My day started out with a 4.30 am wake up call to prepare to get myself ready and out the door to head down town to catch a 6.15 am shuttle bus to the start line. i had a gentle 4k warm up jog in the process.
At the starting line, i had a chance to chat with other fellow runners, some of whom i know who traveled from the mainland to be here.
The weather conditions started out as foggy, but it quickly burned off and we had a hot sunny 20 degrees, which meant that sun stroke and hydration management would be critical issues. Having run this race twice before, i was well aware of the lack of water stations, so i started out carrying a quart of gatorade with me, which ultimately did not slow me down very much.
It took me 3k to get warmed up, but then i started flying. i lined up right in the middle of the pack and was consistently passing people throughout the race. i actually saw several friends and colleagues on the sidelines watching and cheering people on. Even the Mayor of the City was out shaking hands and high fiving runners.
Having done practically no running over the past 8 weeks (including no long runs), i really didn't know what to expect. i had hoped that i could maintain 6 minute kms throughout the race, and that was pretty much the goal, but to manage each k one at a time. as i hit the 6k mark, i was feeling really strong and started to push for an even faster pace. i hit half way at 46 minutes and felt confident that not only could i break my 96 minute goal, but that i even had a chance to break 90.
Well, the heat got to me a little bit and that forced me to slow down slightly, but i managed to run fairly hard and strong all the way thru. a little extra motivation hit me at the 15k mark when the runner dressed in a puffin mascot flew by me. there was no way i was going to get beat by a puffin, so i dug deep and pushed even harder, and managed to real him in from 100 metres behind.
In the end, i crossed the finish line at 94.28. if there are any pics of me at the finish, you will likely see the puffin in the background.. lol, The puffin was actually the race director for our provincial marathon, which has been renamed the 'huffin puffin' marathon. he was dressed up for publicity purposes.
Overall, it's interestingly ironic how i was extremely upset with Tely 10 runs of 1.14.07 and 1.10.48 in 2007 and 2008 respectively, but a 1.34.28 in 2010 brings me extreme satisfaction.
What makes me feel the greatest, is that i still had plenty in the tank. i feel that i could have easily continued on for a 42k run if i had to. maybe there is hope that i will not only be ready and able to participate in the puffin marathon, but that even on this hilly course, i may have a shot at a personal best time for the year.
Not that i need to compare myself to others, but given all i have been through, and given that i now weight 216 pounds, to cross the finish line right around mid-pack in this event has got to be considered a nice accomplishment! Depicted is me at about the 13k mark. as you can see, i am really struggling with the heat here. oh well, i survived! and most importantly, i crossed the finish line with a smile.