This morning I ran the Fort Langley Historic Half Marathon. It was special not only because Fort Langley is very rich in history, but also because I just completed my 90th half marathon which is historic in my own books!
Fort Langley is approximately 45 minutes from Vancouver and is home to the Fort Langley National Historic Site, a former trade post of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Fort Langley is also commonly referred to as “the birthplace of British Columbia”.
Based on my research the previous evening, it was supposed to rain. So I prepared my running gear to include a long sleeve running top with running shorts. But this morning when I stepped outside, the temperature was much colder than I had expected. It was however, a sunny, but very chilly morning. As I waited for the race to start, I had to switch to a toque and gloves to keep my head and hands warm. But my legs were frozen…like this statue of Jack Douglas, British Columbia’s first governor (see pic)!
The course started at the Historical Site at an elevation of about 22m but went up to 85 to 90m at the top. A very hilly course that was very undulating. Even though I ran this course last year, it felt much tougher this year.
After exiting the Historical Site, we ran along the roads and onto the Telegraph Trail, which I loved running through. This trail, amongst a few others, was used by the earliest settlers to the area, dating back to the 1800s. The race ended back at the Historical Site.
The backdrop of today’s race was very pretty. For miles and miles, we stared at the breathtaking snow-capped mountains in the distance. I admit BC is indeed very beautiful.
So how did I feel running my 90th half? I didn’t think much of it leading up to the race, as this was my 6th half of 2016 and 9th combined races so far (half + full). My body was feeling a bit fatigued, no doubt. But to complete the race without much discrepancy from my previous half’s time was the most satisfying.
I know I am tackling an even larger challenge than before. As each race goes by, the more my body is naturally taking its toll. However, I cannot describe the feeling once I finish each race. Most people think it is just another number, but let me tell you that it’s more than that.
It is very different than doing training runs on a weekly basis because for each race, you are still pushing your body to its limits. It is a bit of a mystery with how our bodies might react or perform to racing conditions. Thank goodness that thus far, my body and mind have allowed me to continue doing what I LOVE: racing.
The other evening, my husband and I saw the movie “Race” which is about Jesse Owens, who was an Olympic gold medalist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Afterwards, I was so inspired by the true story, which examines Owens overcoming adversity to win his gold medals. Why I bring this up is because, as written in Friday’s local Vancouver Province newspaper, it states that “the story [Race] is about a foot race…and the human race” – it is about human triumphs. We can all triumph in our own “race”; we just have to believe and take that first step.
Although I do not compare to all the fast runners out there, or the runners who run longer, I am in pursuit of my own dreams, and I work hard to make them happen. I believe with strong conviction that “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”.
May all your dreams come true!