people in the butt when I jogged/ran by…inciting a kazillion sexual harassment lawsuits in the process.

  3. The #1 thing I love about this is how you helped a random runner and he helped you. When I was PRing a 4-mile race I remember this guy coming by me and saying “YOU CAN DO IT ALMOST THERE” and giving me a high five… I flew across the line because of him!

    Yes – I ran a 5K injured – took 3 ibuprofens and pounded the hills. It added about 30 seconds to my normal mile – but I was ok with it!

    I love the spatulas – I bet the photographers adored you all.

    First 10K is the Women’s Mini in NYC in June! I have my first 15K this Sunday. UNLESS! Do I count my RWS Virtual Race 10K????

  4. Wow!! Okay, I absolutely loved reading this recap. You ladies rocked it! Your outfits, the spatulas, your photos…everything is amazing! I think your time is fabulous, especially considering the circumstances. You’re totally right. Your next 10k is going to be ridiculous. I can’t wait until your next race!

    • Thanks so much Christina :) and I am so looking forward to it – Lyndsey suggested the Sporting Life 10k in Toronto – you should do it too!!!! we could meet up!

  5. Awesome job! My 10K PR is 1:05. I really need to get in shape to beat that this year. That is my goal.
    Also, good thing you peed on the building, you could have gotten uromysitisis poisoning and DIED! :)

  6. I don’t know if I could LITERALLY run with spatulas….without putting them in my bra or something??? My hands get so sweaty!! My face gets so hot…I feel I am constantly wiping the sweat of my brow…I guess I need to pull out the Olivia Newton rolled head band from the video “Physical” to soak up all the sweat……what a lovely “visual comment I am leaving huh?

    Way to go girls…looks like it was a wonderful day…so glad!! I am sure you will be on a “runner’s high” for a couple of days now. πŸ˜‰

    • Oh you betcha! I love waiting for races b/c then I feel really special afterwards :)

      now to pick my next one πŸ˜‰

      and the spatulas Lyndsey got us were awesome! they were all rubber/silicone so yes, my hands were sweaty on them but it’s like they were designed with running in mind πŸ˜› lol

  7. YES!!!! Those are the best pictures ever!!!!! I love the spatulas! πŸ˜€ Thats so great that you ran almost the whole thing! You guys look so happy!
    That must have been a blast!

    • Thank you!!!! I feel like we won the photo contest πŸ˜‰ …just kidding! we’ve already all got shirts.

      it was a blast – you are welcome to come join up next year!

    • Thank you! the hills aren’t too bad, it’s just that one massive one in the heat that killed me. I think adequate training would’ve made them smooth sailing ….I can’t imagine doing them after 20k though lol

  8. I love that you ran with spatulas! Congrats on conquering those hills!

    My race I wasn’t prepared for was the one that I actually switched from the half to the quarter during the race – I was 5.5 months pregnant.

    My only 10K is my virtual spatula 10K – does that count for a PR??? 1:11:50. I’m slow, but I’ll get faster some day.

  9. Awesome recap! It sounds like a fun time. Congrats on getting it done, especially with your OA! I wanted to ask you how that KTape worked for you. My knee is really bothering me lately and am thinking of trying some, or an IT band wrap.

    I’m doing the Toronto Yonge St 10K next month, if your hip is feeling better you should try it. Or there’s Burlington’s Moon in June. Or the Zoo Run which I REALLY want to do! So many choices. :)

    • Thanks Sam! I want to do that zoo 5k – not 10 πŸ˜›

      and maybe I’d be ready next month but to be honest my first priority is getting my hip 100% better :)

      the tape worked WONDERS I am convinced it helped out.

    • ya too bad, I seriously thought it was you sans helmet πŸ˜‰ but alas no, the guy must’ve thought I was hitting on him as we had a quiet eye exchange coupled with a smirk πŸ˜›


  10. Oh my gosh!!! You rocked that race!! The pics look so great! I’m running my spatula race this week! Either tomorrow or Thursday, weather permitting :) I can’t wait!! Those medals look so colorful!

  11. Such a fun recap, Ali! Sounds like you guys had a blast! I’ve never done a relay before, but this makes me want to try some time. So glad you were able to run pain-free– you had an awesome time for only running 12 miles all of last month, wow!! Glad the Brooks worked for you, I have those exact same shoes. :)

    • Thanks Laura – I tried as hard as I could….and to me, that’s racing! so I can’t really complain.

      and don’t you just LOVE those brooks, they are seriously my little babies. I think I may need to buy another pair.

  12. I followed some members of your team for quite a while yesterday, wondering what this running with spatulas was all about. Never did I notice any actual spatulas. So, to answer question 2, no I do not believe you ran with spatulas because I never witnessed this despite memorising the pattern printed on the t-shirts. That is, the backs of your shirts and a yes on #4.

    Last weekend I set a new Half-Marathon PB and was definitely not sufficently rested for ATB. My right side hamstring was tight and sore right from the start line. To answer your question #1: yesterday was 3 hours of increasing pain, exhaustion, and in general a giant struggle. I generally ran in conserving mode: slow and steady, but was still walking by km 20. This was the toughest race I have finished in a few years. My best km split was 5:20 and I recorded a 9:21 at km 28.

    For contrast, my best 10km is 44:46

    I’ll remember those pink leggings, and thanks for the pacing!

    • Congrats Matt! I can’t imagine running that whole ATB after a PB half the weekend prior! Glad you made it through :)

      I can’t speak for my other teammates, as I only saw them at the start and finish or their race legs, but I assure you I ran with spatulas in hand the entire time – where else would I put them πŸ˜‰ lol

      Jamie (our first runner) was wearing the pink leggings and she was a little more shy about the spatula holding than Lyndsey and I ;P

      I can’t wait to see the professional photos of us when they come in!!! Please send me one of you running it if you want πŸ˜€

      and WOW! one of my goals, once I’m fully recovered from this injury is to get a sub 50 10k…..but that’s most likely years away. As I still have yet to gain a sub 60!

      so CONGRATS on your awesome 10k record!!!

      • Haha I was a little shy I guess, more I don’t like running with anything in my hands and I was focusing on not dropping them. I did wave them around a bit, though!

        Yea the compression socks caused a little issue since I had to pull over once and pull one of them up! Only cost me a second though.

        • no worries Jamie – you did great and I can tell you were a little shy about running with them, but you still waved them when needed, just for me, so I appreciate that :) you had to focus on giving us the best start possible!!!!!

  13. I found you via Jamie’s blog. I adore both of your posts about this race. It sounds EPIC!! Great job ladies. Thank you for the inspiration and enthusiasm.

  14. of COURSE I can belive you ran with spatulas!!! What a great race! I’m going to run with my spatulas tomorrow : )

    I ran my first marathon with a pulled hamstring, not fun, but I did it : )

    • hahaha :) I loved every second of it…..well almost! lol

      and that is a long race to get through with a pull! you are hardcore :) and I can’t wait for your spatula race results!!!!

  15. Awesome effort! You pulled a better time than I could have injury-free :) I LOVED (with a capital LOVE and D) that you all ran with spatulas!
    That elevation chart was crazy!
    I hope all your bit and bobs (legs, ankles, hips) are feeling okay over the next few days.

    • I am hurting so much today – though I just winced through mad abs march πŸ˜› lol

      and thanks so much – I loved running with spatulas….I felt like – my blog says this – must do it! and boy was it fun….everyone yelling out “HEY SPATULA”

      one lady even said “hey look there’s a spatula runner” lol …I don’t know why she thought that was significant but I’ll take it!

  16. Awesome recap! You did rock it – all of you! I looked and looked and looked for you guys, but you were in front of us the entire time, plus we lost about 5 minutes pee’ing at 14.5k.

    I’ve never raced injured and both times that my knees have been messed up, I’ve taken the full two weeks off of running per the recomendation of the Physio. That has always worked so far!

    My current 10k PR is 57:15 from the 2011 zoo race, but I’m going to bust that one open for your virtual race this week.

    I RAN ATB yesterday as a LSD and I’m about to write it up now. Come visit when you have a chance!

    • I already visited and LOVED your LSD recap of around the bay – it must’ve been really hard to not race it :) but you did great!

      we should do the zoo run this year, I can definitely get sub 60 mins

    • Thanks Nadine – you are so right, I really wish I just forget everything once passing the finish line and forget to thank him personally. but it was nice!

  17. Yay! You did amazing- congrats!!
    You all look so cute with your spatulas!
    Answers to the questions:
    1. I did a half marathon last summer with a stress fracture. It did NOT feel great.
    2. I can’t believe you ran all that way with spatulas! I can’t even run carrying my water bottle.
    3. My current 10k PR is 45:38.
    4. I did NOT run Around the Bay yesterday, but I wish I could have seen you girls with your blue spatulas!

    • WOW jerilee that’s a fast ass 10k! <— so fast ass was needed to describe it! πŸ˜› Lyndsey bought us these awesome spatulas that seemed like they were designed for running or something πŸ˜› lol

  18. That’s such a great report. I smiled the whole way through it. I could read the happiness in every word. You did great! Your hip did great! And you should be so proud of yourself and your team.

    I ran the half marathon in Melbourne last year injured and my only goal was to finish, hopefully running the whole way. I had a ball. I ended up running with one of my squad mates who’d been sick and wanted support and company. It was great!

    • YAY! Thanks so much Char :) and my hip kills today :( but that’s alright b/c I have a REAL running specialist looking at me tomorrow πŸ˜€

      and that’s awesome about your half. Running is so much more fun with others πŸ˜€

  19. So happy for you guys!!!! Races are SO. FUN. and relays are even better! You girls did such a great job and the smiles on your faces say it all. GO SPATULA RUNNERS!

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  21. I am so so so SO happy for you! What a fantastic day, race, run, etc.! I’m SO glad you were able to do this even despite your recent hip issues and had a great time and dominated those huge hills to boot! CONGRATS!

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  23. Way to go!!!! Loved reading this recap about your race… you did awesome! i really like your pictures too.. oh and the oranges! I thought that was a great idea.. i also grabbed one. heck, i would have grabbed anything, i was so thirsty. no matter your time, be proud of yourself and rest up!

    • It really heated up near the end there – those oranges were a Godsend! and I love that I got to meet a fellow blogger :) thanks again for the shout out! Great race!

  24. !!!! I can’t believe I found this…that random cyclist was my husband. SERIOUSLY! He mentioned to me that someone asked for water and he gave it to them…meaning you! Hope it helped. :)

  25. Great job! That relay sounds like a blast and you ladies rocked….spatulas and all!

    I have to confess, I flopped on getting a spatula picture with the virtual 10K….so sorry….hectic week….and that is a pathetic excuse because most of my weeks are hectic. I love all your reminder emails though!

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