We expected temps of 3° on the morning of the race but were surprised to see 11° on the weather report before we left. Awesome, a chinook! Probably my favourite running weather.
We head out in the dark and park easily in the street behind the race start area. There are leaves all over the ground, it is the perfect fall day. We wait in the warm community centre and spot different race shirts. I pop outside and there's Cori with her gorgeous new hairstyle. Michelle and Tina appear out the portapotties and we walk over to the start. This is the first time I've met Tina and she instantly impresses me with her enthusiastic swearing.
|Pic from Cori, thanks yet again!|
The crowd moves en masse so we must be starting. We run past the car through sleepy residential streets. I have a good first 2k before it all falls apart. By 8k I am struggling with stomach pain, both my knees hurt and I have hotspots on both feet. It feels like there is a very long way to go. The course winds down into Fish Creek, we cross bridges and run through trees.
The course passes the park washrooms regularly, there are no line ups and they have running water. Thank you organizers.
I remind myself I ran a marathon a month ago so surely I can do this. If I had been out training today and ran 21k at any speed I would have been happy.
The pain in my stomach won't go away, running is jarring it. We hit the big hill at 17k and I want to take my shoes off. I have all the drama. The last 4k is though residential areas again with beautiful open pathways and the smell of freshly mown grass.
With 1k left I realize this will be a PW by a good 6 mins, oh hell. I see Cori and Kevin waiting for me and want to die, I feel awful making them wait so long for me. They both had great races (Kev got a PB). Sparkly Tina and Michelle have finished just ahead of me.
Final time 2:44 exactly an hour longer than Kev. Not a trend I want to see continue.
Then the best part, a meet up in Starbucks after the race where the time flies by. I don't get made to sit in the corner by myself because I got a crappy time, we've all been there. Hot chocolate and new friends, a very happy ending.
|Michelle, Tara, Tina, Cori, Keith, Kev & Me|