We arrived in Saskatoon on Saturday, checked into our hotel and then met up with our good friends Becci and Si for a lovely lunch at the Pacific Gallery Fine Art Cafe. We tucked into yummy paninis and a salad surrounded by one-of-a-kind paintings from local artists. After that, we walked along Broadway street, poking our heads into gear shops, an amazing tea and coffee shop, and wondering how the weather would hold up for tomorrow. It was alternating between sunny periods and blustery rain as we made our way back to the hotel. That evening, we ate dinner at The Barking Fish and chatted about previous races, shared stories about our training, and then headed off for some early shut-eye.
The next morning dawned...cold! It was in the low 40s when we arrived at the queue for the start. Everyone around us was shivering and jumping to stay warm. It was going to be a chilly 26.2 miles. We lined up with everyone else and at 7 am, the gun was fired and we were off! Everyone started at the same time, regardless of if you were running the 10K, the half marathon, or the full marathon. The course is a bit hilly and we would alternate between periods of having the cool wind at our backs helping us along and it hitting us right in our face as we made our way along the river. We cheered our friend, Si, on when we saw him pass us not once, but twice! Ultimately, he came in seventh and we are so proud! He rocked the course! Our friend Becci had an awesome 10K time as she completed her first ever race!
Meanwhile, the running crowd was thinning out and Dave and I were bringing up the rear of the pack. We yelled out to every runner we passed, shouting words of encouragement and lifting our own spirits as Dave's knee started talking back and I began to feel everything tightening up from the cold. The crews along the course were fantastic and encouraging as they handed out Gu, gatorade, and water. Kudos to them for hanging in there! The last few kilometres of the race consist of a nice, slow climb and then a steep little hill to get you to the end. We alternated between walking and jogging...knowing we were so close! Dave was going to complete his first marathon!!! We got to the finish, but before we crossed, we took hands, Dave gave me a spin, we kissed, and then we walked across the line together. I am so proud of him for muscling through and getting that medal!
In all, I learned a lot along the course and I'm so glad we did this race together. As many of you know, I am running all of my races this year for the Run for Congo Women program sponsored by Women for Women International. Running for a cause is incredibly important to me and I am so inspired by the work that Women for Women International does to help survivors of war in the Congo. If you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to visit their website. If you are interested in supporting me on my running journey, you can make a donation on my personal page here! Thanks to those that have already made donations...I ran those miles for you and YOU kept me motivated...I am incredibly grateful for your support!
Big, cloudy skies along the drive
Saskatoon....as seen from our hotel window...that is the river we ran along
Dave...playing up the knee pain! Check out that medal...finisher!!!
Yeah...I'm tired in this one...and aching for a good soy latte.
Along the drive we came across Craik..."The Friendliest Place by a Dam Site"