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Monday 29 July 2013

The Pain and the Gain

I am sore. I mean physically sore to the point of having to hobble. Yesterday I scratched an item off my bucket list and today I continue to pay the small price of sore feet, legs and for some reason even my back has not escaped the wrath of the Tely 10. With the ecouragement of my girlfriend I registered early and even trained a little (very little LOL) and yesterday I had a chip time of 2:06:52. I had set a goal of 2hrs but I have to say I don't think I'd be much happier if I had picked up the extra 6 or 7 minutes. I had a great and punishing time and it has given me a tremendous appreciation for those who undertake full marathons!

It starts great and you're all full of energy and by the end you have an overwhelming need to stop moving, just for a little while. My asthma didn't hinder me any more then I was expecting but it was a struggle to keep motivated in the later stages of the race. Lukily there was some unexpected motivation along the way, but more on that in a bit. 

The race is a 10 mile foot race from The Paradise Communituy Center to Bannerman Park and this year there were 3501 regestered runners. Not all runners show up or finish but if you know someone who was in the race or just want to take a look at the results you can check them out here. You'll note there are 2 times listed for each competitor because there is the time from the starting pistol to the finish and the time from when you pass the starting line til you cross the finish line(chip time). This is necessary because with 3500 runners they can't all start the race at the same time. In fact some will be waiting 5 or 6 minutes after the pistol just to cross the start line. 

It is essential to thank all those who make the event possible including organisers and volunteers at the water stations. The officers at the intersections and the fire and paramedic staff who attend just in case they are needed are also greatly appreciated. Some of the traffic staff put up with some pretty silly complaining from motorists who were somehow unaware that sections of road are closed for the race. Afterall it only happens every year. 

I have to offer a very special thank you to one more group of people that I mentioned earlier as the unexpected motivation along the way. It is a challenging race and there are moments where you may feel its just easier to give it all up or to take it easy and walk it out to the finish. But thankfully there are people who line the streets to cheer on runners for close to 3 hours in various spots along the way. There are signs of encouragement, motivational things written in chaulk on the pavement, people with noisemakers and water hoses. But I have to say that the most impressive were those people who stood close to the course and motivated people with their words of support, even to the point of reading the names of the runners off their Bibs (number labels) so they could shout personalized encouragement. I can honestly say I had not expected to hear complete strangers say my name and tell me how great I was doing and that I could keep going til the end.    

It was a great experience. The pain will last a few days for sure, but the gain of crossing it off my bucket list and knowing that I had the determination to push myself even when I though I would pass out, as I almost did at about 5.5 miles, will stay with me forever.

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