Oh Canada … I love you so much and I love seeing you via a race course! Before May I had no idea I would be finally checking Canada off my bucket list. But then the Portland Rock’n’Roll expo happened. The first thing I did after getting my bib was register for Seattle and Vancouver RnR. Well finally I can happily say I have been to Canada and I loved every single minute of my Rock’n’Roll race experience!
The original plan was to train for this race and see how well I could run it. Well life happened. Man Friend spent nearly a week in 2 hospitals with 2 surgeries and body parts removed, so that put a major kink in the plans. I continued to run when I could but tossed aside any time goal. New plan: enjoy the beauty of Canada and meet MF after the race (he is on doctor’s orders NOT to run at all! He walked the entire 13.1- Yikes!!) So Friday morning we left for our drive to Canada and arrived at the expo within the first couple of hours of opening. Thank goodness we did – the next day the merchandise I did buy was completely sold out! As far as RnR expos go, this was very small and very quiet – but I enjoyed myself talking to Canadians and feeling tempted into signing up for a marathon again!
|Namaste, from R0nda and Marvin!|
When my corral got to the start they had us turn into one big dance party (which actually made it into the official RnR Instagram video!!). From the moment I crossed the start line I was shocked at how great I felt! I’d eaten virtually nothing for days and haven’t had serious training, but I was on fire! I pulled a Forrest Gump and just kept running. I walked through water stops to give my legs a little break, and then kept right back at it. A highlight for me was during an out and back and I got to high five a friend that I worked with at Kali River Rapids. Who knew it would take going to Vancouver, Canada to literally run into a friend from my Orlando, Florida days?!? Probably a mile later he caught up to and passed me after we did a little talking. Too cool!
The course was lovely. The people were lovely. Many times I was complimented on my Mountie costume! We ran through many different areas like Gastown, Chinatown, Granville Island area and Stanley Park. I did get in tourist mode and take tons of pictures. I decided since I had no goal I would pull over for a photo if I wanted to. Why not?!? I feel like I had a smile the entire time. I was just so happy and loving it all … until.
MF had guessed I would probably catch him around mile 6 or 7. At the 10K mark I kept looking, knowing I was running really well and if he was walking, I should find him. Maybe our math sucks!! As I was nearing Stanley Park I saw another out and back part, he was nowhere to be seen. Behind me, emergency vehicles were blaring and heading to a spot ahead on the course. Panic set in. I ran that next mile so fast just to get to the scene and make sure I didn’t see a Mountie down. By the time I got there the person was already in an ambulance. I tried to not worry but I couldn’t help it.
For the next 3 miles I was focused on relaxing and enjoying nature. It smelled so good! Clean, fresh, nature!! I did start giving myself a few walk breaks finally, mostly due to my picture taking! Such wonderful views were waiting for me, like Lions Gate Bridge, which I am glad we did NOT run across!! The closer I got to the end the more worried I was. Did MF actually end up running and was he at the end waiting for me?? Did he get taken away by the medics?? The last bit was a curvy section along the Seawall path and I looked up and caught a glimpse of my Mountie!! Hallelujah!! I kicked it into high gear and caught up with him. By then I knew I would have met my time goal and been very close to a PR – but to me finishing with him was more important. So we walked in that last mile together and crossed with a bang. Everybody was cheering for the RCMP!! We even got stopped by the RnR media people and had to a mini photo shoot at the finish area. Crazy!! Our finish made the official RnR video, too! I really didn’t expect that, but I am not complaining. I was proud to be a wannabe Canadian that day!!
|Lions Gate Bridge|
Got our medals and snacks and met up with my Kali friend again for some photos and conversation. The weather ended up perfect, too. Not a drop of rain to be felt! I seriously have no complaints (although I can say the course didn't feel like a typical RnR course due to the lack of many bands). I absolutely loved it! People at the expo were freaking out about the course being hilly. Um, no – compared to other courses and my own neighborhood, this literally was a walk in the park! Canada, I love you!!
|Tew Legit finally running as a tew-some!|