And so, my last 10K of the summer is done :) Last night, I ran the Edmonton Marathon 10K. It was my first race where I actually participated with friends - Anna and April came up to Edmonton to run it as well.
It was my first evening race. When I registered, I didn't realize it was on the Saturday night until I got the confirmation email. That was a bit scary because it could have meant a really HOT run if the weather decided to be that way. In the week leading up to it, the smoke from the BC fires had settled in Alberta and as we drove north on Thursday night, the smoke kept getting thicker and thicker. Not ideal running conditions. By friday, some overnight rains had dampened it somewhat but it was still smoky. and then Saturday dawned cool and wet and considerably less smoky. Things were looking up!
Cam and I attended the race expo on the Friday afternoon so I could get my race package and hit the BondiBand booth for some shiny new headbands (a girlie can never have too many!)
On the Saturday afternoon, we came into the city a bit early so we could hang out with the girls for a while before the race. We met up at Anna's hotel and then headed over to the starting area as a group. The day hadn't gotten too hot so we were looking forward to a cooler run…and the overcast sky meant no glaring sun in our eyes! Yay!
Cam, Vanessa and Sanni took lots of pictures of us before we lined up and then Cam headed off to work his way down the course to take some "during" shots as we passed him each way!
The 3 of us lined up in the 1:10 pace group. I wanted to come in ahead of my 1:10 time from my last race, but I wasn't too stuck on it. This was going to be my long run for the week no matter how fast I came in. When the horn went off to start the race, I stayed with Anna and April for the first 5 mins or so, but I was seriously stepping on the heels of those in front of me so I took that as my cue to pull ahead and stretch my legs to find where I could comfortably run. As it turned out, I ended up tucking myself in just behind the 1:05 pace group and I played leapfrog for most of the race with that group. In the last 2K, I was trying super hard to just beat this race walker (I didn't :( But I tried - I think if my hips weren't connected to the rest of my body, like hers, I would have had no problem lol)
The course was very nice. It left Northlands park and headed south to ADA Blvd and then ran along the ridge of the river valley - a nice flat course (if you don't count the fact that every crosswalk was a speedbump! LOL). It was well planned out as well - there were 2 water stations, but they were placed in such a way that for the 10K you hit a water stop 4 times! Better than any of the other races I've been in this year.
I crossed the finish line at 1:07:05 and nearly knocked the guy over who was to put the finishers medal over my head. Guess I kicked it a little hard to the finish line after the announce called my name out on the approach.
I'm really happy with my finish time. A new personal best. But most of all - I am so proud of Anna! Not only has she kicked her cancer to the curb…but she has picked herself up and gotten back to doing something she truly loves. It was very emotional to watch her cross the finish line and, for that, I am glad I ran ahead of them. I wouldn't have wanted to miss that for the world!