Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Calgary half marathon: race report

Ok, short version of the race is that I ran an awesome race and PR'd by more than 5 minutes!! That's all you wanted to know right? ;) Haha, let's rewind and I'll tell you the full story. 

On Saturday, I headed down to the stampede grounds to pick up my race package. No issues getting my package and it was pretty quick and easy. Picked up a free pace band from the Running Room and some free pasta as well. The race packages weren't super exciting (race information, t-shirt, chews, and your number), but that's okay as I don't care much about that stuff anyways.

Race morning started bright and early at 4:55am. I quickly hopped out of bed, got dressed and made some toast before heading out to the c-train station. I ended up catching an earlier train than I planned, but it worked out well as it didn't fill up and I got to the race start just after 6am. A couple quick stops in the bathroom [I'm the worst for having to nervous pee] and hung out in the building as it was a bit chilly that morning. The weather in the days leading up to the race were rainy and cold, but the sun came out and it ended up being a gorgeous morning.

I headed towards the starting corrals around 6:40am and tried to find the 1:50 pace bunny. Sub 1:50 was my goal that I didn't say out loud to anyone but Solana and Mr.D as I was scared of failing. Before I knew it, O Canada was being sung and it was time to run! 

I honestly feel like the whole race was a blur minus a few points that I remember. Like seeing Kristen and Heather {+ their kids} unexpectedly along 17th (at least I think it was!). Hearing them scream my name and cheer for me was awesome and pumped me up! Running down 17th avenue, I was focused on counting up the streets so we could turn onto 14th street. From there it was passing by my work along Kensington Road and onto Memorial. I lost the pace bunny somewhere along here, so I put in my earphones and pumped up the music. Hitting the turn around and taking another gel definitely helped my energy levels! From there, it was all about getting to East Village and onto the home stretch into the stampede grounds. I saw Kristen + Heather again, along with Mr.D and his dad- so awesome! I didn't look at my overall time the whole race until the final 300ms or so and knew I had made my goal! The pace bunny said his goal was to get our gun time around 1:48 or 1:49 and I could always see him ahead of me, so I knew I could do it!

Crossed the finish line, got my medal and water- I didn't feel like death or need to puke, so I knew I ran a strong race! I headed inside to meet up with Mr.D and waited for Becky to cross the finish line as I saw her near the end of the race. Also got to see Kaella and talk about how her race went as well. 

Finish time- 1:49:49
Place/gender- 137/1526
Pace/division- 37/279

Such an awesome race! The volunteers are fantastic and the crowd support along the course is amazing too. I will definitely be back!

ps- my first ever half marathon was the Calgary Marathon in 2011 {race report here} and I finished in 1:58. Five years and one kid later, almost ten minutes off my time is pretty freaking awesome!


  1. Congrats on such a strong race Leigh! You did so great.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS!! You ran such an an awesome race and should be so proud of yourself! I knew you could run a sub-1:50 as you have worked so hard. I think it's especially impressive that you accomplished this goal just over a year after having a baby. Way to go!!!

  3. So awesome!! That is awesome to shave off 10 minutes after baby! Any more races planned?

  4. Wow, way to go! What an amazing race for you. I do love the crowd support at the Calgary Marathon - there are always so many people out cheering!

  5. Congratulations Leigh! You worked hard for that race and it totally paid off.

  6. You did so great!! Huge congrats!!

  7. I'm so impressed, You ran such a great race! Can't believe you didn't look at your time until the very end. I swear I spend half the race doing math in my head to figure out how fast I have to run every remaining mile to finish in whatever time, and then revising it over and over. Any idea if your splits were even or some faster/slower parts?

  8. Leigh that's so amazing!!
    In 6 years, I've only managed to PR my half once, so I now I need to tweak my training a bit to get there.

  9. You're amazing! Congratulations on an amazing race and an incredible PR!

  10. AMAZING!!!! 10 minutes off your time 5 years and 1 kid later is freaking fantastic. Congratulations Leigh!

  11. Congrats!! You trained hard and your race showed it! That's an amazing time, and pretty awesome that you kicked younger you's ass! ;)

  12. Congratulations again on a super strong race and PR!!! You are amazing!!



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