Thursday, December 7, 2017

That time I was World Record Holder - Butterfly Barrel Race 2017

 So my friend Luke at Aerobics First wanted to figure out the best way to get runners involved in one of his charities, buying water barrels for African women, to help them transport clean drinking water more easily.  The barrels are relatively cheap for us in North America, but an essential tool for survival in may of the poorest areas of Africa. 

So what does this mean for runners in Nova Scotia? Well the barrels are designed to be pushed or pulled while walking. Walking is kind of like fast running. Running is what we do for fun and often for charities around here. And well, that means, we should run with a barrel and raise some funds.

Luke had been dying to get one of these events going for awhile, and now was the time. My run club BLT Runners agreed to enter a team of 10 runners and challenged MVR (Mountain View Runners) to do the same. We agreed to a 3km course (out and back) on flat crusher dust, and we agreed to totally have some fun. This is hopefully the start of something big, with club challenges happening all over Nova Scotia.

 So on a drizzly Sunday afternoon, BLT and MVR brought out 10 runners (and a dog), and Luke and Aerobics First began what was going to be a series of fun charities events.

What we quickly learned is that running with a barrel is hard. It goes all over the place. Pulling became the preferred method, though that was rough as well, since your stride was shortened, and it twisted your upper body. Still, from the first runner off, we had a blast.

Both teams had some great entrants, and we all had fun watching and cheering each other on.  Soon though, the fun was about to happen to me. I was running the anchor leg.

Having had the luxury of watching others, I knew some of the pitfalls. I took off, and tried to get into a rhythm that was sustainable.  You think that for a 3km flat race, you should be faster than a 5km PB pace, but alas, that really isn't the case. The best thing to do is pace by feel and ability to control the barrel.  These barrels can hold 30L of water, but for this race they were empty. Which was nice but also tough, as the barrel bounced around a lot.

I was pretty happy to see the final stretch come into view, and pushed as best as I could. I crossed the line officially at a time of 12:33. My actual run time was 12:14, but I had to replace the butterfly on my barrel before starting my lap, so that time was added in. That's another story though.

Turns out I was fastest on the day and now have the official 3km Butterfly Barrel World Record. Not sure how long that will last, but for now, I will take it.

Check out the barrel trust if you are interested in a charity that makes a difference. That day we raised money and got 6 barrels and 6 pairs of shoes. Shoes? Yes, because in Africa, the system works a little different which is great. Now 6 families will have an easier time getting water and 6 fast but poor runners will get some great shoes to begin their running careers with. 

Thanks for getting things "rolling" Luke.