Edmonton Marathon August 18, 2019
It’s race time in the beautiful city of Edmonton! Having watched hours upon hours of Oilers VHS tapes while growing up in Scotland, Edmonton will always be cool for me.
The Expo was excellent. That giant signed poster was put up at the start line, we watched Graffiti Salad make some awesome art, and I customized my own shirt. There was a bit of extra pressure after adding a 42.2 to the back!
I was so tempted by the beer garden but managed to resist. Instead I stocked up on some new flavour GU gels (not for the race) and a bunch of other race-nibbles.
Soon it was time to get ready for an early start....
I second guessed my outfit when I saw the forecast change to rain in the morning and went with a longsleeve top. Even in the wind and rain I was too hot for the first half of the race. Since I had the early start I was able to text Kev to make sure he didn't make the same mistake.
The Piper at the gates (start line) of dawn. What a lovely way to begin a race. I feel right at home.
For most of the first 10k I am fighting the urge to just lie down at the side of the course and go to sleep. This is clearly going to be tough today.
After the first turnaround I spot the lead 2 men, they pass me at great speed around 12k. Remember they started an hour behind me. A guy passing on the other side yells 'you're in third place!' I'm still laughing about that at 15k.
A string of very fit speedy people pass and eventually we are approaching halfway. Based on how I'm feeling it would make sense to call it a day here. I know the second half is going to suck. But I haven't seen a kitty yet (I have a streak going), I wouldn't be able to wear my shirt (the 42.2), and...
...What Would Gary Roberts Do? Not quit, that's for sure. If Gary can skate on a broken leg, I'm finishing this race. As I cross the midway line, the Half winners are finishing on the other side. It's awesome to watch how powerful they are.
It's a very lively stretch and I'm enjoying the spectacle of literally the entire Half field passing by on the other side.
One does not argue with a tank. At 27k I 'only' have 15k left and that's an amazing thing today.
We turn in towards the gorgeous green river valley AND A THING HAPPENS. I can't even deal with how sweet and precious this friendly little fuzzball is.
Well my kitty-marathon streak is intact, how about that! I spot this sign and think about Dad.
The next 10k winds in and out of housing, my wits are unraveling and it feels like I've been out here for months. MONTHS. We have lost the Halfers and it's much quieter. The air is so fresh, the temperature is perfect and I'm very aware of how beautiful all the trees are. Might be nice to lie down to appreciate it fully?
I don't have a photo but the nicest person in the world has set up a stand with Coke (!) and chips (!) and Twizzlers (!) - not a mirage. YES. I tuck part of my Twizzler in my top pocket for motivation.
This is one of my favourite views, although the city and finish line still look verrrrry far away.
We rejoin the main road and it's case of getting one foot in front of the other. Every km sign we pass is a victory. These guys are superb, so much energy. The cheer stations are extra loud for us stragglers and it is so appreciated.
In school I read a book about a never ending journey and this is it. It is happening today. When I eventually get near the finish I can't believe it's actually there.
Trying to smile while experiencing pain in every part of my body.
So many people spared a minute to say something encouraging to me out on that course and make me feel I belonged there, it meant a lot. It's one of the reasons I love this race so much.
I earned a medal with a blue ribbon, that means MARATHON! You have no idea how happy this makes me. Another streak I maintained was seeing Roger out on the course, he's run over 100 marathons and going strong at 81...and he beat me again. I'm not even mad.
Thank you for another amazing year Edmonton, although I get slower every time the race gets better every time. Pic from the day before as I was barely able to shuffle back to the hotel for a shower after the race. Nobody wants to see that.
My spectacular bling, it's even better in person.