Ah…21k done before 10:00am on a beautiful sunny day. Was it an easy 21k? No!
Today I took part in my first Victoria Goddess half marathon with 559 of my closest girlfriends.
The race started at 8:00am and we were off. I could see the lead runner of the race and that was a cool feeling for me. I will typically start a race at the front of the line or a few rows deep, but I am never one of the first ten people of a race and I am good with that. But today…I finished ninth overall and was fifth in my age group and I feel great about that.
As I turned the corner to Jacklin Road I met my first cheering squad. My friend Emily brought our nephew Ryder out to root and cheer for me. It was great to see them and I was happy they were able to come out. Warren said that he was going to be riding on his bike to see me in various places but I wasn’t sure where I would see him so it gave me something to look forward to as I ran. First up he was at the 2.5k mark and he had the camera ready.
The course was filled with rolling hills and a really long hill on Wishart Road but I made it slow and steady to the top. Just before the hill I had seen Christina running and we shared words of encouragement with each other. Then with the help of a girl named Julie, who was running beside me at the time; we got each other to the top. I found her after the race and told her thank you for the help up the hill and she thanked me back and said I did the same for her.
When I am running a race I don’t typically have water, even a half marathon but today was warm and Warren was telling me that sometimes having a drink here and there is a good refresher and revives you a bit. I took his advice and grabbed some here and there along the way and was happy I did that.
Next Warren was at the 13.5k mark. I was headed down the Wishart Road hill when his smiling face made an appearance. He came riding up beside me and I told him that I was struggling and he was encouraging and telling me I was looking good and doing well. He then told me he would meet me at the finish line. That was something I was looking forward to….the finish. After the race Warren said that he could see in my face that I was starting to struggle and was doing his best to reinforce that I was strong and doing well. He did a good job!
When I arrived at the end of Latoria and Happy Valley Road I saw three peeps I wasn’t expecting to see. Dave, Kristina and their daughter were there and cheering me on. They have no idea how good it was to see some more familiar faces. We had to double back on our run which was OK because I knew what to expect for how the road would be. As I turned the corner on the Galloping Goose I saw Daniel, who is one of my fellow runners from the Frontrunners Run Club who was out for his own Sunday run.
Before the race had started I had asked Warren if he could meet me around the 18k mark because I find that is when my body starts to want to stop around that time. I didn’t think I would see him again because he had earlier said he would meet me at the finish line but he surprised me one last time at the 17.5k mark. I am a lucky girl…for so many reasons.
As I came down the hill from the Westhills subdivision I could see more runners who were taking part in the 10k run. There were also some of the half marathoner’s who had started earlier in the morning. It was nice to see more people and while I was running I was trying to see where runners were finishing because I wasn’t sure where the finish line was. I finally saw a man directing runners through an arch and I was happy to see him. As I rounded the corner I made a mad dash, or what felt like my mad dash at the point to the finish line I saw one last person I knew. It was one of my co-workers Jeannie cheering for me on the sidelines.
I crossed the line at 1:38:05. I didn’t reach my predicted time I had entered at the ProMotion Plus booth but I finished and I was happy overall with my run. The course was hard but a good challenge. I am happy for all the support I had along the run from my friends and my husband but also for the support of my fellow Goddesses. They were motivating and encouraging as I ran along and I tried to do the same by giving a thumbs up as I went by. If it hadn’t been for all of you today this run would have been even harder to get through so a HUGE THANK YOU to you!
I have never ran a race before that was only women but it was one that I enjoyed overall and would do again. Have you ever ran a race that was only all women or all men? What did you think about it?
P.S. I would also like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors and everyone who went into making the Goddess Run a success. You rock!