Last December I received an email from the running room letting me know that the price for the Edmonton Marathon was about to be raised, and that I should sign up for the run before that happened to save some money. I decided that I would use the Edmonton Marathon as my first official 10k race, so I signed up to participate. This was a good way to push myself to run further but to give myself lots of time to train.
Well I continued running mostly 5k races and didn’t really train as much I should have for my 10k race, and soon enough August was rolling around and I was hesitantly counting down the amount of days I had left to train before the run. Before I knew it the Marathon weekend was here and it was time run.
Friday August 21st
After work, my friend Cailin, who was running the Half Marathon, and I decided to meet up at the Shaw Conference Center to pick up our race packages and go through the sports expo.
We showed up around 4pm and the place was already starting to get busy with other runners doing the same. You had to walk through the sports expo to get to the package pickup, so we took our time looking around at all the booths. There were a lot of free goodies being given away like protein bars, gym towel, juice and chicken proteinis just to name a few of the things I got.
When we got to the package pickup the process was very easy. They gave me my bag, I got my chip scanned to make sure that it was working and the information was correct and I was all set to go. They had pictures of the route on display which was nice to be able to see where we were going to run. The ladies shirt this year was black and the material is really nice. The men’s shirt was light blue.
After we picked up our packages we walked back through the expo and spotted John Stanton’s booth. For those of you unfamiliar with him he is the founder of the Running Room which is an Alberta based company that started right here in Edmonton back in 1984, and has now grown to over 115 locations in Canada and the US. They offer training courses from learning how to walk, do 5ks or run a marathon. They also sponsor a lot of running events like the Edmonton Marathon itself.
Saturday August 22nd
On Saturday the Running Room sponsored a friendship 3k km/walk for the participants of the marathon, so on Saturday Morning Cailin, Marissa and myself made our way back down to the Shaw Conference Center to participate.
I was really glad that I went to the event because before the run we got to listen to John Stanton give us some advice about how to approach the run the following morning. He is such an accomplished runner himself I made sure to soak up all the information that he was giving out. It was also a great opportunity to meet all pace bunnies and find the one that would be running the time that you were hoping to finish.
Then we all exited the conference center and ran/walked down the hill. It was a really path and it was a fun easy run to get out and meet some other runners and get a light workout in the day before the run. We took our time and just walked it, but had fun nonetheless.
After the run we headed back into the Shaw Conference Center and had a great breakfast and stood around chatting for a bit. We decided to walk back through the expo and get some more goodies. We also went by the animal shelter and they had some bunnies that needed to be adopted. I wish I could save all the animals, but I already have two bad bunnies at home.
Sunday August 23rd
The night before the race I had some difficulty sleeping. I think I was a little nervous as this was my first 10k and therefore the longest distance that I have run. I woke up a few times through the night afraid that I was going to be late. When I actually woke up I got dressed and ready to head out the door.
My race started at 7:30 so by 6:45 I started walking to the train. For a Sunday morning there were a lot of people on the train because there were a lot of people making their way downtown for the run.
As I was walking to the Conference Center I could hear the national anthem being played and got to see the marathon runners leave. I made my way into the center to gear check and dropped off my bag and went back upstairs to wait for my start. I actually met up with a friend who was running and hung out with her group until it was time to head to the starting line. It was pretty chilly just standing around waiting, but luckily it wasn’t too long.
It started by listening to the national anthem again and then there was a countdown and we were off. We raced down Jasper Avenue which is one of the main streets in Edmonton. It was nice to see a lot of volunteers, police officers and people around to cheer us on. There were a lot of people who had come out with signs which helped to pass some of the time.
During the Edmonton Marathon the rules state that you aren’t allowed to use headphones since the roads are not completely closed off and you need to be able to hear officials in case an elite runner is trying to pass you. I decided that I would play music from my phone without headphones, but in the end I didn’t even bother turning on my music. There was more than enough to look at and think about on my run that I didn’t find it too bad.
I had decided that I wanted to run the race in between 1:10-1:15 minutes, and I was keeping up with my pace bunny really well for the first 5k, but then lost her around the time we switched back. At least I could see that I was well ahead of my other bunny, but unfortunately I wasn’t sure to stop and walk.
On the way back we met up with the Half Marathoners who left 30 minutes after us. I was able to see Cailin and cheer each other on which was nice. It was really inspirational to see some of the elite runners and how fast they were actually going. By this time there were a lot more people who were out to cheer us on. There was an entire block party held by Lululemon and they had some great signs which really helped to push me through the last 2k. As I turned on to Jasper I could see the end in sight, and as I got closer to the finish line I decided to speed up as there was a lady in front of me I wasn’t going to let beat me.
I crossed the finish line in 1:10:55 and got my finisher medal. This is now my personal best time (since it was my first run) I actually didn’t feel very tired and thought I could have run longer. I also knew that I could definitely run faster as well. I grabbed some water and a snack and waited at the finish line to watch as other people finished.
It was incredible to see the elite runners finish. The top half marathon finish time was 1:03 for a man and 1:13 for a woman. Then I watched as the first man finished the marathon in 2:28. It was actually a man from Edmonton who won which was nice to see him accomplish something so spectacular in his hometown. After watching them cross the finish line I went and picked up my stuff at gear check because it was getting cold. I came back just in time to see Cailin finish her race at 1:54 she set her personal best time!
After she finished we went down to the brunch to eat some food. We weren’t exactly thrilled with the food choice since there was not much selection. We sat down and watched some of the awards being passed out to the winners of the different categories. They had a big screen with everyone’s finish time being displayed which was nice. They were taking a long time in between categories so we soon decided to leave. So we decided to head home. It was nice to relax after the run and realize that I had checked off another item on my fitness goals list. I guess the next goal will be to run a half marathon.
Be Happy, Be Active, Be Healthy