When my older sister said she wanted to run her first half marathon the first thing I asked was "What race have you picked?"... I asked in hopes that it was a race already on my "to run list" or it was somewhere kick ass. Her immediate response was Rock n Roll Nashville; on my list AND kick ass. Before she had decided to run her first half we had already had quite a few conversations about the Rock n Roll Marathon Series and those usually revolved around me going on and on about how much I enjoyed their races for numerous reasons including the locations, the bling, the swag and the atmosphere; I should've know that she was going to go with the Rock n Roll Series, but I obviously wasn't thinking. So it was decided - Raquel and I were going to run Nashville, which would make it Rock n Roll half marathon number 4 for the year. I was pretty excited to head to Music City, not only because it was Raquel's first half, but because it was going to be the first trip we've ever taken together!
We opted to fly out on the Wednesday morning and head back on the Saturday night so we could run a local 10k on Sunday morning - crazy I know. Only downside to making these plans was missing out on the concert that goes on the evening of the races that Martina McBride was headlining; next time we're staying the whole weekend.
Wednesday was just a day of getting settled in and grabbing dinner before just relaxing and calling it a night. We had travelled all day and on top of that we were switching hotels Thursday morning and staying closer to downtown and all of the race locations (the expo and the start/finish lines).
Now Thursday was a different story; after relocating, Thursday was day 1 to explore the city and hit up the expo.
Raleigh was going to be my third Rock 'n' Roll half for the year and I chose it solely based on the fact that it was one of the closer locations, making it a more affordable trip; after all planning 10 of these trips, most of them solo, isn't the cheapest thing to do. I'll be honest, I didn't really do much research for this run outside of booking my flight and hotel - I just knew I wanted to stay somewhere that was at max a 15 - 20 minute walk from the start/finish line and race expo. I'm pretty sure my lack of research at this point had something to do with the fact that I was just getting slightly frustrated with finding 10 races to do that worked with my schedule.
I booked my flight to arrive into Raleigh on the Friday considering it was the least expensive option and the trek with the layovers was about half a day, which would give me all of Saturday to explore before heading back home on the Sunday after the race. After what felt like the longest day of travel of life I decided that once I got to the hotel that I was going to stay in for the night, order in dinner, and then just hangout before heading off to bed so I could get a relatively early start to the day.
Saturday I put on my walking shoes and decided to hit up the expo and then hit the town, it just so happened that as soon as I got to the expo I started to hear about the rolling hills in Raleigh and I started to wonder to myself if it was too late to back out; with how my knee had been feeling I knew I was going to be taking it easy. The expo was very similar to the other RnR expos I'd been to - tons of free goodies and very well organized; I was more focused on getting out and exploring the city so I didn't really stick around much.
I doubt Raleigh would've ever come up on my travel radar if I wasn't running there, but it definitely has a lot to offer; it's truly a beautiful city. In my exploration of the city I found myself some really good cupcakes and beer, so it was definitely what I would consider a successful carb-loading day.
As per usual the night before the race I was having trouble getting to sleep... I wonder if the nerves will ever pass. Anyway, not sure what time it was when I finally fell asleep, but thankfully when I woke up in the morning I was feeling pretty good. The only downside to where I decided to stay was that it was a good 15-20 minute walk from the start/finish line so I had to leave earlier than I have in the past. Thankfully the weather cooperated and it ended up being a great warm up.
Now when people say that Raleigh has rolling hills they aren't lying. I have to say that these are the most fierce hills that I've had to conquer to date and as much as Raleigh is a beautiful place I'm not sure that I'll be back to run the hills any time soon. Unfortunately with the combination of my laziness as of late, my lack of training, the issues with my knee and the rolling hills I didn't run my best, but I finished! After 10k or so I started to take walk breaks that became longer and the running happened fewer and further between, but I knew that I needed to take care of myself more than I needed to be a speed demon. I'll finish sub 2 hours some day, I just don't think 2015 is the year for that. This year is all about maintaining strength and positivity and taking care of myself.
Gun Time - 02:37:24
Chip Time - 02:25:32
5km Split - 00:29:38
10 mile Split - 01:47:06
Pace - 11:07 (in miles)
Overall Place - 3497/5614
Division - 355/560 (F 25-29)
Gender - 1785/3398
Washington, DC made Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon number 2 for the year and I was excited for reasons beyond the extra piece of bling that was going to be coming my way in the mail after finishing the race. Not that it really matters to anyone else, my youngest sister, Stephanie, moved to Washington, DC in the fall of 2014 to attend Gallaudet University and since she moved I had only seen her 2 or 3 times, so I was more excited to see her than I was to run another half. Just being honest.
I got into DC on the Thursday evening and Stephanie graciously picked me up from the airport and we were headed for an evening full of the University Party scene. Originally I was going to be staying with her on the Thursday night and a hotel close to the start line on Friday night, but it turned out that her Spring Break plans changed slightly so I opted to stay with her both nights and save myself some cash. Now some might say that this probably wasn't the smartest choice considering I was running a half marathon Saturday morning, but spending time with my sister was far more important to me than the race.
On Thursday we had a late, but great night; I played beer pong and flip cup for the first time, and I have to say The Bettencourt Sisters make a pretty kick ass team. I was up until some time between 0300 or 0400 and it was an early morning wakeup since Stephanie had a class at 0900. Being up at around 0800 is when I started to feel it; I knew my body needed more sleep and probably better substance than the 6-pack of Blue Moon that I fed it the night prior. After her class we spent the day hanging out and enjoying quality sister time, so much so that I almost forgot about the race expo.
We made it to the expo with just enough time for me to pick up my race bib and shirt and then we were off to dinner and to spend more quality time together.
I tried to make sure I was in bed at a decent hour Friday night, especially since I was running off of 4 hours of sleep from the night before, but I got into bed at about 10PM and probably didn't fall asleep until after 12AM. I knew that when my alarm went off it wasn't going to be the greatest, but I knew that regardless of how the morning started I'd be crossing another finish line at some point.
SO I swore that after running at Disney for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend that I would always be prepared for various types of weather, but apparently I lied. Not only was it an early wakeup call on a fairly restless and sleepless night, but it was also a cold and rainy morning that I wasn't prepared for. Stephanie dropped me off at the start line for about 7AM and by the time the race was about to start at 0730 I was drenched and freezing cold, mind you it felt like it was well over an hour that I waited.
Now thankfully since I've been running for almost 2 years I've gotten faster, which means I'm in a corral that's closer to the front and today it meant a lot to me. I was glad to be across the start line in just about 15 or 20 minutes, since theoretically it meant I'd be spending less time outside and I was that much closer to getting warmed up.
I started and wasn't doing too bad, I figured nice and easy until I can warm up, but it felt like that moment never came. Around mile 6 my knee did something funky and I wasn't the same going forward. Throughout the rest of the race I found myself taking walking breaks, which did wonders for my knee until I started running again. The amount of time I was running started to become less and less and I got closer to the finish, while the amount of time I was walking started to increase. I was slightly disappointed in myself once I started walking, but it was around mile 7 that I reminded myself that a mile is a mile regardless of how long it takes you to complete it. I knew I was going to finish and that's all that mattered to me at that point.
I finished and not in my best time, but that didn't matter to me. What mattered was that I had the courage to keep going and that I listened to my body and took breaks when I needed to. Probably one of my most difficult races to date due to the combination of weather and pain and I have to say I handled it pretty well.
Looking forward to my next race and hopefully I'm in tip-top shape by then!
Gun Time - 02:31:31
Chip Time - 02:24:48
5km Split - 29:56
10km Split - 01:05:27
10 Mile Split - 01:46:10
Pace - 11:03 (in miles)
Overall Place - 9780/15321
Division - 1507/2316 (F 25-29)
Gender - 5391/9512
Looking back on the last 2 days of running in the Frozen 5k and the Enchanted 10k I realize that I really shouldn't have complained about those wakeup calls because today was just brutal. I can't even remember what ungodly hour my alarm went off at, but I do know that I was walking over to the start-line at 0420 and I even took a picture to prove it (see the picture below of my Nike+ Running Watch).
It was an early morning, but I was definitely excited to get this race started. Disney recommends you show up fairly early due to the amount of people that are participating in the race along with road closures and it's a good thing we followed their advice. Michelle and I struggled slightly, and I think that's an understatement, since there were some pretty major road closures and we couldn't take the same route to Epcot that we had taken to get there for the 5k and 10k. It was slightly stressful, but thankfully we arrived with plenty of time to spare!
Over the course of the 13.1 mile journey there were plenty of character stops including Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean, Heroes (a bunch of Disney Princes), Vanellope and Wreck It Ralph!, Villains, Buzz Lightyear, and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, which were all before heading into the Castle at Magic Kingdom where Kristoff, Anna, and Elsa were along the balcony greeting us as we ran through. Then there was Woody, Snow White and her Prince, some fine gentleman with Glass Slippers, Tourist Genie, the Heroes and Jack Sparrow again, an Army Man from Toy Story, the Fairy Godmother, and then Princess Sofia. I only stopped for a few photo ops and if Michelle didn't stop with me I sprinted to catch up with her; I have to say the lines weren't too long except for Snow White and her Prince, but I couldn't resist since I had some inspiration from her for today's outfit. Just before crossing the finish line I noticed there was Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy hanging around and those were stops I wasn't going to pass up.
After the most enjoyable half marathon I've ever run there was so much to do - photo ops with my new bling (for the half marathon and the Glass Slipper Challenge), snacks to enjoy, and then more photo ops! Michelle and I decided to grab our grub and head out since it had been a very long morning and we wanted some real food; don't get me wrong the post-race grub box had some tasty treats, I was just up for some pizza pool-side.
Incase you didn't know 2015 is the year of the Gold Record (formerly known as the Rock Idol).
Last year after running in Rock n Roll Chicago and Rock n Roll St. Louis I knew I wanted to run at least 10 half marathons with Rock n Roll to reach Gold Record status (formerly known as Rock Idol status) and I figured that Rock n Roll New Orleanswould be the best way to start off the year. I should also mention that I couldn't have been more excited to find out that Rock n Roll was changing their heavy medal designs - felt like my decision to run 10 halts was being reaffirmed.
I left for New Orleans on the Thursday which gave me quite a bit of time to get acquainted with the amazing city before the race on Sunday, along with Linda and Berenice who also got in on the Thursday. Linda and Berenice are two amazing ladies (also runners) that I met through Michelle and I was really excited to experience this race and the city of New Orleans with them! Unfortunately it was raining when their flight had arrived, shortly after mine, but thankfully we were all pretty tired so we went to bed shortly after getting to the condo we were staying at in anticipation of going to the race expo on the Friday.
After waking up and having a light breakfast Friday morning the 3 of us decided to head to the race expo. Similar to the other Rock n Roll expos I have been to on the past there was a lot to offer from various vendors. The expo was large, numerous vendors, and of course great music playing. It's hard to get in and out of the expo, because there's always something that'll appeal to everyone; I'm pretty sure the 3 of us were there for a couple of hours at minimum.
The race started promptly at 0730 with the first corral and each corral starting a few minutes thereafter. It was a bit of a chilly start once I got rid of the garbage bag I was wearing, but it didn't take long for me to warm up. I started feeling fairly warm around the 4 or 5k mark, especially when I was running in the sun. I will say it was somewhat chilly at times running in the shade, but that was just motivation to run faster. I didn't go into this race with the hopes of anything, but finishing; with Disney coming up I didn't want to push myself anymore than I needed to so I just dealt with this like a training run, after all my training plan wanted me to run 12.5 miles today.
As I came across my 10k split I noticed that I was doing fairly well with maintaining my pace so I really just made a mental note to keep going, but then I hit the 10 mile split and everything in me said keep going but try to pick it up a bit. It was at this point that I knew I could PR and I did! Finished the course in 02:00:45, which knocked 9 minutes and 26 seconds off of my best time of 02:10:11 from St. Louis (if my math is correct). Couldn't have been happier... Well I could've if I finished and subbed 2 hours, but I'm happy and I'll take it.
Gun Time - 02:14:19
Chip Time - 02:00:45
5km Split - 29:42
10km Split - 58:30
10 Mile Split - 01:33:01
Pace - 9:13 (in miles)
Overall Place - 1714/7719
Division - 135/736 (F 25-29)
Gender - 683/4929
Granted the course didn't have a lot to see, but it was very ideal for a newer runner or someone looking to PR. That in combination with all that the city has to offer will definitely be bringing me back for next year's run. NOLA is definitely somewhere to visit, so why not throw a race in there? See you in 2016!
After completing my second half marathon ever, my first with the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series in Chicago, back in July of this year I knew I was hooked. Technically my obsession started in 2013 when I ran the 10k during the Oasis Rock 'n' Roll Montreal Marathon weekend. I knew I'd be running some long distances with these guys someday, but Chicago was the true test. There's just something about this series, beyond some of the most beautiful medals that I have ever seen that I immediately gravitated to. Yes, there are always so many people at these events and it can get overwhelming for a first time race participant, however the organization at these events is just so seamless that you almost feel spoiled. The environment and atmosphere created by not only race organizers, but the runners, volunteers, and spectators is something you don't always get to see.
In Chicago I participated in the first ever Remix Challenge held by RnR; a double race weekend with some extra bling. I ran the 5k on the Saturday and half marathon on the Sunday and got myself an extra medal, and let's be real who doesn't like extra bling? I knew by the end of 2014 I'd have to run another half marathon with RnR so I could at least get 1 of their heavy medals (Rock Encore). Essentially once you hit 2 qualifying events run within a calendar year with RnR you can continue to earn an extra medal (except for events 8 and 9) and you can also get extra medals for participating in events in 2 specific locations. This is where the desire to go to St. Louis came from - not only did I want my Rock Encore medal for doing 2 half marathons in 1 year, but I also wanted my limited edition Midwest Best medal for running an event in Chicago and St. Louis in the same year. Once they released the Midwest Best medal I was registered for St. Louis and it was another Remix Challenge Weekend - 1 weekend, 2 races, 5 medals.
Before I knew it my countdown was over and it was 3am on a Friday morning and my alarm was going off.. Had to be at the airport for 4am for my 7am flight. *yawn* The airport was crazy busy so I probably shouldn't have taken my sweet time leaving the house, but I did. Got to the airport for about 4:20am and by the time I had cleared customs it was 6:05am. Killed some time walking around and then it was off to Cincinnati, my first stop on the way to St. Louis. My layover wasn't longer than 45 minutes, which is good since I had the itch.. Couldn't wait to get into St. Louis and start exploring.
When I got in to St. Louis I decided to take the MetroLink to my hotel for $4.00 rather than take a cab. Figured I'd save myself some cash and get to see parts of St. Louis that I wouldn't see otherwise. The ride on the train wasn't even 30 minutes and then all I had was a 5 minute walk to my hotel, very nice convenience factor. I was staying at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch and I have to say I probably made one of the best hotel choices possible.
After checking in at about 11am and being given a room early I considered myself very lucky so I decided to get settled in. After putting everything away in my room and realizing the expo wasn't open yet I did a small grocery run - picked up some water and snacks for the weekend.
Ever since my first Rock 'n' Roll event the expo is always something I look forward to, so when it was open I was there. As always kit pick-up was very organized and I was able to change my corral for the half marathon with no issues. I walked around and took a look at what the vendors had to offer, tried some samples and bought myself a nice shirt and some pre and post race snacks. The rest of my Friday was spent with some new friends exploring the city and then it was off to dinner.
Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis 5k
I went to bed and I swear I blinked my eyes and it was 5:50am and my alarm was going off; I don't think you know how happy I was that I live on the east coast, so it was feeling like 6:50am for me. Was a hard one getting out of bed for some reason, but I powered though. Ate my breakfast while watching some early morning ESPN and then got ready. I just have to say that I LOVE staying at a hotel so close to the race start line; I did it for Rock 'n' Roll Chicagoand I couldn't be happier that I did it again. It was a pretty brisk morning so I tried to leave for the race as late as I could - left my room at about 7:20am and walked over to Kaufman Park for the 8am start (didn't take any longer than 5 minutes to walk over).
As always the race was well organized and set up with registration, bag check, port-a-lets, the info desk, and more. I checked my bag and before I knew it, there was about 10 minutes to the start of the race. I have to say (and I know this is going to sound repetitive but I have to) I love the atmosphere at these Rock 'n' Roll events! If I could run more of these in a year, I definitely would...
The race started promptly at 8am with no corrals, which is how the 5k in Chicago was. It was a pretty chilly morning, however it heated up a couple kilometres in. The course wasn't bad, except I have to say the hills took me by surprise and made me slightly fearful for the half marathon the next day. The hills didn't have the largest of inclines, but they weren't the shortest hills out there. I enjoyed it though - it's so great to run through unfamiliar territory, very refreshing. An amazing part of the 5k was having a semi-familiar face at the end cheering me on, which pushed me to sprint and finish strong.
The best part of the 5k - I PR'd!!! Beat my best time by 18 seconds from the Toronto Corporate Run back in September. Its funny because back in July Chicago was a PR for me, so I guess it seems like these Rock 'n' Roll 5ks are pretty lucky for me. :)
Gun Time - 00:28:29
Chip Time - 00:28:10
Pace - 9:03 (in miles)
Overall Place - 257/1121
Division - 17/95 (F 25-29)
Gender - 94/702
Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis Half Marathon
Had a great evening the night before the half at dinner with a great group of people, that are definitely going to become new friends. Thankfully we were all on the same page about having an early dinner so I was in bed by 9:30pm/10:00pm. Even though this was my third half marathon I couldn't contain the nerves.. Wanted to sleep but found myself back on Netflix every couple of minutes.
Gotta love a 7am start with a 4:45am wake up. Not. I was extremely groggy getting out of bed, but soldiered through it. Manage to eat and get enough water down with enough time to digest so I wouldn't get crazy cramps on the course. It was a cold morning so I was sporting my nice garbage bag jacket, which I ditched just before corral 1 started. I moved from corral 16 to corral 9 at the expo, but somehow I ended up going with corral 7 at the start. No complaints though, it was getting cold outside.
Didn't take long to warm up on the course, especially with all those hills.. You're putting in work. The elevation is something I'm not used to.. I have to admit I'm not a big fan of hill training days. It's obvious looking at my race map that my pace slowed down at a majority of the inclines; thankfully I was able to pick up the pace after each one to get back on track. Looking back I hauled major butt during this run - I didn't even know I had it in me crossing the start line, but I definitely knew I did when I crossed the finish. St. Louis gave me another PR from my first half marathon time at the Mississauga Marathon back in May; I finished with 02:10:11, which was 00:06:34 off of my best for 21k.
Definitely didn't think I'd PR on the Sunday, let alone both days. I truly had an amazing weekend in St. Louis and those PRs were just the icing on the cake. Overall just an amazing Rock 'n' Roll event, so hopefully it's one I'll be doing again next year.
Gun Time - 02:18:41
Chip Time - 02:10:11
5km Split - 31:25
10km Split - 01:01:10
10 Mile Split - 01:39:48
Pace - 9:55 (in miles)
Overall Place - 2461/6361
Division - 265/742 (F 25-29)
Gender - 1177/4080
A few days after my 24th birthday, 8 to be exact, I made a list of 25 things I wanted to complete before turning 25. On that list was running a race in another country - I didn't know it'd be Chicago, but I'm really glad it was.
I remember the day I registered for the race like it was yesterday.. I was killing time online before heading out to a movie with my younger sister, Stephanie. I had gone to sleep the night before thinking about how I was going to get this task off my list and sitting at my computer I knew I had to figure it out, especially with just over a month left until I turned 25. I sat there and debated and before I knew it I had booked my hotel room, bus trip, and registered for both the 5k on the Saturday and half marathon on the Sunday. What was I thinking?!? I ran my last half marathon at the beginning of May and my mileage had definitely dwindled - at this point part of me was even weary of the 15k race I had already signed up for in August. 12 days.. No big deal I thought, I can do this. It was going to be me, myself, and I headed to Chi-Town; 1 weekend, 2 races, 26 kilometres (16.1 miles).
Originally I figured I'd go for this half marathon, then I found out about the Race Festival Weekend - "More Running. More Bling. More Rock." 2 races in 1 weekend and you get extra bling.. Couldn't hurt, especially since those who know me know that I love my race bling.
Not sure if I should've done that addition, let alone decide to run a half marathon with barely any training leading up to it though. For those who follow my blog or know me I ran my first half marathon back in May at the Mississauga Marathon with about 15 weeks of training beforehand. Since my half in May I hadn't run any longer than 6-8k at any point in time and yet I decided I was ready for another half. With the 12 days I had leading up to the half marathon (since I wasn't so worried about the 5k) I decided to dive into the last week and a half of training I followed last time, except with the longer runs I opted to run in intervals (run 10 minutes, walk 1).
Training went really well for me, or so I thought. The intervals made me feel faster and the 15k run I did the week before heading out to Chicago I beat my fastest 10k time with 53 minutes… Not too bad. Other than that I dreaded every other moment leading up to race weekend, just because I thought I wasn't ready and I wasn't loving the idea of a 12+ hour ride on the Greyhound bus.
The time finally came and before I knew it I was sitting on a Greyhound bus at 1am headed for what I hoped would be an amazing weekend. Made it through the bus ride alright.. Slept most of the way and before I knew it I was in Chi-Town!
Shortly after checking in to my hotel I decided to head out for some sightseeing and then make my way to the race expo to pick up my stuff for the races. I had gone to the expo when I did the Oasis Rock 'n' Roll Montreal Marathon 10k so I thought I knew what to expect… Yeah, not so much. This expo was the most massive one I've ever seen (granted I haven't been running all that long), maybe 'cause it was in the US. Loved it! It was massive and had anything and everything a runner could dream of. I'm definitely looking forward to my next Rock 'n' Roll event, partially because of how great the expo was. Left the expo for more sightseeing and then it was off to bed with my 5k in the AM.
Rock 'n' Roll Chicago 5k!
Thankfully my hotel, The Hyatt Regency, was extremely close to the starting line for both days so I only left about 30 minutes before the start time of the 5k and walked over. This was probably the biggest 5k I've been to, or at least it seemed that way - music was blaring and the crowd was raring to go. There were no corrals for the race, which made it slightly difficult at the start to get to a good pace - it probably took me about a mile to get out of the pack. The course, however was gorgeous. Most of the course was through Grant Park and along the water so I couldn't have asked for anything better for a Saturday morning run. Well I could've and it was to set a new PR and I did, without even realizing it. Checked the results later in the day and there it was.. 30 seconds off my 5k time. Woohoo!
Gun Time - 00:30:02
Chip Time - 00:29:17
Pace - 9:26 (in miles)
Overall Place - 386/1162
Division - 174/737 (F 01-99)
Gender - 174/737
Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon!
Couldn't be more thankful that my hotel was a short walk from the start line since the race started at 0630.. My earliest start to date; was up at 0400 to eat and I could barely keep my eyes open. I've never seen so many corrals at a race.. I was in #26 and it wasn't until after 0700 that we crossed the start line. Understandable since there were over 13,000 people running, but it kind of kills your warmup and pre-race routine (I'll definitely make sure I consider this next time). SO my biggest run ever and I think I did alright, especially with a lack of training. For starters it was difficult since the mile markers were in miles and I'm used to seeing kilometres.. For the longest time it felt like the race was really dragging. Then my iPod went and died around mile 9 or 10, so thanks to the Lululemon cheer station for the push that I needed about halfway through. The on course entertainment/artists were phenomenal and added to what was probably the best race environment I've seen to date. It was also a nice course because as someone who doesn't know Chicago really well I got to see a lot of parts of the city that I probably would never get to see, even if I was just there on a week long vacation. Towards the end of the race I was struggling even though I doing intervals of 10/1; seeing my Nike GPS Watch pass 21km knowing that I had run the distance of half marathon and not being able to see the finish line was a bit rough, not gonna lie. Not really sure what was up with that, but it seems like after looking at social media other people found the race a bit longer than a half. Overall, I really think I had a great second half marathon, with no training.. After all I did it in under 02:30:00. It was also a pretty good feeling knowing I had just finished my first double race weekend and I got some extra bling to celebrate it. The only dangerous part now is that I'm hooked and I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot more travelling so I can participate in the Rock 'n' Roll race series.
Gun Time - 03:00:48
Chip Time - 02:26:19
5km Split - 00:33:08
10km Split - 01:09:21
10 Mile Split - 01:48:42
10.5 Mile Split - 01:54:46
Pace - 11:10 (in miles)
Overall Place - 8545/13754
Division - 905/1422 (F 18-24)
Gender - 4471/8328
This race is definitely one that has meant the most to me. I spent the past 15 weeks following a training plan in order to run and complete my first half marathon in 2:30; I have to say not only am I quite impressed with myself, but I am also impressed with the Mississauga Marathon and the amazing event they put on.
The Runner's Expo was held at the Port Credit Memorial Arena on the Friday and Saturday prior to race day and kit pick up on the day of was not available. The Expo was really easy to get to and had free parking, which made it very convenient. As soon as I walked in the butterflies in my stomach were at an all time high - it set in that on Sunday I was going to be running my first half marathon.. the past 15 weeks were all down to this one day.There were numerous vendors and everything was well organized. I ended up picking up some Bondi Bands, otherwise I was all ready for race day. The race kit came with the usual samples of various products, snacks, and an awesome shirt.
I tried really hard to get to bed early on Saturday, but nerves had me up later than I wanted to be. Before I knew it, it was 0500 and my alarm was going off. Got out of bed and immediately had breakfast along with 2 glasses of water, so I could make sure that the majority of what I ate would digest before the race. After getting ready I drove over to pick up Laura, which was en route to where the finish line parking was. There were options to park close to the start or finish, however we just figured it'd be easier to take a shorter shuttle to the parking close to the finish line. The shuttle process was very organized - there were numerous volunteers available to answer questions, and get runners onto the appropriate shuttle buses. The lineup was longer than we expected when we arrived and the shuttle we took to the start line arrived just after 0715. By the time we found a free port-a-potty it was almost time for the race to start.
The race started promptly at 0730 and everyone was off. I found that the only downside to this race was that there were no corrals. All marathon, half marathon, and relay runners started at the same time regardless of what their approximate finish time was going to be. Even pace bunnies weren't in the correct order - the 2:10 bunny was behind the 2:15. I think this may have caused some confusion for some, however I just decided that I was going to run my own race.
The course was fairly flat overall and was more scenic than I expected. Don't get me wrong some of the hills along Mississauga Road were a bit rough on my calves, but having done Run for the Toad I knew nothing was impossible. The race took us down some main roads, through The University of Toronto Mississauga Campus, very nice neighbourhoods, and the lakefront. The fact that it wasn't an out and back course made my day - I didn't know what was coming next and I was just focusing on me in the moment and the next kilometre.
I crossed the finish line at 2:16:45.8 which according to my calculations is definitely under 2:30.
I couldn't be happier about my result and can't wait for my next half marathon!
If you have any recommendations for a great course, let me know.
Gun Time - 2:18:39.9
Chip Time - 2:16:45.8
8km Split - 00:49:56
Pace - 6:29
Overall Place - 1533/2127
Category Place - 175/252 (F 20-29)
Gender Place - 685/1092
About This Page
Recaps of all of the half marathons I've run in
My Best Half
Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans (2015)