I am on my sister’s Mac computer which I am not familiar with, thus I am having a difficult time figuring out how to do basic things like copy and upload pictures, so those will have to come later.
Prior to Sunday, Calgary experienced unusual levels of rain which I think worked to my favour on my house purchase. On Sunday though the day started out at a cool 4 degrees celsius and lots of sunshine, perfect for running a race. The 10k race started at 7.30 am with the marathon and half marathon group starting at 7.00 am, I only wish more races did this to take advantage of the cooler weather in the morning.
I asked to be dropped off early (6.00 am) not knowing how things were going to go down and let’s just say everyone was so laid back that I had no issues going to the bathroom 3x beforehand with no lines. The race started and finished on the Calgary Stampede grounds and a wave of nostalgia rose up from going to the summer event every year as a child from 3 to 12 years of age. Again not knowing what to expect I went out to the start line area 1/2 hour beforehand and by 7.15 am the only people in the start chute were the elite runners or the wanna be elites warming up. The average runner like myself, which was 95% of the participants were milling around socializing. Totally not what I am used to. Finally at 7.20 and only after they made an announcement did people start to enter the starting chute and again unlike other races people weren’t clamouring to be at the front.
For some reason whenever I start a race I always hug one side or the other, rarely do I go in the middle of the crowd. This time was no different and as I look over to the side this well dressed man says hello to me and of course I say hello back and turn around thinking he was just being polite. Before I know it, swarms of people are asking to take photos of him and lo and be hold, it was the Mayor of Calgary. I am secretly treating his hello as a big personal welcome to his great city, lol.
This race was just supposed to be a fun one given everything I have going on so my running target was simply to finish just under an hour. Despite warming up and feeling good, I found the first 3k very difficult and I am chalking it up to the altitude difference as the elevation of the race was nominal. There is no question that my lungs were working harder and with that my heart rate was definitely higher than normal. As a result I took quite a few walk breaks along the way which is unusual for me on a 10k.
There weren’t that many spectators out along the route but there were enough pockets of enthusiastic people to put a smile on your face. Despite the lack of spectators there is no question that this city embraces fitness and supports these types of running events. There was no evidence of impatient drivers that you get during a Toronto race.
The last km of the race is one long winding tease. Finally you turn a corner going right and run right into the Calgary Stampede Grandstand with a decent amount amount of supporters in the stand. It was definitely a neat feeling in the end to run this event knowing that this is going to be my future city.
Overall this race was extremely well organized, you had a place to stay warm before and after your race in the Grandstand building, plenty of post race food and hydration, including a pancake and sausage breakfast. They also did a great job in separating the half marathoners from the 10k group in the last 3 or so km. Essentially the half marathoners had their own lane way up to the final strides so they didn’t have to contend with the 10k volume of runners. This is not much of a concern for the average half marathon but I believe it would make a world of difference for the speedier racers. I would give this race a 4.5 out of 5, the only missing factor would be to have more spectators.
Next year the marathon race component is 50 years old, according to the race officials it is the oldest marathon event in Canada ?? Anyways yesterday I was a visitor running the race but next year I will be a Calgarian – yee haw!
Oh and I finished in 58:50 – perfect for this race.