It’s pretty embarrassing to have a blog and let it stay stagnant for over a month, particularly when there hasn’t been any specific reason not to be writing. Sure, my training was relatively non-existent due to my hip issue, but injury and ebb and flow in training is part of the life of a runner. At the very least, I’ve been able to stay connected to the running community (largely via twitter) and even participate in a couple of events (I refuse to say races, because I sooooo wasn’t racing).
After taking a couple of weeks for complete and total rest for my hips, I’m happy to say I am FINALLY running pain free and even managed to travel this past weekend to try my hand (or hip, as it were) at the Maritime Race Weekend. Even better, I was attempting the Tartan Twosome which, for me, involved a 5k run on Friday evening followed by a half-marathon on Saturday morning – a total of 26 km over14 hours or so. Not super daunting under ordinary circumstances, but given how my summer has been, it was definitely a little nerve wracking to see how everything would go over both events.
Having never attended the Maritime Race Weekend, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but from the moment we neared the race location of Eastern Passage, NS it was very clear that this was a well organized and well supported event. An abundance of billboards welcoming runners and countless other posted information were visible everywhere – this made finding parking locations very easy and showed that concerns locals and local businesses may have had with the event were listened to by race organizers and addressed in a manner that satisfied both sides.
Even though I was aware that the event was sold out, I was blown away by the volume of people at both the Friday night and Saturday morning races. The pirate theme that the Maritime Race Weekend is known for is definitely visible as there were countless costumes being worn by volunteers and racers alike – from the very basic to the completely dedicated.
Given the size of the field, I anticipated a bit of confusion at the start, but even with a jam packed corral, the vast majority of runners seemed to have little to no problems. Sure it was a little slow getting to the start, but it’s definitely one of the smoothest I’ve experienced, especially for being towards the end of the pack. The initial plan was for my wife, 10 year old son and I to run the 5k together, but before the turnaround, Tolkien decided we were dragging him down and asked if he could run ahead – who were we to argue? The bike marshals did a fantastic job of keep everyone safe – no easy task given how many people were on course!
Plenty of locals were out cheering on the 5k runners. It was pretty breathtaking to be far back in the field and see the huge line of runners heading out. The scenery was as pretty as promised – I especially liked the return as the sun was setting making for a gorgeous view on the water. The energy and atmosphere on every step of the run was so positive, it was hard not to be smiling.
At the end of the race, we collected our spectacular finishing medals and slowly made our way back to the car and the hotel. The running part of the weekend was over for Stacey and Tolkien, but I still had a half marathon to run in less than twelve hours time.
To be continued!!