It’s no secret that I am not a big fan of the town I grew up in. I had some good times there, but there were some not so great times. Once I left I realised how little it had to offer, but 12 years later I’m might just be reconciling with my home town.
I ran my first half marathon in May 2003, I ran it with my Mommy. We trained together and if it hadn’t been for the company I never would have made it. I remember her and I driving in large squares trying to map out 18km and 20km routes (long before “map my run” was on the scene). Of course because we were using a car’s odometer we ended up on dreary main roads in the area, and to be honest there was really nowhere else to run. Mommy and I grinded out many kilometers on sidewalk-less four lane roads, with cars honking at us, drivers throwing things at us and of course if it was wet, a never-ending stream of “puddle spray”.
With Dan and I now in the final stages of planning our “great escape” my running has been very sporadic, add to that living between Toronto and Newmarket, and never being sure where my running clothes are it was inevitable that I would eventually need to do a long run in Newmarket.
Thankfully things have changed a lot, and Mommy pointed me in the direction of the Tom Taylor Trail. I decided to head out north on the trail and ran all the way to its official finish.
From there I decided to continue on a well trodden path I spotted. That got interesting when a) I realised I was running through a field that some of my friends and I used to go and drink in and b) there was bloody construction.
I didn’t feel like going back around, so I just bush whacked along the fence to get back to the main trail.
Back on the main path I headed south, which took me past Bayview Park where all my elementary school cross-country meets took place. It’s changed a lot but still brought a smile to my face thinking of all the fun times I had running through the muddy park.
I decided to turn around when I hit some more construction, but was able to run back up the opposite side of the river back to the exit point closest to home. The best part of the day was yet to come when Mommy (and Dad) took Dan and I out took a new locally owned restaurant. I always detested that we only had chain restaurants to choose from in Newmarket and was pleasantly surprised to be shown the revival of our downtown. And most importantly, they served good beer.