To start off this recap, I must say that for my first experience of a half marathon, I loved this experience! Everything was so organized and enjoyed the whole run (well minus a few km’s).
Before the race
The race started at 7am, so Mr.D and I were up at 5am to drive downtown and catch a c-train to the start line. We luckily got on a train on the start of the line, so by the time we reached the race stop, it was crowded. We got there at about 6:30ish and it was still pretty chilly out, but luckily the sun was making it’s way out.
I thought ahead and wore big sweatpants and a warm jacket, and I am glad I had both. I ditched both about 10 minutes before the race. I had to nervous pee (TMI?), but the lines were super long for the port-o-potties, so I decided to hold it. The race had an organized bag drop area, but because Mr.D was with me, I didn’t have to use it.
There were about 3,000 people running the half marathon, so the starting line was pretty crowded. The whole race was actually pretty crowded, but I kind of liked having people around me to ‘catch up to’ rather than running alone. I could have done without the dodging of people a lot of the time though.
Even though there was a crowd throughout the entire race, I maintained my pace pretty much throughout the race. Here is my break down:
- 5:45 <—water station
- 5:40 <—turn around point
- 5:45 <-- water station
- 5:41 <—my knees were starting to act up here
The water stations were every 3km’s and they had a both Gatorade and water. I ended up going through almost every station and then drinking a bit of my own water in the last few km’s. Between the water and Gatorade, I used sport beans every couple of km’s and they definitely helped.
The course was pretty flat with the exception of two overpasses, which had a slight incline, but nothing compared to the hills that are in Calgary. There were a few cheering sections, but there was mostly no crowd support.
In the last few km’s, my knees and hips were starting to get really sore and I had to use Kristen's mantra of “it only hurts for now”. Definitely helped me through those last few km’s!
I am still so excited and proud of myself that I managed to run my first half marathon in under two hours! I was thinking 2:15ish, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it.
Finish line/ after the race
Not surprisingly, the finish line was just as crowded as the rest of the race. As soon as I crossed the finish line, there was a volunteer putting a medal over my neck. I don’t think there is a better feeling than that!
As soon as I made it out of the finishers area, I met up with Mr.D and we went to get me some food. They had bananas, oranges, juice boxes, granola bars, etc. I wasn’t feeling super hungry, but I knew I needed to eat something so I had a banana. We didn’t stick around for a long time and we ended up missing meeting up with Nicole!
Overall, I loved this race and the whole experience! Minus the stiff knees, and hungry that took the whole day to get rid of, I am ready for my next half! Come on September!