Monday, June 1, 2009

Running accomplishments

Andrew and I ran our first official 1/2 marathon race, which we took part in on Sunday morning in Calgary. Our race started at 7:00 a.m., meaning we had to get up at 5:30 a.m. We left our friend Michelle's place at 6:00 a.m. and head over to the nearest LRT station. All runners participating in the various races that day were given permission to ride Calgary transit for free. By the time we reached the stop for the starting line the train cars were packed with runners. The race started pretty much on time. Approximately 4,000 people participated in the half and full marathon race and so it took us 5 1/2 minutes after the starting tone went off before we even crossed the starting line (each runner is timed by a RFD chip attached to their shoe, so even though it took us a while to start the race, it didn't affect our time).

We spent a lot of the first part of the race dodging people (a number of participants sign up just to walk) and trying to get into a spot where we could run at our regular speed. We actually spent much of the course passing people (which made me feel good) and we weren't passed too much by other runners. The weather was wonderful for the run. The sky was clear and sunny and there was very little wind. I had started out wearing a long sleeved top under my vest, but managed to wriggle out of it (my bib was pinned across my vest over the zipper) when I got too hot. The course at Calgary was pretty flat, which made the running fairly easy. In Edmonton we train on a course involving 2 enormous hills. Around the 15 km mark I was getting a little worried that I was going to burn out, but I managed to keep on going. Our goal was to complete the 21.1 km course in under 2 hours and our official finishing time was 1:57.19.

Interesting things along the way:
Early on in the race (maybe 1 km in) while running up a major road we came along a couple of cars that had some how managed to turn onto the course. I'm not quite sure how they missed the 1,000s of runners on the road or how they got past the road blocks, but there they were, quite unable to move. Musicians were stationed along the route including: a Celtic fiddler, an accordionist, a drum core, a steel drum band and an Elvis impersonator—I think he was the first one I'd ever seen live (he was singing "I can't help falling in love" as we ran by).

Our official stats:
Andrew: finished 991/2836 overall, 612/1114 men, 100/163 men between 25-29 yrs, finish time 1:57:19, averaged 5.34 min/km
Andrea: finished 992/2836 overall, 380/1722 women, 101/334 women between 25-29 yrs, finish time 1:57:19, averaged 5.34 min/km



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