Raised $4,026 for Fragile X Research. Ran a PB. Didn’t do walk breaks. What a great day.
I had a couple of lofty goals in my mind walking to the start – running continuously for the full 42.195km (no ten and one walk breaks) and maybe a PB (under 3:55:06).
The rain was steady and I was worried that the entire run would be a miserable, wet, windy mess. But just before the horn sounded, the rain tapered off and stopped. I started just past 8:40am with light sprinkles falling, but I was sure that wouldn’t last.
Sure enough, just before College St. heading north on University, we ran into a monsoon of rain. It was pouring. For 100ft. Then it was gone. It didn’t rain a drop after that.
The first part was lovely – running with the huge throng across Yonge, up Church to Bloor, west past the ROM and then south through U of T. The downhill stretch after Bloor was a great time to make up some time. 3km of steady downhill and I took advantage.
Lots of Familiar Faces
I saw Ginny, Lindsey and Mac at 7.5km and stopped for some hugs. Then I saw my parents at Bathurst and took my first of five gels. I was feeling good so I took off and continued down to the Lakeshore and out to Parkside.
I love this part of the course because the time flies as you can scan the oncoming runners for people you know. I saw Angela (3:45 represent!), Alice T., Ian from Team Fragile X and a few more Team Fragile X runners doing the half.
Back into the city and we hit the split where the half marathoners head north up Bay St. and the full marathoners head south to Queen’s Quay. Connie (in town for ICANN) was at the 20km mark and I stopped for a sweaty hug.
Back on the run and it was down to Queen’s Quay, over to Cherry St. and down to the loop at the lake. Miguel was on his bike and I saw him for the first time here. I was running strong, and remarked to him that I hadn’t stopped for a walk yet. He took off to go harass…errr…cowbell some other runners.
The Ugly, Desolate Section
The stretch along Commissioners St. is tough. My legs were tiring and I was wondering if I could run the whole way and hold the pace I was running. I kept going, made the turn south on Leslie, then back north towards Lakeshore.
I saw Jay here – he was rocking his first full marathon but was slowing with some cramping. I eventually passed him around the bend where Lakeshore becomes Woodbine.
The Beach and the Turn for Home
Then I hit the Beach. Kudos to everyone here – the cheering was amazing and came at a time when I needed some energy from the crowd. Out to Beech and then back west towards the city. I saw Peter Blair and family (second time, actually) and mentioned that I ran a PB for the 30km (2:40:17 – nearly three minutes under my best Around the Bay time).
Eventually we made the quick out and back to Kingston Rd. and then it was all westbound running towards downtown – just 6km to go. Eastern Ave. is tough. There’s not a ton of support, and it’s at this point that my legs were really starting to give up. I ran the hill over the DVP (ran!) and was really glad to see Miguel again at this point. I asked him to pace me home and make sure I didn’t walk. I knew my PB depended on running that hill – I mentioned it to the guy beside me and it was true in the end.
No Walking! PB!
I walked for 8 seconds through a water station (Miguel was calling out the seconds – I promised no more than 10 seconds) and got going again. It was team CCRR next and my amazing long-time running buddy Nicole M. was there with the biggest cheers of all. One lousy kilometre to go. The support through St. Lawrence was amazing and I made the zig-zag onto Wellington, then north onto Bay knowing a PB was within reach. At 100m to go I saw Ginny and the kids again (and Marie A., Mike L., Linda B. Nalini and I think my mom as well) and ran by, pushing through to the finish.
Watch stopped – 3:53:59. I hoped that was accurate (it was). So happy.