With Around the Bay less than a week away, the race’s Grim Reaper is getting ready to haunt another running of the event. Tim the Grim, as he calls himself, has been helping runners through the last few kilometres of the race for over a decade.
He answered a few quick questions about the course change and how he approaches his haunting of the race.
Canadian Running: How have you been preparing in the cold winter to reap the race this year?
As the Grim Reaper, I am always ready for those who think that running the Bay is easy. It doesn’t take too much practice to pick out those who forgot to train, or forgot that by 28K they are ready to give up the ghost for me.
CR: When you’re not haunting the course, what’s a day in the life of the Grim Reaper like?
Besides the usual bill payments, and training for my own races, I tend to get out and cheer people on in various other races, or volunteer at races, especially those of the Burlington Runners, of which I am a member.
CR: The hill before the cemetery has been removed from the course. Do you think this will affect people’s moral as they approach you, not as tired as other years?
I think this year people are going to think that the race will be easier, but then it isn’t a big hill and they are going to have a tough time with the rest of the course. And getting past me!
CR: How do people react to you? Presumably there are plenty of runners who didn’t expect to stare death in the face during a road race.
I am glad that most people enjoy me being there. When they see me, they realize that there are only a couple kilometers left to race. Though I do tend to surprise those who haven’t done the race before and aren’t quite ready for the Grim Reaper to appear. I will also admit that I enjoy the kisses that sometimes come my way. Even dead people like that.
CR: What are some of your most memorable experiences at Around the Bay and what is it that keeps you coming back?
I come back year after year, not for the fast/elite runners, but for the rest of the amazing crowd. The people who think they can get past me, who struggle to prepare and especially for those who just need something to smile about late in the race.
I love how I can help push people to the finish. That is what is important to me.
You can get in touch with Tim the Gim through email: firstname.lastname@example.org