We were out of the house shortly after 7, as the 5k started at 8am. Getting downtown doesn't typically take us that long, but when there are 14,000 runners, most of them doing the 5k, all looking for parking and spectator positions, it's a bit crazy! I jumped out of the car about a block from the starting line and walked over. I was a bit nervous and excited about the prospect of walking with 12,000 other people for such a great cause (supporting our wounded soldiers and their families), as well as the fact that this was my first race in 10 years! TEN YEARS! Even I can't believe that.... insane!
I found my way to the corrals and found a spot. Everyone was antsy and excited to start. I was all alone in a sea of people, but quickly a group of us started chatting. They couldn't believe I was walking the 5k and hoping to set a time at 22 weeks pregnant! GO ME!
The Cannon blows to start the race. All of ours hearts jump a beat as man, are those cannons LOUD!
Slowly we start creeping towards the start line and I'm looking around to see if anyone I know is around. As if I'm actually going to see anyone, but there are Dad and Maria waving wildly at me :) It brought tears to my eyes. We yelled over everyone else to arrange a meeting spot as they would be starting around the time I would be finishing. And then I was on my own again.
People kept passing me, but I kept to my solid fast walking pace. I'd tried a wee jog again the day before the race and was too winded after a few hundred metres to even think about running most of the 5k, so I opted to walk the whole way. I was managing to pass some other walkers and was feeling great about myself. Around the 2k mark, I hear someone say "I've caught up to the pregnant lady!" It was one of the joggers from the starting line. Her pace was on par with mine, so we continued on together until her 10 minutes of jogging was up and she fell back into a walk. "See you later" we called to each other.
Meanwhile, I pass a "rest" station. There was a table chock full of Tim Horton's (read: YUMMY) donuts! In the middle of the race. Let me tell you, baby wanted one, but I resisted!!! I had to laugh at that though. A couple hundred metres later there was a potty station and I saw one woman waiting who was a few weeks more pregnant than I was waiting. I opted not to stop (there will be bathrooms at the end!!) as I was Setting a Time here people!!
Around the 4k mark my jogging buddy caught up to me again. I was thrilled to have someone to finish with, and told her she couldn't stop running. She only had 1 kilometre left, she could do it! We chatted and finished together, triumphantly, hugged, then parted ways. We all received medals in the form of dog tags, had our timer chips removed and were herded towards the food tent. When I finally made it out of the food tent with yummy carbs for my belly, I heard the cannon go again. The half marathon was starting. I really wanted to try to cheer on Dad and Maria, so for the first time that day, I RAN over to the race start line! (Boy, did I ever have to pee by this point too!) I watched until almost everyone was out, but I didn't see them :( I headed over to the designated meeting spot in hope of finding the family, but to no avail. There were soooo many people! I wandered for 25-30 minutes before stopping some poor kid on the street to borrow his iPhone to call the hubby. Luckily, the kid heard the phone ringing and told him, so we were able to meet up, and I was finally able to hit the bathroom!
When I crossed the finish line it read something along the line of 50 minutes. I was disappointed as I didn't think I was that far behind the 45 minute pace bunny. When I got over to the results listings, there were too many people to bother looking and I still hadn't found the hubby and kid. Once I finally found them, we stopped for a snack break and I heard all about the horrible parking experience that was downtown (took him an hour of driving around and around one way, half blocked off streets to find a spot!) He made it to the finish line at 54 minutes, and figured he'd missed me so went to wait. After our snack, the crowd had diminished from the results postings, so over I headed. I discovered that the time I crossed at was the actual Cannon time, so my time was actually better than that. I was so happy and proud of myself when I discovered my actual time was 45.13! Pretty good if I do say so myself.
Next summer though, I'm going to break 30 minutes!
Back at home in our shirts and medals