Crazy weeks. After months of solid training for BMO Van marathon, and managing to stay injury free, I didn’t run it. For very good reasons. And ultimately, though I made the choice not to run (at 4:30am on race morning no less), it was a bitter pill to swallow. I had invested so much into this training round, it felt a little like having the rug pulled from me. The fact my name had been drawn out of the lottery for the NYC marathon did take just a wee bit of the sting out of it.
With the decision made, I joined up with our fellow clinic members/Boston crew for a different kind of sport. Spectating! Met up with Christina at Cornwall and Yew, and then joined up with Andrea, her mom, Evelyn and their friend Kerri to cheer on our gang. Armed with coffee, signs and noise makers, we stood there for a good couple of hours, cheering on our friends and strangers alike. It was a gorgeous day, perfect for spectating. Who knew that spectating could be so tiring, haha?
We saw the Kenyans fly by accompanied by the motorcade – who runs that fast in a marathon ( I don’t think I could do one km at that pace???) And the eventual womens’ winner, wearing an earsplitting grin, at 30km no less. Nice to see someone enjoying themselves that late in the race.
We scanned roads, looking for familiar faces. First to come by was our fearless clinic instructor Dave with a smile on his face. We saw Britt, and then Carolyn, flanked by Alan and Jason.
Some runners looked perky. Some most definitely did not. Given that we were at roughly the 30km mark of a 42.2km race, that was to be expected.
After witnessing a parade of clinic members run by, Christina and I hoofed it over the Burrard street bridge to the crowded finish. We elbowed our way past cyclists, fellow spectators.
As we made our way over the Burrard street bridge, we were witness to hundreds of weary runners. Vivid flashbacks to our own BMO marathons. I had an inkling of how the the runners the agony and fatigue on the runner’s faces were ones we ourselves had worn. The death march that is often the last 2km. We had been there. The thoughts of where the heck or (insert expletive) the finish line?! thoughts undoubtedly running through the runners minds because it is a LONG last km of pacific boulevard to the finish chute. Especially if you are exhausted, dehydrated, cramping or hurting and the weather is unseasonably warm – all of which I am sure applied to a lot of runners that day.
BMO was special because it was an incredible journey; we had trained together for months, in rain, cold, (including snow and sleet!) early mornings, through illness and injury. We shared thousands of kms and, whether or not we ran that particular day, we knew the sacrifices, the pain, and heart and soul that goes into race, and that had gone into this race.