Bluenose Marathon 2011

May 23, 2011

For the past few years, the long weekend in May has become our mini-vacation before the season begins in earnest.  We normally close out, head to Halifax and stay in a hotel for a night or two.  This year, D’Arcy’s parents have been on a cruise of the Danube River, so we stayed at their condo instead of a hotel.  I was worried that the kids would be disappointed that we didn’t stay somewhere with a pool, but since they had never stayed at Grandma & Grandpa’s before, it actually turned out to be quite a novelty!

We headed to the city on Friday night, just as soon as we could get away.  We were able to pick up our race kits until 8 p.m. and arrived at about 7:40.  The boys had both outgrown their running shoes, and D’Arcy had received an email from Erin to say that we should stop by to see Luke at the Aerobics First  booth at the Expo.  We were pressed for time and I was going to blow it off, but we did go.  Luke took a look at their feet and produced a pair of sneakers that he fit on Evan.  He handed me the box and said, “These are a gift because of your sister-in-law. She does so much for me and won’t ever accept anything. She spends half a day with the youth group at least 32 weeks of the year.  Come back tomorrow and I’ll bring shoes for Alex if I have some.”  I couldn’t believe it!

We went to Grandma & Grandpa’s to get settled in.  We were so tired, we just watched tv and chatted together before heading to bed.

Morning came far too early and three kids were awake before seven.  The other was having a good, deep sleep and didn’t stir until after 8:30…

We left for the Youth Run to get there in lots of time.  As we entered the starting area, the kids (except Sarah) had their noses painted blue and we had the yearly photo with Myles.

We had gotten the kids to wear their shirts for the Sunday run on Saturday so that we could identify them among the other 2998 runners.  (Sarah wore mine and Olivia wore one of the boys’ from two years ago.)

The one thing that strikes me in all the photos is how happy the boys look!  Sarah will probably run for the first time next year.  We remarked that if Olivia runs in the Youth Run until she is 15, we have 11 more years to go!  Evan finished the 4.2 k course in about 19 minutes and Alex was just a couple minutes behind.

At the start of the Youth Run

Evan, about half way along the 4.2 k course

Alex, at the same spot

Angie (and Dean & Scotia) came to meet us and cheer the boys on!

Olivia, cold and ready to leave

Finished another great run!

Mom and her boys!

Family photo - Olivia showing her four-year-old true colors!

After the run was over, we met up at the Metro Centre and then went down to the new Halifax Seaport Farmers Market.  It was D’Arcy’s, Evan’s & the girls first time there.  We wandered around, looking for the friends we knew.  We split up and D’Arcy took the boys to get crepes while I took the girls to have their faces painted.  This way, everyone was happy.  Sarah got a heart with a rainbow and Olivia got Hello Kitty.  D’Arcy was happy to find a Granite Brewery stall and purchased a bottle of beer to take home with us.  (A 2L bottle – we figured later that it was equivalent to a six pack!)

We made a pit-stop at the grocery store and I picked up some pasta, sauce, ready-made salad and ciabatta bread so that we could stock up on carbs for supper.  The kids were especially happy when they realized I had also bought a package of safe ice cream sandwiches!  We went back to the Expo to find Luke and pick up Alex’s new sneakers.  Luke gave the boys some great advice and told them not to run 10k until they are 15.  He told them to spend the next few years running short – but fast -races.  D’Arcy entered just about every contest going and bought me a new light blue sports bra for my upcoming birthday.  I only add that because it plays into a story from the weekend…  We saw some nice running gear, and some fun t-shirts for young girls that read, “Some girls chase boys.  I pass them.”

We went back to the condo, made supper and ate together.  It was delicious!  After supper, D’Arcy did some school work, Alex went on the computer and the girls went to bed.  Evan & I played a game of crib.  We hung out together, but had an early night because we knew it would be an early morning.

The weather said that Sunday would be sunny and fourteen degrees, but when we woke up it was cloudy and six degrees.  I had a terrible time to figure out what to wear, because I’m cold at the best of times.  I changed into about three different outfits.

As I put on my new bra, Olivia looked at me and said, “If you had one of those poles, you could just wear your bra!

It took us a few minutes and some probing questions before we realized she was talking about the pole vaulters we had watched at the track meet the day before!

Erin came over and met us around eight and we went downtown.  It was cold.  Olivia was definitely under-dressed and luckily we had taken extra clothes for her which she put on quite quickly.  I had my number in a few different places because the chip was on my bib and it couldn’t be covered.  I ended up with it on my shirt and kept my jacket open as we started running.  I wish I had left my jacket behind as I took it off about one kilometre into the race.  It was fun to see so many people we knew!  D’Arcy, Angie & I ran together for the first couple kms. Before we got to the first waterstop, I told D’Arcy to go ahead without me.  I hadn’t really trained for the race this year the way I did last year.  In fact, I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I’d only been running about 5k for the last two weeks.  I told Erin that I thought it would take me about and hour and ten minutes to finish because I didn’t feel “in shape” since my surgery in February.  If worse came to worse, I figured I could run 5k and walk 5k.

I was able to keep up with Angie quite well (although I think she was running at a leisurely pace for me!).  We ran together until we got over the bridge.  When we got to the hill at Nantucket, I was ready for my first walking break and she kept going.  I was surprised that I didn’t walk as long as I thought I would.  It almost felt better to run than to walk.  I was thankful for the people lining the race route, cheering us on.  The adrenaline definitely kept me going!

The Bluenose races end on a slight incline.  (Which I think is torturous!) I had been doing really well, but that slight hill was awful!  I saw the people cheering, but was concentrating on getting to the finish line.  I finished just as the first marathon runner passed for his split time.  I wasn’t sure where the boys were, or when they would finish, so I went directly into the Metro Centre to our meeting place and found Erin and the girls who were freezing!  As it turned out, the boys had finished just behind me!

Our times were as follows:  Alexander (5k) – 29:42, Evan (5k) – 27:10, Anne (10k) – 1:03, D’Arcy (10k) – 59:35.

Erin stayed with us for a short time and then went out to watch her friends finish the half and full marathons.  We stayed for about an hour, watching on the big screen and then went back to Grandma & Grandpa’s for baths and naps!

So much for the sun - it was COLD!

Mom & kids (The boys stayed dressed until the last minute!)

Family Bluenose Photo 2011

Half marathoners

D'Arcy at the start

Angie & I at the start. (Olivia picked out my outfit!)

The boys at the start of th 5k

On your mark...

Some of the crowd - before the half & marathon races were finishing!

Heading back to the van...

Dance show

We met up with Erin in the evening and took her out to supper to both say “thank you” and “happy birthday”.  We went to Boston Pizza, probably not her restaurant of  choice, but safe for Olivia and the kids were happy and therefore – well behaved!

Happy Birthday Aunt Erin!!

D'Arcy & Erin

Olivia, Evan, Alex & Sarah

We dropped Erin off to meet her friends, then took a tour of D’Arcy’s old neighbourhood.  We went back to the Condo where everyone was ready to crash pretty early!  When we got up this morning, I was a bit sore, but not as much as I thought I’d be.  I was surprised that my belly was the most sore – just under my ribs.  D’Arcy reminded me that it was probably an after effect of my surgery.  D’Arcy & Alex ran in Point Pleasant Park while Evan & I packed up. When they got back, the six of us played Monopoly and had lunch while we did all the laundry and cleaned up.

It was a wonderful family time – we’re already talking about next year’s Bluenose weekend!

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