Blue Nose Marathon 2010

May 24, 2010

Last year’s Blue Nose 5k was my first time running in a race of any kind. When I finished, D’Arcy commented “Next year we should do the 10” to which I replied, “NEVER!”  I don’t consider myself a runner and didn’t think I could ever run 10k!

Guess what we did yesterday?

Ran 10k!

After an extremely busy, tiring, and somewhat stressful week, we took advantage of one of the Delta’s last minute specials and headed to Halifax a night early.  It was suppertime before we actually were packed up and on the road, so we stopped off at the grocery store and picked up some items to have a picnic for supper.    We ate fruit, nachos, crackers, olives, cheese, yogurt and breadsticks.  We watched some of the hockey game and hung out as a family.  We encouraged the kids to get to bed early, but I think it was close to 10:30 before we finally had to lay down the law to get them to stop giggling with one another and close their eyes.

We woke up early on Saturday morning to a bright, sun-filled sky.  As a Delta Privilege member, breakfast is included with our room and they are fantastic about catering to Olivia’s allergies and making sure the food is safe for her.  We had a good breakfast and got ready to head to the Start line of the Blue Nose Youth Run. The boys were excited to be participating again this year.

The girls were excited to see Myles again, and he posed with all four for a photo.

I took the boys up and dropped them off together at the start while D’Arcy navigated the girls through the crowd to navigate a place near the finish. There were apparently 3000+ kids who participated this year, so the crowds were a bit crazy, to say the least! D’Arcy left me there with the girls and he headed up to the water stop along the 4.2 km course to watch for them. When each passed, he would phone to tell me when to look for them. They both ran really well, without stopping, Evan finishing in about 18 minutes and Alex in about 23.

(I almost missed Alex, who ended up running alongside the 2011 Canada Games Torch Bearers!)

After the race was over, we went into the Metro Centre to meet our very pleased and proud boys, which was where we noticed that the girls were featured in last year’s Youth Run Video as it played on the big screen.

We went back to the hotel for a celebratory swim and soak in the hot-tub, before leaving D’Arcy in the room to work on his Thesis while we headed out to explore the Discovery Centre. I don’t have any really good photos, as my hands were full just making sure the four kids were having fun and were accounted for by myself.  Rest assured, we had a lot of fun!

We headed back to the hotel and picked D’Arcy up for supper.  We went down to the Hotel pub where we had eaten during our stay in February. Because we had opted out of housekeeping during our stay (an initiative of the Delta’s green program) we had $20 of gift certificates for the pub.  The food was delicious, but we ended up with WAY too much food!  We went back to our room with bellies that were far too full and wondered how we would ever be able to run in the morning!

After an early night, Evan woke me at about 4:30 am because Sarah, his bed-mate, was lying horizontal in the bed and snoring “louder than Dad does”!  I invited him into our room, but I don’t think I ever fully got back to sleep.  We got up shortly after six and started getting ready, knowing that if we were going to eat, we had to do it early so we could run.  We had to actually wake Olivia at 7:15 to get her down to the dining room as we were meeting Aunt Erin at 8:00. The times of the races changed this year, something we learned after we had already signed up.  This year, the 10k left 40 minutes before the 5k.  I realized that there was no way I’d be able to run my own race without worrying about the boys getting separated in the crowd before their own started.  Erin was kind enough to agree to run with them, giving us peace of mind that they’d be safe.

All went fairly smoothly and we met up with Erin as planned, got our chips on our sneakers and our bibs on our shirts and headed up to the starting line.  Of course, as I got my camera out so we could have some photos for posterity, the batteries died!  (Never fails!)  What did we ever do before phones with cameras?  Mine saved the day!

Bluenose 2010

Evan & Alex with running partner, Aunt Erin

We all headed up to the start and watched the full marathon runners take off. It was almost time for D’Arcy & I to take the girls and go to our places when Alex started to cry. He was worried about us running over the bridge. His recurrent nightmare is about falling off a bridge into the water and I kicked myself when I realized why he was worried. We reassured him as best we could that we would be safe and applauded the fact he had the courage to express his fears to us. We said our goodbyes, good lucks and have funs and left for the start after getting hugs and high-fives.

The crowd for the 10k was amazing – 2320 participants! The Zumba people led a warm-up and the girls were not at all impressed! They weren’t sure about the whole “run” until we got going. A highlight of the day was when my friend Deanna, who was running the half, spotted us and came over for a pre-run hug! One of her friends took a photo of us together which I hope to get a copy of at some point. Before we knew it, the starting gun went off!

Now pushing a double stroller among that many people is not for the faint of heart. Especially when you try to be respectful of others. It took us over a kilometre before we were at a point where we could run at our own pace, rather than that of others. Even then, there were many times we would have liked to pass people, but there just wasn’t room. Crossing the bridge was beautiful with the sun shining on Halifax Harbour. I was able to notice that there are actually nets under the rails, so even if we had “slipped” we would have been caught in the nets. I made a mental note to tell Alex when we got off.

We were only about halfway over the bridge (4.5k) when the leader of the race passed us on his way back! Everyone cheered & clapped for him as he was running! It was really warm, so we made sure to stop at every water stop so we wouldn’t get dehydrated. The hill coming off the bridge in Dartmouth was torture; we had to stop running and walk to the top. When we started running again, I was still a bit winded, but took a turn pushing the girls to give D’Arcy a break. D’Arcy had a conversation with our friend Chris last week, and Chris told him to think of him when he was pushing the girls and felt like giving up because he would do anything to be able to run again. Over the bridge, D’Arcy looked at me and said, “I’m thinking of Chris!” At one point, Sarah reminded us, “It doesn’t matter who wins… It’s not a race!”

The race course took us past D’Arcy’s cousin Sheila & her husband Peter’s house where they were sitting on their front porch drinking tea and cheering the runners on. We yelled to them and they cheered and waved for us as we passed by each way. That gave us some much-needed (at that point!) extra momentum!

We had to walk again going back up the Bridge, but took turns with the girls which made it much easier. Coming down the other side, we knew there was less than 2km left to the finish, so we dug deep. Part way down Brunswick Street, we heard sirens behind us and after a moment of wondering if someone was hurt, realized it was the police with the marathon pace car & bicyclist, asking people to move out of the way for the lead marathon runner to come through on his way to the split time.

The finish line was almost in sight when Sarah announced that she had dropped her sunglass clip. D’Arcy started to stop and told me to go on ahead, but continued on his way after I barked, “We’re almost there – we can come back to get it, but we’re going to finish together!” I said it last year, and I’ll say it again – I think the fact that the finish line is located up a slight hill is cruel! D’Arcy put on a last burst of energy and we were both holding on to the stroller. At one point I remember telling him that I couldn’t go that fast and he told me to push myself to get to the end. I can only imagine what my face looks like in the finish line photos because I was literally gasping for air! None of the smiling and waving from last year…

We got our chips clipped off our sneakers, and the volunteers were kind enough to give the girls our medals.  We headed into the Metro Centre and around through, in case we had time to catch the boys coming across the finish line.  We weren’t sure how long it would take them or if we had missed them, when D’Arcy yelled to me, “There’s Alex – he’s coming through!”  As I turned to look, D’Arcy told me to look the other way; Alex was sprinting and was almost across the finish line!  We went inside and met up with Evan and shortly after Alex & Erin found us.

We all told our stories and eventually Erin went up to watch the finish of the half and the full and we went back to the hotel for a swim and to pack up.  The boys were SO proud of themselves and had a lot of fun running the race.  They both said that they didn’t feel they were able to run as well as they had the day before and  each had to stop and walk a short time.  As it was, out of 1405 participants, Evan finished 106th with a time of 24:54 and Alex finished 436th with a time of 30:46.  D’Arcy and I came 1205 and 1206 out of 2320 participants with a time of 1:02:47 and 1:02:49 respectively.  Not too shabby, considering we were pushing over 75lbs of daughters!

We went back to the hotel to pack up and have a swim and a soak in the hot tub.  Erin arrived to pick up her things and the girls gave her her birthday present, but Sarah insisted keeping the “Hello Kitty” bag it had been wrapped in!

D’Arcy had locked the lock on the car-top carrier, to which the key – of course – was on my key ring at home.  One of the staff at the Delta was able to cut it off for us. Our first stop was to find the sunglass clip and we were successful!  Somebody had moved it onto a lawn; it was a bit scratched up, but still usable until her eye appointment and new glasses in July.  We went to Grandma & Grandpa’s house for lunch and a visit and both D’Arcy and Evan ended up having a nap.  We hadn’t seen Grandma & Grandpa in ages so it was fun to get caught up, especially since we’re rarely there by ourselves.  Before we knew it, we had to start for home because we had guests due to arrive and we were all exhausted!

We all agreed that this is one of our favourite “vacations” and we’re already looking forward to next year!  Of course, next year the girls will be too big for the stroller, so we’ll have to run it without them.  Anybody willing to put their name down to babysit for an hour next long weekend?  I guarantee you an adventure!


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