Manitoba Marathon 2013 (June 16, 2013) – part 2 stories and thoughts on the race

In part one ( I talked about my times and how I felt about that – in part two I will more give a story of the race and the day itself.

Started out being startled awake by the alarm on my phone – I had set it as a back up alarm but it went off with a different sound than I expected and scared the heck out of me – needless to say I didn’t fall back to sleep after it went off.  Up at 4:45 am (much better than being on the Disney buses at 3 am).

I got up and had a quick shower and breakfast (of a bun with butter, a banana, 2 strips of bacon and a coffee).  Put all my stuff together and grabbed my small fuel bottles to go on the new running belt only to discover that between the stretchiness of the new belt and the weight of the bottles the belt wouldn’t stay up.  I was running out of time at this point so I grabbed my old running belt and transferred the fuel bottles to that and in the interest of time I ended up running with both belts – the new one was so small and light that I didn’t feel any difference and it essentially have me another pocket.

I hopped in the van and scooted over to the closest park and ride location, parked the van and got on a school bus to be taken to the race.  I was one of the last ones on the bus and it left pretty much right after I got on which was nice – I definitely did not want to be sitting around stiffening up on a school bus before the race.

We were dropped right by the bag check tents which went quick and smooth.

From there I did some wandering around in the nice sunshine before hitting the port-a-potties quickly before the race.  It was nice – there seemed to be plenty of port-a-potties and there wasn’t much wait and they were relatively clean.  The whole pre-race routine seemed to go very well – nicely done Manitoba Marathon.

Got in line at the start line and we were off.  Things were nicely staged splitting up the full racers from the half runners (2 waves of half runners – first was sub 1:50).  The relay runners started after to give a chance for the field to spread out and then 10 and super runners were staged later.  I only saw the wheelchair and full marathon starts but things did seem to be well organized and well run.

I didn’t really fuel at all in the first hour and that was probably a mistake that helped cause my slow down and leg cramp later in the race – I told myself I would do things differently this race and make sure I fuelled earlier but apparently I don’t take orders from me.

One interesting thing was that first refreshment stop on the race seemed to be oranges, it seemed a little early for them in the race – but that might just be me.

Right around the 9 mile mark I ran into my wife and kids for the first time – I was on the wrong side of the road but was able to cut across hopefully without cutting any off and got a look at the nice signs the kids had made (Go Daddy Go) and got some Fathers’ Day hugs and had a swig of some cold Coke the wife had brought and was off again.  Strangely while I was there one woman ran by and asked where their Daddy was – so I answered “right here” – she had a strange tone in her voice so I don’t know what that was all about but whatever.

I ran into the wife and kids again just before the half way mark and had some more Coke.  My son was having a blast cheering on all the runners and just really having a good time – it was nice to see him in the spirit of the whole thing.

From there I continued on and then ran into them again probably around the mile 20-21 mark.  Had some more Coke and a chat and continued on.  Could tell by this point my daughter was bored (she also got to bed 3 hours late so she was probably really tired too) but my son was still going wild cheering people on.

Kept going from there and with just around 2 miles to go I ran into them again and had some more Coke (I don’t think I fuel the same way for races that most people do… ).  At this point my daughter was obviously done and was being unruly but my son was still having the time of his life telling all the runners that “The end is near!”

From there I finished up, got a bunch of high fives from the cheering folks at the end and went to the recovery area.  They had quite a selection there for food and recovery including electrolyte popsicles, bagels, juice, chocolate milk, SunChips and yogurt.  I grabbed chocolate milk and some SunChips and found a place to sit down.  I found the chocolate milk to just be a little too thick at that point (I have had it after training runs but my stomach just wasn’t ready for it after the race) and I just couldn’t eat many of the SunChips.

From there I went to the bag check and got my stuff, organized my things and got on the school bus to get back to my van.  We had a long wait while the bus waited for other riders to our location and of course my back decided to spasm at this point.  Sitting and waiting in a tight school bus was not pleasant.

Got back to the van and headed home for quick shower and change so that we could head out to my son’s music concert.  That was a bit tough on the legs and back at that point as well but after that was done was able to head home, stretch out, have some Advil and crash for a bit.  Feeling good now.

So overall I think the Manitoba Marathon was well run – the water stops sometimes felt a bit far apart but other than that they were well stocked and the volunteers did a fantastic job getting the drinks out.  Sometimes had to search for the Gatorade but it wasn’t that bad.  Most water stops also had sponges as well – I didn’t think it was quite hot enough to use them myself but was tempted a few times and they did seem to be well appreciated by many.  There were also several showers out on the course to cool people off – I didn’t take advantage of these either but definitely nice to have available.

A big thanks to all the volunteers and congratulations to everyone that ran.

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