Well folks it was an excellent day for a run-perfect weather for shorts and Arlen was right..there are more uphills on Gibson Cres than on the whole 42 km course!
I came out like a shot (ignoring all conventional marathon wisdom that says otherwise) wanting to run at 4:15 and did the first 10 km in 56 minutes..at 14 km I was with a pack of folks going for a 3:59 so it was going super.
The whole first 21 km was very flat with lots of nice folks to chat with and hardly any wind. Met up with Len Nieuwland who was running quite strong and having fun.
I could feel this thumping in my foot that felt like a blister starting at 15 km and finally took action at 21 km..taking my sock off for the Ambulance staff (nice guys but slowest on the effin planet getting a bandaid - burned at least 5-6 minutes) there was no visible blister (I did use body glide on the feet to start with) so I just taped a little bandaid on with two wraps of medical tape around the whole foot and took off. The whole 21 to 28 km was the nicest down hill ever on the freeway and I caught up to Arlen who was hurting a little. Said he lost his last two inbuprofen and lucky I am the local druglord and set him up with a pair of mine and left him at 30 km. He did finish in a 4:38:46 which I believe was a PB for him as well-good job buddy!
Started feeling the squish-squish of this non-blister more and more through 35-39 km ..really nice part of this race is gigantic yellow signs that indicate every km marker that give you the feeling when you are probably .3-.4 km away you are there..a little thing but I found it quite motivating.
Was also warned the wind off the lake at 35-40 km would be bad but it was nothing today..in fact the evil sun came out to lick at my brow and the boisterous water stops helped immensely there!
Met up with a lot of sad looking folks the last 10 km - one guy in particular looked like Bruce finishing Boston and was walking, hopping and running and when I asked him what he needed his response was laden with f-bombs every three words saying how every muscle in his whole body ached and at 38 km he was not going to make it. I chastised him for such bad language - well not really - actually joined in for a good solid f-bombing - handed him 2 ibuprofens and told him he was not going to stop this close to the finish - left him and chugged on.
Caught up with the local St John Ambulance hot dog cart with a sad looking dude getting a ride to the 41.9 km mark to jump off and run the rest of the way - hmmmm..how much does that option cost I wondered..anyway I ripped towards the finish line only to be met by a smiling Karen Lamb asking me how I was doing and running with me for a bit and that truly lifted my spirits as I took off with a little p--s and vinegar to finish on a dead sprint.
After crossing the line at 4:24:51 (a new PB!) I wavered around a little and found a chair to slump over in which was soooooo nice. I managed to limp over to the food line and then back to another very comfy chair. After my post race support staff left me I pulled my sock off - honest to God I have a blister the size of a credit card on my foot - no wonder it was kind of sore!
Overall I was quite happy and received some nice calls from Jenny and family - my favourite was from Bruce..reminding me the Boston training (good for you Jenny!) is starting shortly and the speed work would be fun..oh Bruce you are a sick man - calling a guy up 30 mins after the race is over..that's why we love you.
Thanks to all the Shamrockers for all the positive support and emails.
If you are looking to run like an Ethiopian - or at least faster than your PB in the half or full be sure to mark this race date off on your calendar for next year. Road2hope was awesome!