Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Race Recap: Calgary Marathon 10K & Kids Race

Sunday, London and I took part in the Calgary Marathon. This year, I was selected to join the ForeRunners team again. A group of ambassadors that represent, and promote, the race. 
This is my 4th time running the race. I ran the 10K in 2013 (58:25) the 1/2 Marathon in 2014 (1:54:39) and the 1/2 Marathon (2:05:37) and 5K last year. Last year, was also London's first official race.
2013 Calgary Marathon 10K
London's 1st Race- 2015 Calgary Marathon Kids Race
I like this event because, although it's two hours away, I consider it local. We usually stay with my Dad and Stepmom and make a full weekend out of it. This year, was no different.
London and I drove up to Calgary Saturday. We made our way straight to the Expo at the Big Four Building on the Stampede Grounds. The Expo is well organized and there's lots of vendors but, sadly, we didn't have a lot of time to explore. Because I had dropped down from the Half Marathon to the 10K there was a little confusion over where my new bib was. Eventually, I figured out I would have to re-register. Thankfully, the organizers made the process fairly quick.

 From there, London and I were off to host the We Run Social meet-up. My favourite part about the running community is how friendly everyone is! Even if you've never met before you have something in common which makes it easy to chat. I loved hearing about people's training and goals for race day!!
Sunday morning I set my alarm for 5:45 with plans to be at the race grounds at 6:30 for a group ForeRunners photo. The race didn't start until 7:30 but I like to be there early. As a Forerunner, I had a parking pass which helped me get really close to the starting area (I was about 50 yards from the starting line!!)

The 10K race started at 7:30. I snapped some pre-race photos with some of the girls and then lined up just ahead of the 1 hour flag.

 I'm hoping this race eventually considers a wave/corral system. For first timers, it can be hard to self-seed yourself. I find there's usually quite a lot of congestion, and pacing-issues, for the first few miles.
My legs were tired, from the start, but I knew I wanted around :55 minutes. I didn't set a goal for the race but I wanted to push my comfort pace. Everyone has that pace they feel like they could run forever at. Usually that's around 9:20-9:30 for me. I wanted to step outside of that comfort zone. Thankfully, the people cheering and my new playlist was helping me do that.
The course is hilly. Not bad but definitely a few decent size climbs. Since, my fall at the Vancouver 1/2 Marathon I found myself being a little cautious on the downhills. My cuts are just starting to heal, ha ha! 
I finished the first half in 28:05
Despite starting early, it was already quite warm. The course had a water stop every few kilometers so I made sure to grab a cup at every one. I still haven't mastered the art of drinking and running so it usually only ends up to be a sip and then the rest ends up down the front of me. They also had sponges which were amazing! I grabbed one just after the 4 mile mark and squeezed it over my head. It felt AWESOME!
I rounded the final corner (you end at the Grandstand which is usually packed with people cheering) and sprinted to the finish.
466/2522 (overall)
33/254 (division)
173/1631 (gender)

8:51, 8:38, 9:03, 9:01, 8:48, 8:51, 1:49 (.23)
I picked up my post-race goodies (a Jugo Juice smoothie and bag with a banana, two granola bars, chips, juice and water) and headed back to the finish area with my friend Melissas' boyfriend to watch her finish. She was running her first 10K and came in at 1:20! 

After watching more friends finish it was time to get ready for the Kids Race. London and my stepmom arrived at the grounds about 20 minutes before it was going to start. He was dressed as Robin and got a lot of people saying how cute he was (yep, I agree!) We made our way to the start area and had about 10 minutes to wait before things kicked off. 

This was London's third race this month so I wasn't sure how he was going to feel about it. Sure enough, as soon as it was go time he took off! We took about 4 walk breaks but he would quickly start sprinting when he saw someone passing him. I found myself having to sprint to catch up. His little legs are FAST!

We crossed the finish line and he proudly put his medal on and came over to give me the biggest hug! Proud mama moment!

Although it's supposed to be 1.2 Kilometer my Garmin only marked it as .93 Kilometer

Unfortunately, the post-race zone is a little bit of a mess. There's one exit and if you didn't run with your child you're outside holding up a matching bib to collect them. So, a child would step up and an organizer would yell out the number until their parent was found. I heard quite a few people complaining. I understand the safety concerns but next year, they need a separate exit for parents who ran with their kids to be able to have their matching bibs checked quickly. It would avoid some of the wait and chaos. 
Will I run the Calgary Marathon again? Absolutely! It is really fun and I love the energy of the racers and spectators.  I do wish they would go back to their previous years medals. Although, I LOVED the superhero ribbon the medals felt cheap this year (especially the kids medal which was awesome in the past!) And, while the kids shirt looked adorable on London I didn't love it for myself. It's going straight to the donate pile.

My favourite part was running with friends and watching them achieve their goals!

Congratulations to everyone who raced the Calgary Marathon!
See you in 2017!! 

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