Hamilton Marathon

November 05, 2017  •  6 Comments

So I went and ran a little 42.2 km today, the same autumn race as I did last year, the Road2Hope Hamilton Marathon. It's a beautiful course, featuring views out over the lake from the escarpment in the first 10k, a descent of the Red Hill Parkway (closed to traffic) and the final 10k along the waterfront trail.

The only problem was the weather.

We were under a special weather statement indicating heavy rainfall and thunderstorms, and sustained southerly winds of 30km gusting to 50km/h. 

I hate wind and rain.

I didn't need to run the marathon to qualify for Boston, so there were certainly some weak moments yesterday as I checked the forecast constantly, only to see it getting worse and worse, rather than better and better.

But I knew that I'd hate myself if I didn't do it, so I had no choice really.

One of the many good points about this race is that the start line is at a rec complex, so you can wait indoors and avail yourself of real plumbing before the race starts.

We headed out to the start line at 7:35, and the skies opened. It bucketed down for the 10 minutes prior to the starting gun. I had another weak moment then.

The first half of the run is more or less on country roads atop the escarpment, so while it is tranquil and pretty, there is zero protection from the elements.

At 22 km you begin an 8km descent along the Red Hill Parkway. That was lovely, a downhill with a sturdy tailwind. Then you do 2km on a trail, which was a mudbath, then an out and back along the lakeshore for the last 12 km of the race. The turnaround was at 36 km and those last 6 kilometres were the definition of misery, with a full-on headwind and waves of stinging rain. 

I'm proud that I ran a solid race, and that I forced myself to do it. It's about as close to an even split as I've ever come: I covered the first 21km in 1:42:30, and I finished at 3:26:35. I hit 30k at 2:24:30, and that's when I did the gut check and realized that I was feeling mostly ok, and that there were 'only' 12 km to go. Visualizing where I would be on my regular long runs at home and telling myself that I'd covered that distance many, many times, gave me the courage I needed to get through the 37 - 42 km stretch.

Also a high point...my dear friends Lori and Joe came out to cheer me not once but at two points on the course, firstly atop the escarpment at 18k, then there they were again on an overpass at 27km as I ran down the Red Hill Parkway. I'm 'borrowing' their pictures today...Lori and Joe you have no idea how much it lifts the spirits to hear a friend call your name when you're digging deep. Love you.



Congrats! I hope you got your medal! :-)
Shear grit and determination.. A person to look up to. Congrats.
Great race report. Even more impressed now. Hope the legs aren't too painful today.
So proud of you!!! La fille en rose...
Great job surviving the elements and staying mentally and physically tough! Awesome time, too! Yay, you!
No comments posted.

January (14) February (12) March (13) April (13) May (13) June (13) July (10) August (14) September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December