Parts 1, 2 and 3 can be found here (part 1), here (part 2) and here (part 3).

The night before the race, I was a bit nervous. I got some great advice from my brother (hydrate lots the night before, run at your pace, not anybody elses) and Lisa van Loon (go to the bathroom when you get there, and get back in line again once you are done the first time.) Lisa has run half marathons aplenty, and my brother is also way more physically active than I am, so I took their advice to heart.

I drank lots of water and got all of my gear ready, including shaving and then taping up my knee, , all the while obsessively checking the weather forecast for the next day on my iPhone. Over the course of the evening, the forecast got progressively better-looking from me. From a 40% chance of rain at the beginning of the day to a 10% chance of precipitation just as I was going to sleep.

I woke up the next morning at about 6:30 or 7am, and looked outside to get an idea of what my race would be like today, and was greeted by this:

How happy was I at this! And as a bonus, they announced the temperature to be between 9 and 13 celcius. I was a happy, happy camper. Especially since most of my training had been done in the evenings, around 10pm, so this was the temperature that I was used to. As an added benefit, I would actually be able to see the road!!

While eating breakfast, I got a bit of bad news. My race partner had come down with a case of the sicks, and wouldn’t be going. Unfortunate, but shit happens sometimes. The wife and kids woke up and dropped me off downtown Ottawa, where it was a short walk to the race site. While crossing the bridge to get to the race site, I noticed that the 5km race had started.

Once there, I saw that it was pretty busy, and I immediately got in the most important line I would be in today.

There were a surprisingly large number of porta-potties available. So I did not need to go from the porta-potty directly back into line. I was able to go and stretch a bit before I got back in line.

While stretching, I looked at everyone around there and, for a while, I couldn’t help but feel like an imposter…an outsider. Like I really didn’t belong, and everyone else knew it. Part of my personality I suppose. While stretching, I was tuned out of everything else, but one of the professional photographers from Zoom Photo got this amazing shot from a reverse angle. By the shadows, I am guessing that it was taken at about 7:30ish.

Eventually, I noticed that it was getting close to the start time of the race, and I made my way to my corral (purple). I was expecting to finish at around 2:45-3 hours, due to my knee, so I threw myself near the 2:45 run/walk bunny. This is my viewpoint from that location:

One of the best parts of this race is the close ties it has with the military. The race supports a couple of awesome charities (Soldier On and the Military Families Fund) that are close to my heart, coming from a military family. A bonus of that is that they use a 105 mm Howitzer in place of the starter’s pistol.

(UBIQUE!!)

 

(to be continued)