Alarm call 3:45 am. On the train at Somerset 5:20 am.
The train is packed, we've done this every year since 2012 and heading in to town with nervous sleepy runners clutching drop bags always makes me smile. We arrive quickly and walk over to indoor plumbing, meeting first time marathoner Tara en route. She doesn't know it but she's about to have a great race!
It's a perfect pre-race hang out location, I have my Energy bits then we head to the start. I manage to very-quickly-sort-of-meet our very awesome AB bloggy group then run into Leana on the way to the porta line.
Sarah, Kaella, Jen, Joanna, Sam and Ashley.
Soon the anthem is sung and we are set free into Calgary. As ever it's a lovely start into sunshine. This year I am taking some pictures! Here's my guy Elvis before the zoo bridge.
Onward to Bridgeland, I think back to running through here during my first Half. I'm pretty sure I was going too fast. I feel good this year and hit 5k a little quicker than in Portland 2 weeks ago. Next focus - East Village, keep the pace steady and breathe. BREATHE!
Oh this is awesome, I half jokingly mentioned a can of Red Bull would be a nice treat when I saw her...
Nice! Man that tastes good, I haven't had one since Uni! I head up 17th with renewed vigor, at one point we all speed up as we chase a mini donut food truck. Yep, I feel better. We turn and approach beautiful Kensington.
A brilliant 'chicken selfie' plan coagulates in my brain. Nope, that thing is huuuge. Thank you to the lovely ladies hanging out next to it for helping me out with the photo.
As we turn onto Memorial and into the sunshine I spot Rachel heading the other way, she looks awesome. This is the first time in a while I've made it to 15k and actually felt good. Heading toward the 18k underpass I catch up with Jenny, we're both feeling a bit delicate but pushing hard and getting it done.
Hello again East Village (and gorilla), we're on the home stretch. It's really hot now. There are so many people sitting in the Grandstand, wow. A glorious finish!
I grab Tina who's right there in the finish chute for some well earned celebrations.
I enjoyed that race a lot, it was all about feeling good, running steady, breathing and getting it done. Check! It felt brilliant.
At the end after medals, photos and a cold shower we are handed a bag full of food - awesome!
3 hours later, it's time for race 2.
I am running this with Rachel, Mark and Tina yay!
We line up fairly close to the front but still hit a solid wall of walkers and strollers. Yikes. Since we're not moving anyway we try to help keep the 5k out of the marathon/50k lane, unfortunately people have spread all across the street. Not cool. The police help us out before the underpass.
As we get into East Village I spot Kev finishing his 50k on the other side, the poor bugger looks knackered. After making sure he's okay I catch up with my lot and we get a little space around the turnaround before heading back.
|I borrowed this|
The amazing Martin Parnell passes us and we pause for some hugs, he's doing SO WELL. Onward again and we finish this entirely bizzare 5k together. Did I mention it was scorching hot?
You bet we took our half medals around the 5k route. And...we're...spent....
I leave everyone to help Kev out, he's finished and not looking the best. We spend an hour in the medical tent while he gets his blood pressure back up. The chips in the food bag turn out to be VERY helpful.
|Run or die indeed|
It's deserted when we come out so we grab a pic next to the backdrop. What a day.
See you next year!