The last day! The marathon. It was much better weather compared to the hot and humid weather we had been having all week.
The marathon is usually one of my strongest races because I’m good at maintaining a consistent pace. Today, was no different. I managed equal splits, with my last split being at a slightly quicker pace if you consider that I stopped to fill up my water bottle after the half-way mark and stopped at 27 km to check how much the newly formed blister on my ankle was bleeding. My goal today was to get under 3:30 to keep first place, and I ran 3:29:22. I wanted to enjoy the marathon this year so I kept it at a comfortable pace and pretended in my head that I was just out for a training run. Although, this run was a bit better than a training run because there were popsicles along the way!
I finished the week in first place, and also won the Trail Queen, Mountain Queen, and Sprint Queen award. Rob came in first again this year, and smashed his time from last year. He also won the same 3 awards as King of each.
What was really great about the last day is how much the family atmosphere of the race came out. Former participants came out the cheer others on, pace others, volunteer, or race as a guest. Partners of those racing came out too, along with kids and other family members. It was really hard to keep in the tears as people gave small speeches as they went out the receive their medals. If you are first or last, it doesn’t really matter because not many people can finish this race. Everyone supports everyone until the last runner is in.
As I said in my first post about this race, if you are looking for good food, come to this race. But, I also want to say, if you are looking for a fun event and an event where you feel a part of something, come to this one, even if you are volunteering. The volunteers are a big part of the racing family and really make the event even more special.
Since it’s only been one day after the race, I can’t say if I will do it again. I’m a little sore, blistered, and tired.