Monday, May 23, 2011
4 Hours 24 Minutes
First, I would like to start by saying thanks to all the organizers and volunteers. They did a great job. A lot of work goes into planning an event this big. There were a couple of hiccups, but that is to be expected when your trying to organize over 10,000 runner plus thousands of people viewing the event. Congrats to the whole Blue Nose team.
5 months of training finally came to an end last Sunday when I ran my first full marathon. The morning started off cold, but it was nothing I wasn't use to. After all, this is Nova Scotia and the weather is unpredictable. I was very nervous on the way to the race but once there the butterflies were gone. I showed up about 20 minutes before my 9am start. Stretched, got the legs warmed up and just took in all that was around me. There was the radio station playing music and making announcements. Lots of Photographers taking pictures and news crews getting footage for the evening news. Within no time I was at the starting line. The full marathoners were up first and the crowd was counting down with the announcer the final seconds. We were off.
For me to reach my goal I knew I had to do the first half in 2 hrs. I wasn't expecting this to be an issue as 21k in under 2 hrs is pretty norm for me. Sure enough, I was at the 21k mark in 2 hrs flat. From here it was going to be tough. I wanted to hold the same pace for as long as I could. I did for about 6-8 more km then it was very noticeable to me that my pace was slowing. That was fine, all part of the plan. Continued to giv'er all I got, leave nothing behind. Around the 36-38k mark, every muscle in my body was hurting. 38k was the furthest I had ever gone. Crossed the bridge, made the final turn. I'm about 1.5k away from the finish line. The crowds were starting to pick up and I could hear the announcer and the music in the distance. Then there it was, the finish line. The crowd was cheering everyone on, the announcer was naming the runners as they cross the finish line. I saw my wife cheering me on (she ran the half), the announcer announced my name. I crossed the finish line and I was finished. 42.2k in 4:24:53 with a pace of 6:17.
What a great experience. I enjoyed every minute of it except for Maple Street in Dartmouth. That was one steep hill. This was my second marathon but first full and my 1 year anniversary since I started running. I can now officially call myself a marathon runner. All my hard work has paid off. Can't wait until next year.