On Sunday August 21, 2016, I ran the Edmonton marathon, which so happened to be the 15th anniversary of the marathon and was my second time running this race. The first time I ran Edmonton was 3 years ago.
For those who may not be familiar with Canada, Edmonton is the capital of the province of Alberta. From Vancouver, the flight time is about 2 hours. Edmonton is a relatively flat city, except being above sea level by some 2000 feet, which makes the running and breathing a bit more difficult.
Compared to 3 years ago, this time I did not have much time to adjust to the weather. We flew into Edmonton early Saturday, and right away went to the convention hall to pick up my running bib. Considering the expo was slightly bigger than 3 years ago, operations were very smooth. However, the expo pick up was at a completely different location, and the course was also different from before.
The start and finish was by the city’s convention centre. Basically, we ran 10K to the east of the start line and back, then routed back to the downtown area and out for another 10K and then back. Some very nice homes in a fairly affluent part of Edmonton were showcased along the course.
The second half was tough, as there were not many spectators out there and the heat was slowly getting to me. My second half was slower than the first. Many volunteers shouted out “you look strong!” but they were wrong! Looks are deceptive – especially during a marathon. But I totally appreciated their encouragement. Another volunteer jokingly said “you are way ahead of a lot of runners” so I just smiled and gave him a high five.
I tried my best to follow the 5 hour pacer, but with about 3-4 miles to go, I couldn’t keep pace. I saw the pacer quickly disappear ahead of me. So, I thought of an alternate plan; okay, if I come in before 5:15, I’ll be happy. What I’ve learned from my experiences is that sometimes you just have to accept the circumstances of that particular day, and how our body and minds work. There is nothing wrong with adjusting your goals and expectations.
Once I told myself that I would aim for a 5:15 finish, I did not particularly find it difficult getting to the finish line. I think my mind started wandering, thinking about the Olympic men’s marathon race, which was happening at that very moment. I envisioned how hard those athletes had to push themselves to win…and somehow that thought put me at ease. And then indeed, I finished the race, achieving my adjusted goal under the time that I had set. My 56th marathon done.
Will be posting again soon about my last couple of weeks of running. Read on about how in a span of 2 weeks, I ended up doing a marathon, a 5k, a 10k & a half marathon…