When Miles and Megan Bissky went to Abbotsford to run in the Hypothermic Half Marathon on Jan. 22, the weather was cold, they both had a cold and the path was icy.
Nevertheless, Miles took second place after running 13.3 miles and later had brunch at Milestones. He ran it in 1:44:55. Megan finished third in the women’s category and eighth overall with a time of 1:50:44.
First place went to Robert Pritchard with a time of 1:40:19.
“Our boys got a cold this last week and we hoped we didn’t get it,” said Miles on Jan. 23. “But on Thursday or so we both started to get sick.”
The Bisskys considered not running as a result of the illness, however, they rationalized that they could run slowly or even not finish. Furthermore, they would not get a refund for their $140 tickets if they dropped out.
On a normal day, Miles would have a heart rate of 168 beats per minute. On Sunday, he averaged 176 bpm despite having a slower pace. He felt his lungs filling up with something and had a hard time getting enough oxygen.
“Man, I don’t know really why I really enjoy running,” said Miles to himself at a point during his run when he started to suffer.
Miles had to push himself that day to keep his second place as a competitor kept inching closer to him.
“I saw him coming up behind me, and I put the hammer down, especially on the hills,” said Miles.
The race took participants through Ellwood Park in Abbotsford with some elevation gain comparable to trails on the top of Thacker Mountain.
“For a walking path, it was steeper than expected,” said Miles.
Miles described the race as having 40-50 people and not hyper-competitive. It felt like something to do for fun, and winning did not bring any prize money.
The race had two unique challenges — uncontrolled intersections and icy paths.
“If the traffic was coming, they weren’t going to stop, so you had to stop several times for traffic,” said Miles. “I’ve never done anything like that before.”
That morning’s weather, which Miles described as freezing, also caused icy patches especially on boardwalks.
“I definitely had a few moments I was like, ‘Woah!’ ” said Miles.
Megan could not participate in an interview on Jan. 23 with The Standard because her illness had gotten worse.