Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scotiabank Calgary marathon: race report

Before I launch into my race report, I need to say thank you to everyone for all of your text messages, Facebook messages, tweets, etc. They definitely made my day! I also a big thank you to Erica for being my training partner and to Mr.D for meeting us at various points on the course.


I was nervous in the days leading up to the race because it rained for close to two days straight. The sun came out on Saturday, but it hailed/rained that night. Luckily, the weather ended up being perfect! A little chilly at the start, but definitely warmed up by the end.

Race morning started bright and early at 5am! I got up, ate breakfast and got ready before Erica picked me up at 5:50am. We took the c-train to the Stampede grounds and arrived around 6:35am. By the time we got the bag drop, they were just telling us to leave our bags on the table so we could make it to the start on time. We quickly joined the start line and before we knew it, it was time to run! Erica and I had planned to run the whole thing together unless one person was having a stellar day and they could go ahead.

The race heads out of the Stampede grounds and heads toward the zoo, before heading back downtown. The marathon and half marathon split around the 10km mark and I was expecting for it to thin out a lot, but there was surprisingly always others runners around us. Shortly after the 10km mark, we started climbing. The climbs weren’t super steep, but some of them were long and killed the legs! The climbing lasted for about the next 10kms and thankfully there were no major ones after that. We saw Mr.D for the first time around 10kms as well.


Just passed the half way mark, we stopped for a bathroom break and I noticed that my hip and knee were giving me some grief. It felt fine while running, but started to hurt if we stopped and then started running again. That pain really got me later in the race and caused some tears! To be honest, I don’t remember a lot about the course except for the hills, the awesome cheering sections (East Village) and the awesome spectators.

After the half way point, I just focused on getting to the 27-29km mark so I could see Brian again. Then it was to get to the 32km mark because I knew I only had 10 more kms to go. Even though Erica and I ran the whole thing together, we didn’t talk much. More just randomly asking how each other was doing and to ask to take a walk break. I think we were both struggling at points, but it was nice to have someone by your side! After the 32km mark, we were both in a lot of pain and took more walk breaks. We definitely slowed down, but we decided even if we shuffled, we were going to get to the finish line!

One last uphill (so mean!!) and we were coming into the Stampede grounds and I couldn’t believe the marathon was over. The best feeling was seeing Mr.D again right before the finish line and then everyone cheering us on. It was cool to finish in front of the grandstands again and I couldn’t believe it was all over. We definitely gave it our all! After crossing the finish line, we made the slow hobble back through the grandstands to meet with Mr.D. Our finish time was 4:29:51, which I am proud of Smile


Erica & I after the race. We didn’t move for awhile!


Coming into the finish line. Thank you Nicole for the pictures!


I have a feeling that I am leaving something out from the recap, but hopefully not. Overall, it was definitely the hardest thing physically and mentally that I’ve done, but so glad I did it. Even with my sore legs and abs, I will say that I will do another one someday Smile


  1. Awesome recap and great job! You are brave walking at 32km, I tried once around 30km and it took me forever to run again, my legs just did not want to do it, so I ran the last 11km which was brutal. What is it with the hills at the end of full courses?! We had a huge one at 41.5km.
    You should come do Red Deer's full one year, its a great race. I'd say I'd join you next year but I am aiming for the half here then the full in Victoria in Oct 2014.

  2. Awesome job! Congratulations :)
    I love that you are thinking of another one already.

  3. I'm glad the rain finally stopped for the race.

    The belt buckle medal is awesome!

  4. Wow that is amazing!!!! Good for you. You should be super proud and feel very accomplished!! Now to rest and relax!! :) ha ha

  5. Great work on Sunday - and a great recap of the race!! It was such a miracle that the sun came out on Sunday, we couldn't have asked for better weather. Thanks for being a terrific, motivational training partner and marathon runner, you definitely encouraged me when I was struggling towards the end.
    And onto the next one!

  6. Great job, Leigh! I wish I could've stayed to cheer you in :) Glad Nicole was there for that :) Hopefully your knee is feeling okay now that it's rested a couple of days...

  7. Congrats on your marathon! That's an amazing time. Also, very cool metal. I ran one of mine mostly with someone else and having someone there, even saying nothing, is worth it. Glad you had a special spectator too. My hubs would never come out for that crap much less meet me at several spots.

    After my marathons, I always sit and don't move for awhile too. Man, sitting in dirt somewhere never felt so good. haha

  8. Way to go on your race! What a huge accomplishment...I can't wait to join you in the marathon club in a month! Reading your recap and hearing about you running with Erica kinda makes me wish I had a training partner or someone to run the race with - hope I can keep pushing! 4:29 is an awesome time - what I'm hoping to hit! - although I'm trying not to have a time goal for this first one since you never know.

    Curious - did you have a goal or time you were aiming for, or just get out and run?

    GREAT job!

  9. Congratulations Leigh! It's great to hear you (mostly) enjoyed your first marathon experience! Having a partner definitely is a plus on those longer runs and races! Great job!!!

  10. Congratulations again!! I am so happy the weather was great for you. Sounds like you had a strong race with an amazing finishing time!

    Hope your hip is feeling better.

  11. way to go!!!! so proud of you!

  12. Congrats! You did so awesome - especially for your first marathon! I think it is a great sign that you already know you want to do another one. After my first one I was like - never again. And then I said the same thing after Portland. But having a training partner like you do really helps! Joining a running club is what caused me to get bit by the marathon bug again and now i hope to continue to do them, if my body lets me!

    Once again - congrats!

  13. Congrats girlie! So awesome

  14. Congratulations Leigh!! I'm glad the weather cooperated. I'm sure it would have been that much harder with bad weather. I hope you're recovering well and enjoying the accomplishment!

  15. Congratulations marathoner!!! Such an exciting accomplishment. Running a long distance race like that is an incredibly tough thing both mentally and physically but it feels SO GOOD when you're done!! It will be nice to step back from the running for awhile and focus on other things you love doing though!

  16. PS: I want to do the Calgary marathon one day just for that awesome medal!!! haha

  17. Congratulations on crossing the finish line and giving it our all! I love running marathons!

  18. Congratulations on your first marathon!!



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