Monday, October 05, 2009

Oasis Montreal Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k

Montreal is my favorite Canadian City. It will always hold a special place near my heart, maybe it's the European charm, (or maybe because it's where my husband and I fell madly in love with each other)...or Both! Either way, I was thrilled to be making the Running Skirts debut at the Oasis Montreal Marathon expo.

A shot of the boy along the riverfront in Old Montreal

Since the hubby was away on work travel of his own, I was lucky to have the company of grandma who flew out from California to hang with me and the boy in Montreal....Hooray for Grandma! I was also quite lucky to have the company of our speedy skirt Josiane (still recovering from her injury at Quebec city 2 weeks prior) and also Annie and Isabelle from the Quebec City Marathon as my skirtthusiast french translators in the booth. Great times had by all in the running skirt booth! Or should I say "Jupe de la course"!

After running the half marathon in Oakville the prior week, I decided I was going to opt to run the 10k on Sunday. I was feeling pretty good post half marathon race and hoping to PR the 10k if all systems were a go. Upon consult with expert Josiane, I was informed that the course was not flat, but instead pretty challenging with a big uphill climb toward the last half of the course.

On race day, again we were blessed with great weather cool, yet not rainy or windy thankfully. I met some fellow skirts in the subway and we chatted our way to the start line location. I got there nice and early and had plenty of time for a good warmup and some strides before the gun went off. It was a crowded start and I quickly lost track of the women ahead of me, but tried to maintain a good pace and close the gap between myself the the next women ahead of me.

I passed a few ladies at about the 5k mark and wondered if that was a smart decision knowing that the dreaded climb was still ahead and once again, wondering if they knew something that I didn't about this course. Once I arrived at the top of the hill, I felt pretty strong and picked the pace back up and I began my journey to the Olympic Stadium finish line. The next women ahead of me was nowhere in sight! She had a great lead! All I could think about was finishing strong and greeting my mom & son at the finish line. My mom has only seen me run a few other races, but this would be the first podium finish she'd witnessed. Aw...a proud moment for me - proud that I could make her proud that is!

The Montreal Marathon course finishes in the Olympic Stadium - the last 200 or so meters is run on Stadium track - very cool. As I entered the stadium and approached the finish I heard my name over the loud speaker along with "dosieme femme" (second woman).

Here are my splits: 5:52, 6:09, 6:18, 6:39, 6:17, 6:04 - finish time 38:31 woohoo a new 10k PR!

Photo after I crossed the finish line

Podium award ceremony

Getting my silver medal from Bruny Surin, Gold Medal Olympic sprinter in the 4x100. Bruny has his own clothing and supplement line and was in the booth next to Running Skirts at the expo. As he put the medal around my neck he exclaimed a bit surprised "Hey! you are the skirt girl - great job!". (I think it surprises a lot of people that we Christy & I actually run the events after working the expos!) We truly are blessed to have our careers and our passion be one in the same.

Here's a great shot of one of our running skirt customers crossing the finish line on the jumbo tron!

Congrats to all the finishers of the Oasis Montreal Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, 5k & kids marathon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Canada Army Run

Finally - it's here....Army Run Weekend and......Skirt Camp Running Skirts!

We designed this fabulous new digital camo print with the Army Run and Marine Corps Marathon in mind. We were inspired by the high tech digi camo of our soldiers own uniforms and created our own digital camoflage print complete with our digital running girls logo in hot pink. The outcome....a very tough, yet feminine hot new skirt print! Wait, it gets better! 15% of all the sales from this new "skirt camp" line benefit wounded soldiers and their families! What a great way to show your surport of our trops and look at feel great at the same time!

Our skirts were unveiled on The A Channel Weedend Edition in Ottawa before the expo openend. It was a great way to launch the new line and announce that sales would benefit the Soldier On and Military Families Fund. The Army Run Half Marathon sold out quickly again this year - this is the 2nd year for this event and the numbers are growing! It was great to meet all the soldiers and servicemen & women at the Expo. So many camo running skirts were out on the course.

The race was fantastic! As I was lining up for the half start, I shared some words of encouragement to awesome amputee runner Rick Ball (we was going for another world record, this time the half marathon distance - he needed to beat 1:21:46). We lined up behind the row of soldiers for the national anthem and then we were off.

It was a great race! Tons of fun and it was great to see all the runners out showing their support to our military members! It was a sunny day, yet not too warm and the course was fairly flat out and back along the Rideau Canal to Hog's Back Road, Dow's Lake Pavillion and back. My legs weren't feeling too fresh after the previous 3 weeks of races, and I struggled to maintain my pace. The crowd support was awesome especially in the final stretch.

Check out the cool dog tag medals!

Rick Ball finished strong in 1:20:44 nabbing yet another world record! What an inspiration event.

Special thanks to our troops & their families for all that they do! Can't wait for 2010 Army Run!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Oakville Half Marathon and 10k

After a hard 10k effort at Quebec City Marathon last weekend, I wasn't sure I was ready to tackle the 13.1 mile distance. After all, my last half marathon was several months ago at the Mississauga Marathon post Boston in early May. I decided, if nothing else, I'd get in a long run since it'd been a while since I'd covered the distance and I could use a challenging workout. I was a bit excited about running a race without expo-leg-a-citis (tired leg condition from working expos and long days of standing on hard cold cement in the skirt booth). We had a short event on Saturday in Ottawa at the Canadian Triathlon and Running Event and a bit of a car ride back to Toronto from Ottawa, but other than that, the legs were pretty rested.

It was a great day sunny, yet not too warm in Oakville. I did a quick warmup with Michelle and then headed to the start line where I met up with Arma and Andrew. I shared with them my race plan to go out strong and try to hold on to my pace as long as I could. (I ran a 1:26 something half marathon exactly a year ago at Disneyland Half Marathon and was hoping to better that time by a minute if I could). I knew in order to do that, I would have to run a 6:30 mile pace which was a bit more agressive than my hilly 10k pace from the week prior. I was confident the first half would be easy on the flat course, but as for the 2nd half...I was certain there would be some pain & serious concentration necessary in order to hold the pace.

The gun went off and so did the pack...quite fast...especially the 1:30 pace bunny (more on that later). I sprinted out of the gates and quickly reined myself in and back to my planned pace....mile 1 - 6:24, mile 2 - 6:19 (oops a bit fast), as I settled back into my race pace I was distracted by a guy on a bike that kept cycling up near me, then falling back and then back up on my right. I was wondering to myself what he was doing and why he wasn't falling back to watch for people in need of aid, or move ahead and help with course marshaling, etc. Mile 3 - 6:27 still on pace and then guy-on-bike started talking to me. I looked over and recognized him immediately - it was Pete from Boston! Pete was one of the fellow Boston runners that shared our wonderfully warm, dry & cozy bus ride on the way out to Hopkington startline of the Boston Marathon. (He's a super fast marathoner and had just finished an ironman the week prior and is planning to pace 5 consecutive marathons leading up to a final sub 3 hour race at the Hamilton Marathon.) As I started chatting with Pete I realized (duh - he's a volunteer and a pace bike - the placard on the front of his bike read "2nd female". (yes, I'm a rookie at this and not used to being in the front of the pack...thanks for staying home today all you elite girls!) We chatted a bit and he informed me that I was currently in 2nd place with a pretty good lead over 3rd. Mile 4 - 6:34. I asked him about the course and he said it was flat as a pancake and I tried to relax and stay focus. It was great chatting with Pete - a bit of a distraction that kept me relaxed and made the kms go by faster. I remember giving him a hard time as we rounded the corner and faced a bit of a hill at mile 5- 6:43...I was a little discouraged by the incline but charged ahead trying to hold the pace...It was one of those sneaky little race course inclines that seem to go on forever. Thankfully pace bunny Pete kept me distracted with small talk until the hill was finally behind me.

All along I was also wondering if my garmin was deceiving me because the 1:30 pace bunny was about 200-600 meters in front of me the whole time. I wondered to myself, does this pace bunny know something about the course that I don't? Is he planning to go out fast and the slow down for some unforeseen challenges on the back half? I knew what my splits needed to be for a 1:25 half, and he was way ahead of me...I was taunted by the 1:30 bunny ears for the next few miles and I honestly convinced myself that my garmin must be off and that I was probably running too slow.

(me with pace bunny pete on the back half)

At about the 14k point ( if my memory serves me), we were closing the gap on 1:30 pace bunny (who was now running all alone) when his lead was reduced to about 100 meters we saw him remove his ears and tuck them into his back pocket.... I exchanged puzzled looks with pace bike Pete and asked him "Are pace bunnies supposed to quit?" and continued to close the gap. A moment later I passed 1:30 pace bunny and couldn't resist but ask him "A little fast aren't you?" He quickly retorted "only a minute or so".

I continued to plod along now starting to feel a bit of exertion and beginning to wonder when this 6:30ish pace bubble would pop....and then another friend from the Boston Bus approached on his bike. We exchanged hellos and I think he snapped a photo and shouted some great words of encouragement and then he was off to check on another comrade in the pack. At this point, I realized I was starting to close in on the lead female and it looked like I might actually catch her. It was about 13-14k into the race at this point when I was surprised by my hubby and son that had maneuvered their way to this point in the course. I wasn't expecting to see them and it was a nice surprise. I think my hubby was equally as surprised to see me being accompanied by the bike pacer in 2nd place. It was perfect timing and gave me just the boost I needed to push myself to give a little more.

With about 6k to go, I passed the first female and pushed on. I tried to pick up the pace a little and get a good strong lead, but wasn't sure if she was going make another charge or not.....again, this was all new & unchartered running waters for me. At this point I parted paths with Pete the Pacer and met a new kind man on a bike with the placard that read "1st Female". Unfortunately, I was too winded to carry on much of a conversation at this point, but grateful for his company nonetheless. I counted down the last 5k of the race which seemed to take an eternity and thought about my husband and son at the finish line and how proud I would make them if I actually won the race. As my legs and lungs screamed, I reminded myself that this was probably a once in a lifetime chance and that a little bit of pain would be so worth the victory and accomplisment of a new personal best half marathon time. (There's nothing worse than finishing a race with a little extra energy in the tank and wondering what coulda shoulda been). I committed to give it my all and tried to hold onto the pace. As I rounded the corner and started approaching the park of the finish line with 1k to go I had stretched my lead out to a nice comfortable distance and it started to sink in that I was actually going to get a PR in the half marathon and win the race! I'll never forget the feeling of accomplishment as I looked up at the time clock, broke through the tape while hearing the cheers of the crowd....woohoo a great race indeed & a course record for women!

Mile Splits:
6:24, 6:19, 6:27, 6:34, 6:43, 6:35, 6:20,6:27, 6:27, 6:27, 6:26, 6:16, 6:28
Finish time 1:25:25 - a new course record!

Sweet victory - I get my name engraved on this trophy....I wanted to keep it!

Me and the super duper fast Pedrag sharing the victory trophy (or was it tug-o-war?)
Congrats to speedy skirt Arma for a great race! Nice way to get a PB during your "Training Run" too Michelle!

Top 10 womens:
name gun chip km pace
LYNCH CINDY 1:25:25.7 25:25.7 4:03
SHARLENE COBAIN 1:27:43.3 27:40.4 4:10
JULIE CUMMINGS 1:31:26.5 31:22.0 4:21
CHRISTINE ROSS 1:34:25.8 34:18.9 4:29
CATHERINE KELLY 1:34:54.0 34:49.6 4:30
VICTORIA UPSHAW 1:36:40.0 36:37.0 4:35
ARMA AFSAR 1:36:47.8 36:40.9 4:36
NICOLE OKO 1:38:37.2 38:19.0 4:41
SHARON PAPADIMITRIOU 1:38:57.7 38:40.2 4:42
KARI VAN CAMP 1:39:09.2 39:04.6 4:42

Michelle (my warmup buddy today)

ouch - bet he's not smiling later when he hits the shower!

Special thanks to all those customers & volunteers who cheered "go running skirt lady!" along the course - it's those words of encouragement that help me dig down and push my physical limits.

Congrats to all those who ran the Oakville races!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quebec City Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k 2009

Our skirt calendar is over booked this weekend....Disneyland Half Marathon, Chocolate Half Marathon and the Quebec City Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k!

Here's a few highlights and photos from the weekend in Quebec City!

Our "speedy skirt" Josiane Oboungono and Cindy in the skirt booth at the Quebec City Marathon Expo. Josiane was back in Quebec City to defend her reigning half marathon champion title....this would be win #5.

View from the Marathon Reception

(shot from the finish line stretch)

Race day was a bit chilly & wet. We took the bus out to the 10k start and huddled in the covered shelter until the start time approached. This is a very well organized events, lots of porta potties, refreshments and entertainment (listed in order of my own priority, haha).

I still conquer that Quebec City marathon hosts the most beautiful course that I've ever run. If' you've never run or visited Quebec City, I highly recommend adding it to you "must run" bucket list! Don't get me wrong, the course can present it's share of is hilly and sometimes you get a bit of a headwind on the second half running back along the river toward the finish line. But the views along the way are well worth the suffering!

Sharing the podium with the other 10k winners.
gun time chip time pace/km 5k

38:51.1 38:51.1 3:54


39:18.9 3:57

39:50.8 39:50.3 4:00


Unfortunately our speedy skirt Josiane had a pre-existing injury flare up during the race, yet still limped in to take 3rd women in the half marathon. Congrats goes out to super mom Krista Duchene for another great race and victory! We wish Josiane a speedy recovery!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Running in Manhattan Central Park

We took a trip down to NYC this weekend for a little R&R (can you R&R in the city?). We had a great time checking out the latest in fall fashion and visiting all the local Manhattan specialty running stores. One of the (ahem) giant athletic companies is now selling polka dot, while aggravating, it is also quite flattering to see this famous international athletic company following our design lead!

Unfortunately I could not find any running events in nyc this weekend, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they actually close park avenue from the Central Park all they way to the Brooklyn Bridge every other weekend in the summer for runners & cyclists to allow them a safe place to workout and with cleaner air. It's called NYC Summer Streets - and it's every Saturday in the month of August from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Very cool!

Sunday, I headed to Central park for my long run. They hubby rented a bike with a baby seat and kept me company on my double loop around the outside of the park (12 miles total). It was another warm and quite humid day - I think I probably sweated a few pounds in water. Central Park is such a great place for runners - nothing like doing your long run with thousands of others on any given weekend day with convenient refreshment vendors.....water, gatorade, popsicle, etc. a marathon runners oasis! (They would make a killing if they added Gu & sport beans and Ultima replenisher to their offerings!). We had to bribe the baby a bit by the second loop around the park - he was getting tired of his backseat view of daddy's rump.....a chocolate & vanilla Hagen daaz did the trick. However, I think more of it ended up on the hubby' running shorts than in baby's mouth. I decided not to tell hubby what was going on in the backseat with the ever-melting ice cream until after the run. Central park is a great place for training - there are some great rolling hills that would also work for hill repeats. The loop around the resevoir is my favorite - great cityscape views from one side of the loop. Saw lots of NYRR jerseys and some other training groups along the route. No doubt in the midst of New York Marathon Training which is now only a few months away.

We "heart" NY! See you in November!

Skirt Envy Contest Running Skirts

We launched our new Skirt Envy Contest at America's Finest City Half Marathon last weekend - oh what a fun expo that made. Here's the deal - bring your man by the RunningSkirt booth at any Skirt Envy event (check out our calendar here) and get him to try on a skirt and pose for a skirt shot and you'll get 15% off your running skirt purchase. Get this, if he's a manly man (military, construction, or can drop and give us 20) we'll up that discount to 20% Check out the photos from the first Skirt Envy event - ladies, lock up your skirts!

Check out the skirt envy contest pics

Island Girl 10k Toronto Island

Autographed Book & prize basket for 2nd place

Last week was our first event as a sponsor of Multisport Canada Running Series. This new all womens' run series hosts all womens events on Toronto Island and Wasaga Beach. The island girl 10k was a great event from start to finish. My start was at about 6:00 a.m. as I drove down to the vehicle loading dock for the ferry to Hanlan's Point. This was my first experience of being in a vehicle on a ferry - I actually drove my car onto the ferry and sat in the drivers seat at the front of the boat as we traversed the lake over to Hanlan's point. Then I drove off and around the island to the start/finish area of the race to set up the skirt tent.

It was a beautiful, but quite warm & humid day and luckily - rain free. I had a great time working the skirt booth and chatting with all the loyal skirt fans that stopped by to check out the new skirt gear. Most of our speedy skirts (Josiane, Aynadis, Judika, etc) were over at the Beamsville Bench 5k race - part of the Niagara Running Series (that we also sponsor) since they are in the running for top placings in series. I decided that I might as well run the race since I needed a workout (it was saturday after all) and I could tell it would be an awesome course. The race went off at 10:30 a.m. and I quickly crafted a sign that said "Out Running, Be Back Soon!" and then abandoned the skirt tent temporarily just in time to toe the start line. I normally like to do a 20 minute or so warmup before 5 & 10k races, but this time - my warm up was the 200 meters from the skirt booth over to the start line.

And then we were off.....I took off a little under a 6 minute pace following a very speedy one in front of me and quickly drew in the reigns. Since I've been recovering from the arch strain, I haven't been doing any speed work at all so I knew this was going to be a tough run - especially in the heat (it was about 35c (90f) and 80% humidity. I took it down to between 6 and 6:30 pace as I watched the speedy girl increase the distance between us - after the 1-2k mark she was nowhere to be seen.

Whew - it was hot - there wasn't a lot of shade on the course and I was feeling the humidity. As a California native, I used to train with the Fleet Feet Sacramento racing team in the warm Sacramento summer weather (could get into the triple digits), but it's a dry heat there. Humidity is's almost like trying to breath underwater, above ground and does a number on the heartrate and core body temperature. So, yeah, it was hot...and lonely out there and it was tough to talk myself through the last half of the race. It was a beautiful and flat course around the island though - great city & lake views and a well marked course. I made sure to douse myself at each water stop to try to cool down a bit. I maintained my pace to the best of my ability and prayed for the finish line to appear. Finally - as I made my way down the finish line stretch I spotted the speedy girl about 100 yards from the finish - she was congratulating me on my run (she was already comfortably positioned among the other spectators at this time).

I got some fluids in me and doused myself again and thanked the organizers for a wonderful race course and then headed back to congratulate speedy girl on my way back to the booth. Turns out - her name is Megan Brown and she is one of Canada's fastest middle-distance runners and one of Canada's top prospects for 5000 meters event at the 2012 Olympics in England. She finished a full 4 minutes in front of me 35:59! Way to go Megan! I chatted with her briefly after the race on my way back to the skirt booth and she told me about her athlete training business. She mentioned that she trains with the Brooks Marathon group in High park and also at UofT Track.

I made my way back to the skirt booth in time to start welcoming all the "skirts" back in from the run. It is so much fun chatting with the runners and hearing their race experiences. I especially love the ones that tried their new running skirts out for the first time during the race! I love the "I told you so's" that I get to repeat over and over again as each new skirt convert comes back to report and rave about how extremely cool and comfortable her new skirt was.

Best Race Bag ever! Click to zoom in and check it out!

There are too many highlights about this event to list them all, but here are some of the top:

* each women gets "lei'd" at the finish line - beatiful leis in lieu of medals

* best race bag ever (had full size mac eyeshadow, loose face powder, gover girl eye shadow compact, cute heart shaped mirrored compact,secret antiperspirant and more)

* great powder blue & white tech tee race shirt

* awesome steel drum band at the finish line

*great race prizes (aside from the free running skirts to top finishers of course, top winners & masters recieved amazing Fruits & Passion gift baskets and autographed womens book.

*wonderful beneficiary - "look good feel better" (assisting women with cancer)

This was my favorite race so far this summer - I highly recommend fitting it into your Toronto Running Event calendar for 2010! It will surely sell out quickly after word spreads about how well organized and fun this race is.

Will post a few pics as soon as I can. See you at the island girl next year!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Running Skirts rock the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago half marathon! Oh, what a wonderful event in one of our favorite cities of all. We had a great time at the inaugural Chicago Rock 'n' Roll event. The expo was great - we had a blast meeting all of our Chicago area skirt fans. It was such a pleasure meeting you and seeing you all show up at our booth in your running skirt gear.

I had the pleasure of working the expo booth with Louise, a Chicago local and the newest member of the Skirt pack. We had a great time "skirting" all the ladies together. The funniest comment of the day was from a skirt convert who said "I don't know if I can wear a skirt to run....I have to run in my thong!". ?!? (And she was serious!)

For those of you who were quick to register (the event sold out months ago), not only did you get lucky enough to get a race entry and join the other thousands of runners, but you scored a beautiful clear sunny and wind free morning. I was one of the unfortunate many who didn't register in time.....Probably wouldn't have been the best of ideas anyhoo as I've been nursing a plantar strain in my right foot that struck post 5k races and in the middle of some hill sprint workouts. Instead of lining up with you "lucky ducky's" (as my 1.5 year old would say), I slept in & strolled up to the finish line Dunkin Donuts Cofee in hand and cheered on all the skirts!

What an amazing finish to see Kara Goucher win the race....yes, even the men! Goosebumps & Chills - what an amazing inspiration. You rock Kara - way to rock a "tune up" run. Looking forward to seeing more fantastic running at the world championships in a few weeks.

Congrats to all the finishers of this years Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon! Looking forward to returning to Chicago soon!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Magic Shoe 5k & High Heel Dash Newport Beach

Three 5ks in 3 weeks - whew! That's one way to face your nemesis of distances.
After a week in San Diego at skirt headquarters and follow up to the tough Iron Girl 5k race, we decided to strap on our pumps (in hind sight they should have had straps), and line up at the Magic Shoe 5k & High Heel dash in Newport Beach. This is a very well organized event run by coach Bill Sumner of Corona Del Mar Track & Cross Country teams. There is a 5k event as well as a 100 meter "high heel dash". Luckily the 5k was the first event in the lineup.

A few days before the 5k race in Newport Beach, we hit up Nordies for the perfect pair of pumps. How does one pick out high heels for a race?

Hmmmm - we decided it was go big or go home, and went with the hot pink 4" stiletto numbers below.

Here's a shot of Cindy test-driving the pink stilettos - note the ladies reaction in the background.

The Running Skirts booth was rockin at the Corona Del Mar track on race morning! We barely had time for more than a 2 lap warm up on the track before we headed to the start line. After the somewhat disappointing / challenging 5k the week before in Del Mar, we were convinced to get PRs today.

I realized that I left my garmin behind at the house that morning and decided to just run on feel and hopefully catch the splits from a neighboring racer. There is definitely something to be said for racing without your garmin, I find that I always run better times without it. I think that not having the garmin on allows you to get out of your comfort zone and run on feel vs actual watch time. No garmin, means no distraction and time wasted on looking at your wrist when you should be focusing on maintaining good running form and running. That was my theory for Magic Shoe 5k and I was going with it.

I like to say the best thing about running a 5k race is that they are over quickly. Every time I race a 5k, I say "never again" until I cross the finish line and say whew - glad that's over....that was fun....I can run faster next time....let's do another 5k soon! (Isn't every race like that?) I normally like to get in a good warmup before 5k races along with some stretching and strides. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time for such a warm up today, and went straight from the skirt booth around the track and out to the start line. I tried to maintain what I thought was a good steady pace (remember - no garmin) and pass any female within range. The last 1k was utterly excruciating and I reminded myself to stay relaxed and that the end was near. I was thrilled to see the clock time as I entered the track for the last 200 meters of the race. I finished in a new personal best 18:08 time (woohoo) shaving 29 seconds off my last 5k from 2 weeks ago. Christy also finished strong just over 20 minutes - a big pr for her also. We ended up 7th and 20th women, and 2nd and 3rd place a/g in a very fast field of runners (one of which was uber-fast mother of 6 kids- Ceci St. Geme - I am quite proud of the fact that I finished 12 seconds ahead of her...! Ceci has always been an inspiration to me over the years of following her running career in addition to super mom to 6 (yes that's not a type) children - she's 46 and still running fast as ever! I account this big PR to not wearing my garmin and trying to keep up and stay in front of Ceci.

After the event we had a chance to chat with Ceci and I reminded her of a race I saw her win up in Sacramento 5-6 years previously....she literally signed up for the race that morning since she happened to be in town and then proceeded to blow away the field! It wasn't just a win....she was literally minutes ahead of the whole race pack in that 5k. I felt honored to "skirt" Ceci with a cheetah pink running skirt - I can't think of a more appropriate model for our "fast cat" print running skirt. Thanks for the inspiration Ceci - keep it up!

. (read more about this amazing super mom runner Ceci in this Runners World article here)

After the 5k event we slipped out of our racing flats and into our racing stilettos?! Here's a pre-high heel dash shot!

The high heel dash was hilarious. Unfortunately, Christy and I both sprinted right out of our heels (in hindsight or for future reference.....-pumps with straps are key for high heel dases). The girl who won was wearing platform sneakers (cheater! haha)

Check out the bling bling red stiletto trophy're going down next year sneaker pump girl!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

5k Rotary Fun Run Barrie Reality Check

After missing out on the Ottawa Race last weekend, I decided a mid-week 5k would be just what I needed for a good (much-needed) speed work session. The last 5k I ran was in 2005! I had no idea what to expect one month post-boston, but my goal was to finish sub 20 minutes. I wasn't really mentally prepared for this race (just found out about it the night before) and after 24 hours of pouring rain, I was ready to scrap it altogether. At 5:45pm after a call from Val who was headed down to the lake shore to cheer on Trisha (see Boston blog post) I laced up my Brooks ST racers (haven't been worn since Marine Corps) and also loaded up the BOB jogger and headed down to the start line. I was planning on at minimum running with the baby jogger (if they were allowed) since the hubby was still en route from his city commute. I resolved that if the hubby arrived before the start, I was going to race the 5k, otherwise it would be a fun run for baby and me.

I met up with Val and learned that she had already run 15k earlier that day and wasn't planning on racing, but instead cheering along her sis Trisha & her running partner in the race. I talked her into adding one quite energetic 18 month old to the pack of kids she was already watching during the race, rolled I the BOB jogger in her direction and bolted for the start line before she changed her mined.

Right before the gun went off I looked up to see my hubby at the start line giving me the thumbs up and off we went.

My first glance down to the Garmin reported a 4:57 pace - yikes - slooooow down or you'll be sorrry I quickly put on the brakes. By 2k into the run, I remembered why I don't particularly love running 5k's hard work! I managed to relax myself and hold my pace around 6:00 minute mile or slightly under pace through the first hair-pin turnaround. As I made my way back along the out & back course, I was noticed the 2nd women was about 150 meters or so behind so I tried to pick it up a bit and increase my lead. By 3k I was feeling the exertion, but I talked myself into holding the pace and tried to stay relaxed as we made our way back down the lakeshore to the finish area. Seeing the 4k marker brought relief that the end was near and I talked myself into holding the pace for a few minutes longer (vowing to my tired body - ok, no more 5k races for another 5 years I promise if you just finish strong). As we neared the starting line, I heard looked for my number one fan & cheering section (hubby) and expected to hear cheers and congrats as I passed by. He shouted "go pass those 2 guys - you can get em!". I looked in front of me and saw the first 2 men were about 40 and 125 meters or so ahead of me. Not a chance I thought to myself (so much for positive thinking!) It was then that we realized that the start line wasn't actually the finish line also. Instead, we had to run past the start and make another hairpin turn and then return in order to cross the finish (cruel, sick race course planning!!). I saw the male leader turn in to cross what we thought was the finish line and then he popped back out as he was redirected back to the proper course. This realization that the finish wasn't quite as near as I thought sucked some more wind from my sails and I turned the 2nd hairpin corner and headed for the finish line. As I made my way down the final stretch, I saw the clock and realized that I could possibly get a personal best if I stepped on it. I finished in last race in 2005 was PR today. After I caught my breath & narrowly averted losing my lunch on my white ST racers, I said - wow - I love 5ks! They are over so quickly! (sorry legs, I predict another 5k in the near future).

Freihofer Womens Run 2009

RunningSkirts is bi-coastal this weekend at the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and the Friehofer's Womens run 5k event in Albany, NY. This weekend marked the 31st annual Friehofer's Run for Women event.

This event brings out the fastest of the fast women from around the world. I had the pleasure of meeting Benita Johnson of Autstralia (three time winner of the Freihofer's 5k with a best of 15.22). She complimented me on the camo haute pink skirt and mentioned that she too runs in skirts!

Check out the top 50 results from todays run - this is one speedy 5k:

  1   1/416  F2529 15:26.1#  4:59 Teyba Erkesso           26     3 Ethiopia          
2 2/416 F2529 15:29.8# 5:00 Mamitu Daska 25 21 Ethiopia
3 3/416 F2529 15:38.4# 5:03 Rose Kosgei 27 16 Kenya
4 4/416 F2529 15:40.8# 5:03 Genoveva Kigen 27 8 Kenya
5 1/296 F2024 15:52.7# 5:07 Ashu Kasim 24 15 Ethiopia
6 1/385 F3034 16:00.0# 5:09 Benita Johnson 30 1 Australia
7 5/416 F2529 16:06.4# 5:12 Jane Gakunyi 29 4 Kenya
8 1/489 F3539 16:06.7# 5:12 Dulce Rodriguez 36 9 Mexico
9 2/296 F2024 16:09.9# 5:13 Millicent Gathoni 23 5 Kenya
10 6/416 F2529 16:13.6# 5:14 Rene Kalmer 28 19 South Africa
11 2/385 F3034 16:15.3# 5:14 Mariya Konovalova 34 2 Russia
12 7/416 F2529 16:22.3# 5:17 Salome Kosgei 28 24 Kenya
13 8/416 F2529 16:24.1# 5:17 Tera Moody 28 22 USA
14 3/296 F2024 16:30.3# 5:19 Diane Nukuri 24 17 Burundi
15 9/416 F2529 16:37.3# 5:21 Natalia Sokolova 27 12 Russia
16 1/354 F4549 16:38.9# 5:22 Colleen De Reuck 45 42 Boulder CO
17 1/433 F4044 16:40.0# 5:22 Anzhelika Averkova 40 44 Ukraine
18 2/489 F3539 16:42.2* 5:23 Elva Dryer 37 6 USA
19 10/416 F2529 16:43.7 5:24 Marina Ivanova 27 7 Russia
20 11/416 F2529 16:45.3 5:24 Adriana Pirtea 29 14 Romania
21 12/416 F2529 16:53.0 5:27 Allison Krol 25 2956 Pittsfield MA
22 3/489 F3539 17:15.1* 5:34 Sheri Piers 38 49 Falmouth ME
23 13/416 F2529 17:16.4 5:34 Mariko Holbrook 27 26 Somerville MA
24 4/296 F2024 17:23.4 5:36 Kaitlin O'Sullivan 23 56 Syracuse NY
25 1/262 F5054 17:27.3* 5:38 Joan Samuelson 52 52 Freeport ME
26 2/433 F4044 17:32.7* 5:39 Trina Painter 42 46 Flagstaff AZ
27 1/332 F1519 17:37.3* 5:41 Jillian King 19 2351 Scotia NY
28 2/262 F5054 17:42.3* 5:42 Carmen Ayala-Troncoso 50 43 Austin TX
29 5/296 F2024 17:47.6 5:44 Jen Adams 23 59 Gansevoort NY
30 3/385 F3034 17:52.0 5:46 Mendy Taylor 32 2562 New Paltz NY
31 1/422 F0114 17:52.0* 5:46 Keelin Hollowood 14 2697 Saratoga Springs NY
32 6/296 F2024 17:56.1 5:47 Toni Wiszowaty 22 25 Plattsburgh NY
33 7/296 F2024 17:57.1 5:47 Alyssa Recny 24 57 Cortland NY
34 14/416 F2529 17:58.9 5:48 Vanessa Martell 26 2552 Penfield NY
35 3/433 F4044 17:59.4* 5:48 Paula Wiltse 41 41 Canada
36 2/332 F1519 18:04.9* 5:50 Cassandra Goutos 17 234 Saratoga Springs NY
37 3/332 F1519 18:07.5* 5:51 Brianne Bellon 17 2543 greenfield NY
38 15/416 F2529 18:09.5 5:51 Maria Varela 28 2551 Brighton MA
39 16/416 F2529 18:11.6 5:52 Trisha Byler 25 2578 Rochester NY
40 4/489 F3539 18:11.9 5:52 Hayes Murphee 35 58 Marathon NY
41 4/433 F4044 18:15.7* 5:53 Lori Kingsley 43 83 Wysox PA
42 4/385 F3034 18:23.6 5:56 Karen Blodgett 33 2555 Fairport NY
43 5/385 F3034 18:24.6 5:56 Jory Waldman 33 3915 Slingerlands NY
44 17/416 F2529 18:26.2 5:57 Lara Johnson 28 3693 Boston MA
45 4/332 F1519 18:30.6* 5:58 Sydney King 15 1852 Saratoga Springs NY
46 8/296 F2024 18:36.1 6:00 Jessica Snyder 24 3624 Rochester NY
47 6/385 F3034 18:42.0 6:02 Eileen Combs 31 82 Schenectady NY
48 9/296 F2024 18:47.1 6:03 Ashley Gorr 22 2229 Albany NY
49 10/296 F2024 18:53.6 6:05 Brittany Heninger 20 1894 Bristol CT
50 2/354 F4549 18:55.9* 6:06 Charlotte Rizzo 46 98 Broxvill

Teyba Erkesso 26 year old winner!
I didn't have the opportunity to run this 5k since the expo hours ran through race day today into the afternoon. Colson, however, had his 2nd race (50 meters) for 4 years and under and had a great time. (video coming soon).

This is a well organized outstanding event for the first time runner, race-walker or fitness walker up to the elite runner. There are also kids runs by age after the 5k. Fun for everyone. We were surprised by the charm and beauty of Albany - the architecture, river and parks are beautiful! I definitely recommend this as a destination race if you are looking for a speedy 5k and a chance to run with the fastest women in the world.

Good luck to all the runners at Rock n' Roll Marathon this weekend - see you at mile 18-19 at our Rockin Otter Pop Stop!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mississauga Marathon 2009

Can you tell spring race season is here? We are way behind in the blogging - sorry for the brevity, but here's a brief recap of the last few weeks.

Mississauga race weekend was amazing. This is the first spring marathon in Ontario 2 weeks after Boston. Here are the highlights - Judika finished 3rd women in the 10k event Saturday night. Josiane finished 3rd female in the half marathon.

(Judika wearing navy haute pink - 3rd female - 10k!)

I love this race - it has a lot of gradual downhill, some rolling hills, but overall it's a really fun and scenic course to run. I'll always have a special sentiment for this race as it was the first (only) marathon I ran with my husband*. I ran in 2004 with Arma in hopes of pacing her to a qualifier. (she had itb problems the last portion and just painfully missed a BQ by less than a minute or so). Her hubby also ran in 2004. This is a separate story with a whole belly busting comedy life of it's own - I'm gonna leave it at that for now*.

I wasn't sure how the legs were going to do just 2 weeks post-boston and mere days post 7 week holiday in Hawaii! After working the expo with weary legs on satuday p.m. I was ready to write off the race on Sunday, when I received a text message from my friend Patric "Are we still running?". Several months ago I had persuaded hin to run & train for missisauga and had completely forgotten. This text message was the little push I needed to get into the mindset for running the half on Sunday. I inquired of his race plan and he responded he wanted to run around 1:35 or so.....perfect!

We agreed to carpool down to Toronto - Missisauga race morning and we picked up Patrick on our way out of Barrie. Much to my surprise, I was informed that this was to be his first half marathon 21k run ever! Wow - a half marathon virgin who planned to run around a 1:35. Normally, I would be seriously doubtful, but I know that he is an amazing hockey player and I've seen him doing speed work on a treadmill before, so I took it in stride as we made our way to Mississauga. We started chatting about our pre-race rituual and race nutrition. When I asked him what he ate/drank before a race, he burrowed into his bag and pulled out a "Red Bull" energy drink and informed me that he never drinks when he runs as it causes him cramps. Uh-oh I thought to myself, this could be bad. Patrick informed me that his longest race was a 10k, double uh oh I thought to myself.

We were lucky to have decent weather for Ontario in May (this race always gets cool sunshine). It was a bit chilly as we lined up at the start (i wore the technical long sleeve with a technical tee over top) and my navy haute pink running skirt. Val and Arma were no where to be seen, so I started off a solo skirt along with Patrick. As the gun went off we made our way down the course. Patrick was outta the gates like a bat out of hell - I could hardly keep him in sight. I looked to the garmin and immediately slowed the ponies down over a 6:00 minute pace back to my 6:30-6:45 that I wanted to run. RJ - a co-worker of Val's and amazing speedy runner passed by me and informed me that Val was about 40 people back. I was feeling the urge to make a quick pitstop at the porta potty between 1k & 2k (full bladder) and figured Val would catch up and we could run together. I made a quick stop - in & out - and didn't see Val anywhere when I emerged. Patrick was also gone. Darn - got some ground to make up. I cruised along on pace wondering what the legs were going to do and tried to relax and enjoy myself. I caught up with Patrick around 7-8k I think -when we were approaching the school. We ran together around the bend of the school and at starting up the hill. As we were climbing the incline up out of the school area toward the next aid station I was singled out by one very large Canadian goose. I'm not sure if it was the haute pink technical tee shirt that I was wearing or what, but he took one look at me and charged toward me - beak wide open in attack mode. I still am a bit dumbfounded at what I did to set him off, but he was obviously on a mission to bit my arse! I squealed and did my best hurdle and whew! thankfully cleared the 20 pound ball of feathery fury. This pleased Patrick and everyone in the crowd and water aid station as there was an eruption of laughter. I took a minute to bow to the water stop peeps and shout out my pleasure to entertain them all and off we went up the hill. I grabbed a cup of water and noticed Patrick didn't take any. I asked him if he had anything to drink yet, and he reminded me that he doesn't drink during cardio as it causes cramping. I strong-armed him into drinking the rest of my water and reminded him that he's never run this far before and that he probably would benefit from a little water. Off we went up the hill. I was still feeling ok at this point and remember a few sizeable hills that I didn't recall from previous years races....funny how we forget or block these out. I do remember getting a nice shout out from Peter of "my next race" as we were almost down to the lakeshore. I had about 8k to go and was starting to feel my boston-weary legs twinge a bit. My goal at this point was to finish without horrible cramping and injury. With about 5k to go I was passed by another female, I questioned whether I should turn up the pace or let her go. I heard my coach in my head (he didn't think I was ready to race again) and didn't want to risk an injury. I pulled ahead a bit and held pace for the next km or so. Legs were screaming at this point, so I eased off and away she went and then 2 more. It was all I could do to finish the last 5k near pace and finish...just didn't have the juice in the tank anymore. I finished in 1:27:55 - a PR for Canada, so I'm happy with that.

Patrick finished in 1:32 - wow - an amazing time for a first half, no water or energy gels, etc.

Here a few more pics from race day.

Arma sporting her Boston singlet with the new "gold/maize" running skirt also PR'd the half marathon course! If that wasnt' enough, she ran back and helped run her hubby Andrew in for a BQ marathon 3:16:47! Nice work you two! Check out the video
& turn up your speakers - it's funny!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Honolulu Marathon Clinic Run

I had a chance to re-connect with Dr. Jack & Donna Scaff on a recent visit to Hawaii. They run a huge running & marathon training group called the Honolulu Marathon Clinic.

Jack is the man who started the Honolulu Marathon many years ago! Donna invited us out for their weekly long run on Sunday- they meet at Kapiolani park and then run various lengths up & around Diamondhead. We were staying on the North Shore during the weekend and made the early morning trek back to Waikiki to meet up with the group. We arrived just in time to catch Dr. Scaff's 10-minute talk about weight distribution and it's affect on running. ( He was one of the first physicians to prescribe running as treatment for heart disease. ) Good stuff!

Then the group broke into various smaller groups based on ability. Donna quickly pointed me to a group that was already taking off up Diamond Headand so off I went in hot pursuit (my boston legs still a bit heavy). As I made my way through the the group a familiar face shouted "Hey- what are you doing here?" I looked over an recognized my friend Jeff (from the Disney running gang).

The last time we met we were taking funny photos of "mara-thongs" at Jeff & Donna's Honolulu marathon party! We had a quick chat and then he pointed out a few others that had recently run Boston and off I went to chat with them about their races. I had a nice visit with Rosie -who had just ran her 2nd Boston PR (for those who train in the crazy heat & hills of Hawaii), apparently Boston is "fast course". We chatted about her recent races, training & PR's and tried to keep up with Jacque, who was leading the pack. Before I knew it we were headed back over and down Diamond head toward the picnic waiting at Kapiolani park. Check out the photos - we got some great action shots of the group to - you can see them on our facebook fan page here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Congrats to everyone who ran this years Boston Marathon!
It's hard to believe it's come and gone already. Ever since NYC Marathon, we've been counting down the months, weeks and finally days until our trip to Boston. This year Christy & I were finally able to run the race together - in previous years either she or I had been pregnant or new mothers or our qualifying times had expired, etc. Val & Arma were also qualified, registered and ready to go....a girls & mommy getaway waiting to happen!

We kicked the weekend off with a quick visit to the expo to check out the latest and greatest running fare. This year the official jacket was a cornflower blue and gold and there was also a wind jacket in navy & gold. We scooped up the jackets in navy/gold which was a perfect match to our new navy/gold running skirts and some "future qualifier" tees for the kiddies.

Next stop was the Marriott Copley the location of our Skirts Rock Boston party & trunk show! We had a great turnout of all our local Boston "skirts" as well as those customers that were running the marathon. It was great to meet more customers in person from around the globe and share marathon stories, great eats (including kick ass cupcakes), cocktails and fun! We had a great time sipping Ultima-tini's ,

(Brooke of Ultima Replenisher)

who could resist with names like the Ultima Raspberry Goodness, Ultima Deram'alicious and Ultima Lemon Drop to name a few. Special thanks to Brooke of Ultima Replenisher for co-hosting the cocktail party!

"Ultima-tinis & Carbo-Cupcakes from Kick Ass Cupcakes in Boston.

We unveiled our "Boston" inspired collection of blue & gold, navy & white skirts & tops. The white technical tee that reads "Skirts Rock Boston!" on the front and "You've been passed by a skirt!" on the back was the biggest hit! With the skirt tunes rockin, ultimatinis flowing and skirt gear prize drawings constantly - who knew we were all going to be running 26.2 in a few days.

Sunday morning we headed over to the Boston Tea Party, hosted by at the Cottonwood Restaurant and Cafe. We saw the 5k runners flying by during our walk over to the cafe from our hotel. The Boston Tea party is a great get together for Canadians who have traveled to Boston for the marathon. We enjoyed the great breakfast buffet (they even had gluten free bagels & bread) and Canadian camaraderie. We had a chance to chat up Alan Brooks (Canada Running Series) and got the low-down on the new Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon course (no more spit portion of the course) more beaches instead. We left with awesome goody bags that included Tim Hortons traveler mugs, full size power bars, etc. Check out the shapshot we captured with Obama!

Great times had by all at the Tea Party!

Peter from My Next Race & Cindy at the Boston Tea Party

After the Tea Party and another trip to the expo to pick up some last minute "I wish I would have bought(s)...." we headed for the famous duck boat tours. A great way to see the city and learn about it's history while staying off your feet (what you are supposed to do before the day before a big race). We had a great time on the tour and got some great photos of the cityscape from the Charles River and all the sites! We made sure to get an early dinner reservation in high hopes of getting a good night's rest before Marathon Monday!

Christy, Cindy & Val enjoying our ritual pre marathon meal of grilled salmon, brown rice & veggies! Val drove down from Toronto with her sister Trish (who is a saint btw - more on that later). Trish is a casual runner and mother of two, who was I think conned into coming along to Boston on the premise of it being a great girls getaway. Any marathoner would know that a Marathon Weekend in Boston rooming with 3 runners is anything but a typical girls getaway (cancel marathon shopping, late nights, dancing & cocktails). I think this realization started to sink in after we drug her to back to the expo for the 3rd time in 24 hours and were all in bed by 10:00 p.m. the first night.

The weather report kept changing throughout the weekend from rain, to showers, to partly cloudy and then back to rain. Everyone was on pins and needles - but we all hoped for anything but headwinds! After our pre-race dinner of the traditional salmon, brown rice & veggies with an awesome ahi & crab appetizer, we headed back to the hotel. As we stopped off at rite aid to pick up some water, and other supplies, Val started making a weird throat clearing "ahem" noise over and over again. I looked at her questioningly, and she said "I think my throat is closing - I might be allergic to something I ate". Immediately I questioned whether it might be the shellfish or something, which sent Trisha into a dither demanding that we pick up some Benadryl for the allergy. I kind of chuckled to myself and told her "snap out of it - you're not having a shellfish allergy" we are all running a marathon tomorrow and you are just wiggin out." I said "besides, are you really going to take Benadryl now? the night before you run Boston? What if you don't react to it well? " She agreed instantly and then we were on our way back to our room (Trish saying "were going to bed NOW?" it's 8:00 p.m. REALLY? GUYS? FOR REALS?) where the three of us immediately engaged ourselves in the methodic pre-marathon dance: laying out running skirt, matching tops, lacing up chip on shoe, getting race bags together, changing race outfit, re-lacing up shoes, adjusting bib, mixing ultima drinks, selecting gu flavors, etc etc etc dilly dallying with may-needs and must-haves while Trisha sat back and watched (I'm certain in horror). She exclaimed "I don't know what I was thinking coming away for the weekend with you marathon runners". We quickly answered - for support and to take photos of course! If I remember correctly we were all in bed by 9:00 p.m.. As anyone who has ever run a marathon knows, it's almost impossible to get decent sleep the night before a race. After 2 busy days in Boston on the go and not enough rest, I was feeling pretty tired and confident I wouldn't have a problem getting some zzzs. We all lay in silence for at least 30 minutes, and then Val's sighs started. You know the type - the deep sigh when you can't sleep and you want everyone else to know it! Then came pee pee relay started...first Val would get up to pee, and then Christy - of course if Christy & Val both went I figured I must need to go to....hence, the pee pee dance which continuted until at least 11:00 p.m. at which time Trisha exclaimed "AGAIN?" every time one of us would get up to go. I think I finally started to doze off (Christy said I was snoring) around 11:00 and then heard another Val SSSIIIGGGHH followed by serious stiff sheet shuffling and a big rolling flop. I quickly informed her "Don't worry Val - none of us are asleep yet!" which brough a hearty chuckle outta of all of us. "OK good", she responded. This sigh, sheet shuffle, peepee relay went on all night. Poor Val was a mess and suffered from a serious case of pre-marathon one point I think around 3:00 a.m. I woke to here her exclaim "That's it, I can't run today, I haven't slept.....we're gonna get up and drive back home before the race!" Poor Val didn't sleep all night ( I think Christy and I may have got 1-2 hours). When the alarm went off at 5:00 a.m., Val was laying in bed near tears and said "I'm not running - I didn't sleep - I'm going home". I took one look at her and said "Yeah - right - give me a break! Buck up buttercup - you ARE running Boston today - as if you are really going to drive home and not run with us! Get up and get your skirt on sister!" I reiterated that no one ever sleeps the night before a marathon and that is just the way it goes. Apparently my little pep talk was the push that she needed to get up and grab her pretty yellow running skirt and head for the bathroom AGAIN.

By 6:00 a.m. Arma was came bounding into our room with a race bag the size of Texas stuffed full like no other. Somebody's excited to run their first Boston we teased her she shared with us the contents of her bag....dry clothes - check, bananas - check, bagel - check, camera - check, gloves - check, hat - check, umbrella (?) - check, full roll of toilet paper (??) - check. She had it all! We headed down to the lobby to wait for our shuttle bus & left poor exhausted Trish to catch up on some sleep before she headed down to meet us at the finish line later.

The bus ride out to Hopkinton seemed a lot longer than I remember it from the last time I ran. We arrived in time to mill about to the porta potties and watch a film crew tape Los Angeles Police Vetern Kristina Ripatti (she was paralyzed from the chest down when shot during a robbery in 2006) who was hoping to finish the marathon in under 2 hours by hand cycle. As fellow police officer herself , Val explained to us her story and then blurted out "I guess I shouldn't be complaining, if that women can finish Boston, so can I". We headed back to the bus to get race ready and relinquish our warm hoodies, jackets, long sleeves, etc. that we didn't intend to run with. It was chilly sunny and windy morning. We were told to expect headwinds all the way into Boston along the! By the time we make our way through the crowds to our various bag checks, it was time for the first wave to start. We snapped a quick pre-race photo together, shared good luck hugs and wishes and then headed off to our respective corrals.

After a goose-bump rendering of the national anthem, and air force jet fly-by we were all pumped and ready to run! It took several minutes to cross the start line and I was pleasantly surprised by a "Go RunningSkirts!" shout out by the announcer, who turned out to be Sue from the Disney Running series. Thanks Sue - great work on getting us all pumped up at the start!

As expeced, the marathon did not disappoint, and despite the chilly temperatures and strong winds, the crowds prevailed and cheered us the entire course. Our "You've been passed by a Skirt" technical tee was a great conversation peice along the course. I loved hearing guys explain "ouch - that hurts" and "Oh - love the outfit" by the ladies as we ran along. As I reached the halfway point a few minutes ahead of even pace and the screaming girls at Wellesly College, I realized the real race was about to begin. I don't know if it was the increasing hills or the increasing head winds or a combination of them both, but that last half of the race was very difficult this time. Here are my splits - you can see where the hills really started to hit home
mile26-8:00 (no finish line "horse to the barn" sprint this time! It was all I could do to keep jogging across that finish)

Here's our official stats:

8701 Cindy 37 F Barrie ON CAN USA
Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:22:06 0:43:57 1:05:58 1:28:13 1:33:01 1:50:31 2:13:51 2:38:02 3:02:06
Finish Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
3:13:06 3258 234 195

10411 Val 35 F Barrie ON CAN USA
Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:23:36 0:46:27 1:09:30 1:33:03 1:38:11 1:56:46 2:21:48 2:48:22 3:14:39
Finish Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
3:26:17 6143 847 700

11820 Christy 37 F Cardiff CA USA

Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:25:02 0:49:49 1:14:29 1:41:37 1:47:06 2:06:33 2:32:11 2:57:33 3:22:54
Finish Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
3:34:08 8478 1668 1294

Bib Name Age M/F City State Country Ctz *

12331 Arma 36
F Toronto ON CAN

Checkpoints 5k 10k 15k 20k Half 25k 30k 35k 40k
0:25:10 0:49:24 1:13:37 1:38:34 1:43:59 2:03:37 2:29:21 2:55:52 3:21:14
Finish Pace Projected Time Official Time Overall Gender Division
3:32:22 7961 1468 1161

As we all met up at the finish line, we were freezing! We headed back to the warmth of our hotel (decided to skip the ice bath) for now and treated ourselves to warm showers and a big hot meal of cheeseburgers & fries accompanied by a bottle of bubbly.

It was great to see all the Running Skirts out along the course - congrats to all on finishing a challenging marathon! Hope this finds you all enjoying a speedy recovery. Cheers & Happy Running!