**click for full-size pics**
We were up early on Monday morning to get ready for the big day. Patricia had a quick breakfast at the B&B, got ready and we were out the door by 6:30. We drove into the city to drop her off at her bus. She had to be there shortly after 7 even though her wave was not starting until 10:30 (we learned later than she had a 45 minute wait for the bus, one hour bus ride, 50 minute line-up for the port-o-potty and into the corral just in time for the gun.
Meanwhile, her hubby and I headed back to the B&B for our breakfast before taking transit to the finish line. We arrived around 9:00 and there were already several people all set up with chairs, blankets and some even had coolers! We found a pretty good spot about 150 metres from the finish line.
It was going to be a long day so I had to pick up some fuel.
Before long, the wheelchair racers were whizzing by.
When the police came out in new force, we knew the lead runners would be coming in shortly. by the point the crowds were insane! The elite women finished first (they had started 30 minutes before the men). Here is Kosgei from Kenya (2:32:16) with Tune from Ethiopia right on her heels (2:32:17).
Seconds later, Kara Goucher finished in third place at 2:32:25 after leading most of the race.
Shortly thereafter, the top men came through following the lead car.
Kenya’s Deriba Merga won the race in 2:08:42, maintaining a strong lead over Ethiopia’s Rono who placed second in 2:09:32.
Ryan Hall finished in third place at 2:09:40. Not sure why he’s sticking out his tongue…?
Check out Richard Whitehead from Great Britain who finished in just over three hours!
We watched as runners flooded the finishing chute in bigger and bigger groups as the morning went on.
The energy was incredible. The crowds were screaming and cheering and ringing their cowbells non-stop. We called out runners by name whenever we could and shouted GO CANADA! any time we saw someone sporting the maple leaf.
Meanwhile, we had been tracking Patricia’s splits and knew exactly when she should be finishing. Unfortunately, we still missed her. There were just so many people! She finished in 3:49:46, good enough for a re-qualification!
It took almost an hour to find her after the race in the family meeting area and another half hour for us to find our way to a “T” station. Patricia wasn’t feeling well at all, but still managed to smile for the camera (while uttering ‘Never again!’)
It was an unforgettable experience and I highly recommend it if you ever have the opportunity. I can only hope that one day I’ll be on the other side of those barricades… but until then, spectating isn’t so bad!
Next up: B.A.A. 5K race report!