Just returned from the big Marathon weekend in Ottawa.
We had a lot of skirts out on the course for the 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon events. Photos & video footage:
After working the expo and being on my feet 3 days in a row, I wasn't sure what to expect on Sunday for running the half marathon. The half marathon started at 9:00 a.m. - 2 hours after the marathon start. It was a warm sunny day already at 9:00 a.m. I did take my ritual night-before ice bath to help flush the legs, but at the 3k mark on the course, they were still feeling pretty heavy. I plodded along noticing that my first 2 mile splits were a bit aggressive as the course led us into the Quebec portion of the course. I tried to rein myself in a bit and hoped to run the 2nd half a little more agressive. Here are the splits: 6:47, 6:57, 7:17, 6:58, 7:15, 7:10, 7:06, 7:13, 7:24, 7:20, 6:53, 7:09, 6:52 - you can see where I hit the hillier portions of the course. I finished the half in 1:34:04 (garmin said 1:32:50 - wierd!) I've come to the conclusion that my garmin just doesn't work right on raceday - maybe it's the proximity to hundreds of other garmins in the pack. Anyone else experience this with their Garmin 305?
The marathon course had a few good climbs but for the most part was rolling hills into Hull, Quebec and along the Rideau canal in Ottawa. All in all it was a pretty pleasant race, a little warmer than I'd prefer, but manageable. It was really green and pretty (I missed the famous tulips - sorry, Carlene!) Where are those tulips anyway? I'm convinced they must just be on the full marathon course only. There were lots of water & gaterade stops, one sprinkler and even a sponge stop to help combat the heat. I arrived at the finish line one soaking wet drowned rat...but a cool soaking wet drowned rat in a cute new camo/aqua running skirt.
Oh yeah - I could have done without the obnoxious "space invader" dude in the red skull cap and white jersey with ipod on (you know who you are!). Apparently my new camouflage/aqua running skirt rendered me invisible because he just kept cutting me off. I understand this happens in crowded courses & that's perfectly understandable, but it was pretty thin where we were in the pack - probably only 4 of us stretched out along an entire street at that point. For some reason, this guy would keep running up next to me and than would step right in front of me as if we were going into single lane course....not once, or twice, but 3 times. I had to keep darting out from behind him and moving aside to get back in stride. He was wearing an ipod, so perhaps he didn't hear me either...or maybe he was just bitter he was getting outran by a skirt! Now I sort of understand why race directors are starting to forbid the headphones though, it can be a hazard for runners that are oblivious and discourteous to other runners around them.