So I did it...I ran it....and it was AWESOME!
Got to the hotel when it was getting dark so it was hard to see the views. When we woke up, I looked out my window, still in bed, and snapped this photo...awww, Banff:)
Start time was 10:45am which didn't make any sense to me at first. But as I thought about it. it did make sense. The closest big city was 1 1/2hrs away so the organizers were giving drive time to those that were making just a day trip out of it. I took your advice about eating, my friends. I woke up, had a coffee, english muffin, peanut butter & bananas on top. It was yummy and not too much. We were ready to run.
We picked a hotel that was walking distance to the starting line. We walked there. It was packed, I mean packed! There were so many people, 4000 runners+their cheerleaders. I didn't even know what to do.
Picked up our race packages, used the port-a-potty 2 times in a row and found the starting line. I only heard about pacers but actually got to see them. I didn't feel nervous to run. I was excited to get started.
The 10k'ers were first to go. Then, we HM'ers lined up and were off. Sis & I did the math and thought that if we finished around 2:40+, we'd be happy with our effort. The road was packed. People shoulder to shoulder and running really fast. The plan was to run 9&1's but we felt really good so we ran the 1st 30 minutes straight(and almost a 5k by that time).
We ran past beautiful trees, turning their fall colors and a calm lake with breathtaking back drops...
under a stone bridge...
along the river...
past a waterfall...
Then, the inevitable hill-a steep hill that we made note of and realized it was gonna be at the end our race. Probably around 18k.
We did not watch our pace. We ran as fast as it felt good to run. We talked almost the entire time. Good times running a half:)
We crossed over the river...
We came to a paved trail with towering trees that kept the sun off us-which was a blessing since the temp rose into the higher 20's(78F). We had to run a 5km loop twice. I had to use the bathroom but every time I passed one, there was a line. I did not want to waste too much time so I never stopped.
Throughout the loop, there were 2 spots that they were playing live music! 2 guys at each spot that had mikes, drums, keyboards and guitars & were cheering us on as we ran past-so fun-nice touch & very uplifting.
Loop 2 was done and it was time for the home stretch. I felt so good...not fast but so good.
The hill definitely slowed me down, but I ran up it. And I ran all the way to finish line as fast as my legs would take me.
I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see 2:29:35.
I really did feel good and would totally run another.
Since we didn't bring anything to the race, we had to walk back to the hotel afterwards, grab my camera and "re-live" the run. I wish we had a cheerleader to take pics of us. The race had a photographer taking pics around the trail and posted them on the website but, man, they are expensive. I may buy 1 but I'm still thinking about it....
I just LOVE the mountains and its one of my top 3 places to live(if I had unlimited $$$)-the views and fresh air make me feel happy, alive and wanting to come back for more. I cannot wait for snowboarding season.
Here's main street...
On a side note, 2 of my kids were really sick coming up to the run. I prayed that I would NOT get sick and that I could run this race. 4hours after the race, I was in bed with all the symptoms my kiddos had, high fever, horrible belly cramps and a wicked headache. And I have been sick ever since. And the other 2 are sick as well:(
I know, crappy ending, but at least I ran my race. And LOVED every step of it!
well, maybe not THIS step, but every single other one.