Calgary Half Marathon May 26, 2024

I checked the weather forecast in the car before we walked over to the start and it had only a 30% chance of showers, this seems positive.  (And all kinds of lies).  

We had no issues parking (street parking is free on Sundays in Calgary), dropping off the bag and getting organized in the nice warm Stampede Grandstand. It would be awesome if the finish could return to the Grandstand as well, it's a glorious venue.  Things seemed to get super busy about a half hour before the start and the baggage drop off lines were all over the place.  There were 13600 runners and every one of them was trying to get into the wrong corral at the same time.

I line up by the 2:45 pacer to make sure I don't go out too fast.  The anthem happens, we set off.  The start line DJ is really good, I kind of want to stay.  After about a km and half which includes the underpass hill,  I drop off the pacer when I realize I'm running at a 6:55 km pace (not the 7:50 pace I expected).  Nope, sadly I cannot.  Elvis is on the zoo bridge however, so the universe is correctly aligned.  The first drizzle is upon us but that's not a big deal though it does look suspiciously grey above. 

Photo = mood.  This is the first time I've done an out and back to Telus Spark on this course and I could not hate it more.  We join the colourful masses of the 10k race at Bridgeland.  It's both hellishly busy and also nice to have loads of people around.  They are a very energetic bunch and leave us very quickly at their turnaround.  It occurs to me I'll be passing the car (with heated seats) soon but will only be halfway through the race.  

Note: running is NOT a contact sport.  Kindly respect your fellow runners in a race and don't behave in the same appalling manner as you drive the Deerfoot.  

We head right on 11th Ave, by this time the front (and possibly middle) of the Halfers are heading left toward the end.  This is when the rain gets super enthused.  As we turn we're hit with a solid wall of wind.  I have my jacket in my pack so I'm able to stop and get that out, in trying to actually get it onto myself I end up rotating like an angry x-rated Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music.  

This is a long stretch during which everything goes numb.  It looks like the apocalypse.  The bottle of Coke I stashed in my pack gives me life.  If I had run in a tank top today I can assure you I would have expired.  I even stop for a photo with my friend, oooh suits you sir.  KC has a new coat since the last time I did this.

The rain continues through Kensington and along Memorial, spoiler it did not stop until after I did.  Despite being so far off the time I wanted (2:45) I am not mad about my life for the last 6 kms.  The beer stand before the Centre St Bridge is magic.  I hope that comes back in the future. 

Look, they’re running faster than me! 

Regardless of how the rest of this lengthy ordeal has gone, one must sprint up the finisher chute.

Due to the shivering and continuing rain we just head straight to the car, I always bring chips and drinks for purposes of recovery.  My medal is coming later as they had run out by the time I finished.  I'll spare you a description of how I felt about that at the time.   

Half Marathon 39 - 3:12:03.  I actually trained pretty hard for this one, I didn't miss a set of speed repeats, tempos or long runs, but it's clearly going to take more than that after years of not running fast.  This was still my best Half since 2018. 


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