The morning of the 11th, I woke up before the kids in our Motel in Canmore (with a real honest to goodness Wall Bed!) It was a beautiful day, about 10 degrees, but was due to go up a bit. I tried to calm myself, remember why I was there and what I was going to do.
09:15 rolled around, my brother in law and I were lined up with close to 600 other people, of all shapes and sizes. I had my running list playing on the iPhone (copyright Apple industries, inventors of the internet) which consisted of everything from Thousand Foot Krutch to Honeymoon Suite, to Tommy Tutone…..(867-5309-9-9….now it will be stuck in your head dear reader…bwaa haa haa)
The gun went off, and armed with the prayers of my family, my training, and a couple of high fructose syrup powered gell packs, we went off.
The first mile or so, I was just overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. I’m glad I had the phone to track my pace, because it would have been very easy to get caught up in the pace of who was around me. As the first couple of miles churned out, the crowd started to spread out. I found a group of people doing approx my pace, and stuck with them…passing them if them slowed, tripping them if the tried to pass me…
I kept to my pace the whole track…I wasn’t going to be the fastest, but I wasn’t planning on walking up any hills either! I passed quite a few people on the hills who were taking a breather, who would then have to pass me later on…probably grumbling something about having to pass the pasty Clydesdale runner (a term for those of us not built like a classical runner ie anyone who has ever looked at a pastry or chicken wing in their lifetime!) It’s supposed to be an endearing term, which is hard for me to imagine considering a large sweaty horse used to pull carts full of cheap beer is hardly an endearing image…but I digress.
I was doing really well until that home stretch. The last turn, about 300 meters hit, and I was overcome with emotion. The experiences of the last nine months came flooding over me. As I crossed the finished line at 2:14:53 chipped time, I found myself tearing up.. I had finished what I had promised a dying friend I would, even though as I said it I doubted it..and I did it like he would have. Just put my head down, and be too stubborn to stop…thanks Bret. We can talk about it over a latte someday in heaven (I have a hard time imagining a heaven without lattes!)
So what’s next? I’m not too sure….over the last 9 months I’ve gone from someone doing this for a promise, to someone doing this because I love to run. I’m going to keep running, without direction…(I kind of like it that way : ) ) I can always come up with another race, another time. Either way, stay tuned… : )