Race Report: Levac Attack!

The third annual Levac Attack is in the books!  While we are still awaiting some final donations, it looks like this year's total will be in the order of $30,000!  But I don't want to get ahead of myself.  Let me tell you the whole story for the day of Saturday, August 25th, 2012.

We got up on time for once, and were able to get the Chariot packed in the car, along with Shark Boy's glider bike and various and sundry baby items.  The Lightning Kid was wearing a onesy from last year's event, and I had my morning coffee in a mug that was my finisher's "medal" for last year.  We made our way to Brampton and parked at a high school a couple of blocks away.  As we rounded the corner we could see a crowd with an electric energy, as everyone had been looking forward to this for some time.  My mother-in-law greeted us, wearing this year's t-shirt a bib, and raring to go.  She was going to tackle the 5.6 'Diet Coke' Event, though she was flirting with the idea of walking the 11.2 km (Coke Zero) instead - that kind of crazy can be found on both sides of our family, I'm afraid.  She ended up taking care of Shark Boy mostly for the day.  More on that later, but take note of how the different generations are all able to participate in this event; it's pretty special.

The race had 59 Adult participants, 11 kids/babies, and 21 volunteers.  Almost everyone changed into this year's race t-shirt in a show of solidarity.  Unfortunately, racing in black cotton on a hot summer day was a recipe for extra suffering, but at least we were all in it together!

Lorna is sporting the T-Shirt from the 1st Levac Attack

As John and Lorna (race founders and directors) addressed the crowd pre-race, I started trying to get our final setup ready.  The Lightning Kid was feeling tired and fussy since it was right around his usual morning nap time... and we had left the soother in the car.  Nothing like a quick sprint prior to the race to get warmed up, right?  I missed some of the giveaways/door prizes (including Toronto Raptors tickets, and mall gift cards), and the race had started without me as I neared the starting line, soother in hand.  The good news is I think LK was asleep by the time the Chariot had completed one revolution of its wheels!

We soon caught up with Shark Boy and his Omi.  Thanks to his stubborn independent streak, they'd end up short-cutting the first lap, and eating Timbits (doughnut holes to you non-Canadians) at the starting line (in fact: doughnuts are race director and Ironman John's favourite mid-race fuel, so Shark Boy is in good company).  I was annoyed at first, not because I expect a toddler to finish the race, but because I want him to understand that if you want to reap the rewards of any offered opportunity, you have to participate in all of it.  I was pleased to find out they went out for a second lap after that, and we're going to credit them 5km, OK?

The race course is a 2.8km 'loop' that does a lot of doubling back on itself to stay on the small residential streets so no-one has to close a major intersection.  It might seem a little confusing, but every turn has a marker and we had volunteers biking and rollerblading the course.  The great part is you end up running across (i.e. in the opposite direction of) other runners who are doing a greater/lesser distance, who are faster or slower the entirety of the race, giving everyone plenty of opportunity to cheer each other and share smiles, high-fives, whatever.

Taking water and walk breaks and keeping an eye out for Shark Boy every possible juncture did not make us the fastest racers (I think we might have been last to finish the 11.2 km course), but we finished with big smiles on our faces.  The Lightning Kid woke up around the 8km mark, but did not make a peep of complaint the entire race.  He's got a promising future as an endurance athlete - part of the Iron Rogue Junior Brigade - The Scoundrels of Steel!

My wife referred to him as the youngest person with Down Syndrome to complete a  11km race.  I know we can' t prove that, but why not?

There were a few participants who did the 22.4km (Coke Classic) event which is on the order of a half-marathon.  Some of these were pretty special as they had competed at Iron Man Mont Tremblant only the week before!

Levac Attack prides itself on having the best possible post-race food.  Your post-race drink, of course you could drink out of your finisher's 'medal':  this gorgeous glass stein.

Burgers (including veggie), chicken, hot dogs, salad, Kraft Dinner - a full on barbecue! And if you're a sweet-tooth like me, the deserts are the main attraction.

And that includes Ironman cupcakes and cookies!

Other special things that bear mentioning is that we were paid a visit by Miss Teen Brampton, Katherine Kenny.  Not only was she doing her duty to support community events and charity, but she benefited from Mount Sinai's care when she was born pre-maturely.  Way to give back!
N.B. She did not run in those heels.

And our friends Paul and Leslie show up every year.  Paul is an accomplished triathlete, but that's not what we're going to focus on.  Let's talk about Leslie, and I'll borrow my wife's words here to tell the story:
One of our star participants this year was Leslie Rogers!! Leslie walked 2.8 km for the first time since she suffered a massive stroke over 10 years ago. Here's a video of her crossing the finish line! WAY TO GO LES!!!

That's Paul's voice you hear cheering on his wife, and generally being awesome.

If you haven't picked up on it through reading the post, I am immensely proud to have been part of this event that not only helps a good cause, and helps families like the Levacs become what they are meant to be but includes young and old, people of diverse backgrounds and abilities.   I know we're going to do it even bigger and better next year, and I hope to meet a lot of new faces when that time comes!

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