Sunday, May 24, 2009

My first official time

441 miles and my first official running time. I ran the half marathon (13.1 miles/21 kilometers) in 2 hours and 9 minutes. It was a very enjoyable run and I felt great when I finished. Adil and Charlotte were so wonderful to take photos all along the way so I have pictures that document the run. The photos above are of the marathon winner, Brian Michasiw who ran the full marathon in 2 hours and 42 minutes (which means he was running almost twice the speed that I was running for twice the distance), the female winner of the marathon, Lindsay Byers (behind the big cookie) and Patti Wilson, an elderly woman (I don't know if elderly applies to someone who can complete a marathon in 3hrs 42min) who was one of the full marathon runners who completed early.

The event had around two thousand participants who ran either 10km, 21.1km or 42.2km. I knew a few people who were running which made it fun. Picture above is of Sue ending the half marathon and of Jonathan and myself just after I finished the run. The group photo is of Bryan Swystun (from Prince Albert, he works with my brother Kevin), myself, Sue and Jonathan. Bryan is gesturing "500 miles" because I am close to reaching the half way mark of my 1000 miles.

My experience of running my first half marathon was nothing but positive. The energy generated by the large group of runners at the start of the race made the first few kilometers easy and pleasurable. As the race continued those running the 10 km broke off early to return to the finish line, while the rest of us continued as one group. At the finish line those running the full marathon had to make a turn (this being the half way point) and run another 13.1 kilometers along the river up to White Swan Drive turning around at Lenore Dr. It was great getting to see the front runners along the way as they headed into their second half. They are beautiful to watch as they make running look so easy. 

I struggled mostly on hills and tried to take take as much advantage of downhills as I could. My hand became swollen around the 16km mark and I ended up with a couple blisters on my feet. These are signs that I need to learn more about running long distances so that I don't end up with feet or hand problems. Other than that I had a few aches and pains along the way but in general I felt great. Running past our house on Spadina was fun. My brother Darren, his daughters Ashley and Danielle and Skender were outside cheering as I went by and my neighbor Rosemary was ringing a cowbell. Their cheering gave me extra energy and put a big smile on my face. I probably could have pushed myself harder but my first goal was to complete and I almost made my 2hr goal, so I'm pretty jazzed with the experience.   

On a serious note, I dedicated my run to Monique, Charlotte's sister who is in the Royal University Hospital and very sick. I am hoping that anyone who reads this will say a special prayer for Monique's recovery. She is a very kind and wonderful person who has newborn at home waiting for his mommy to return. I hope that if we all send our prayers to Monique that God will hear us and return this very special women to her family. 

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