Tuesday, September 30, 2008

09/28/08 Toronto Marathon

Angela & Coach John after her 25th marathon!
Thursday, September 25

Coach John, Mom and I arrived in Toronto. We met our Couch Surfing host Oliver who welcomed us into his downtown apartment. Great view!

Friday, September 26
On Friday, Mom and I set out with a plan to see certain parts of the city but that quickly changed as we found ourselves wandering into so many interesting stores. When we bumped into the Hockey Hall of Fame, we knew the agenda would be significantly altered!

Afterwards, we took a ferry and explored Wards Island.
And a trip to Toronto would not be complete without a visit up to the CN Tower - the world's tallest structure!

Saturday, September 27
On Saturday, we went to the Marathon Expo where we feasted on carbs, juices and indulged in some pre-race massage.

Sunday, September 28

The race was Sunday. I was still suffering the late stages of a sinus infection and jet-lag. It rained Saturday night and there was a chance of rain during the race, but luckily the weather wasn't as bad as we feared. Clean air, humid overcast skies at first, then by 11:00am, it actually got pretty warm. Temperatures ranged from 60 degrees F at the start, but got up past 70 before most of us finished.

The best part about the event was that Coach John rode a borrowed bike along the course with me so he could get some great photos, and keep me in good spirits. About an hour into the race, he called Lorenzo and let me talk to him on speaker phone! One other great bit was the highly organized start corral system with really high fences so no one could jump into a starting area in which they didn't belong. Two not so great things: 1) pretty dreadful music from the few live bands - a country music band crooned slow depressing ballad, then just before "the wall" we were treated to some sleepy "Kumbiyah" folk music... not exactly the kind up stuff to keep the "pep in your step" - but the African drummers near the finish were brilliant; 2) the entire course was marked ONLY in kilometres. At first it was nice not to worry about whether I was on or off pace, but eventually the impatient 5 year old in me wanted to know "how much fuuurtherrr?" And no matter how hard I tried, my almost 40 year old mathematically challenged brain could absolutely not compute the conversion. Finally, I remembered that a marathon was about 42Km and I took a lucky guess around marker 37Km that I had 5Km left. All I know is that the half way point was marked and it took me 1:40 for the first half, then 1:44 for the second - total time was 3:25:16 which was good enough for 5th place in my division.

The race organizers wisely offered participants the option to pre-pay for a post-race massage during the registration process. Best investment ever!

Monday, September 29

The day after the race, Mom and I enjoyed some spectacular flowers at the Allen Gardens, and a delicious lunch at Crepe It Up!

That night, Coach John joined us at the Air Canada Centre to watch a fantastic hockey game where the St. Louis Blues played the Toronto Maple Leafs. Even though it was only pre-season, the fans were really into it - everyone did the wave and cheered like crazy! The score was tied 3-3 at the end of regulation. Same score after overtime, so then it went to a really exciting shoot-out! Toronto won!!!

Tuesday, September 30

As we boarded our planes on Tuesday, the city bid us a tearful (rainy) good-bye. But I'm having thoughts of returning next year perhaps for the ENDURrun.