I was excited to see this new run pop up from the Calgary Marathon Society based on the island theme. My first thought was, “I have the perfect outfit for this!” I was even more excited to register Liam for our first run of 2016 together and to be running alongside some of my gal pals and fellow Calgary Marathon Forerunners.
Logistically, this race was a bit of a mess. I was disappointed with the lack of information leading up to race day. I had no idea whether I’d be able to pick up our race package the morning of (thanks Leigh for picking them up for us just in case!). I had no idea what the course looked like so that if Liam decided he didn’t actually want to come the entire way, I could pick him up towards the end to run in with me. I had no idea the best way to get there. Next year, I hope they will send out an email with all of the necessary details to registrants. I also thought there was a separate kids race originally, which is why I jumped on registering Liam, but this was not the case so I was faced with the decision of walking the entire 4k with him, or leaving behind with a friend.
The nice part about the race was that it started at 11, which allowed us plenty of time to have a big breakfast, get the kiddos ready and head to the train station. We were told parking in the area was limited, and rather than struggling to transfer a car seat to carpool, or drive two vehicles downtown, we opted to take the train. The kiddos loved this idea but we realized it was the biggest mistake when we got off at our stop to find the pedestrian bridge closed. We ended up walking forever to be able to cross Memorial Drive, which is tons of fun when you’re carrying a nearly 40-pound child on your back. We knew there was transit construction, but had no idea the pedestrian bridge was affected as well. The most frustrating thing was seeing the parking lot with plenty of free space. There definitely needed to be some heads up about the transit situation and the best way to get there/where to park. I was fairly grumpy and the event hadn’t even started yet.
We just barely made it to the start line, met up with the rest of our friends and rushed to get our bibs pinned before lining up. By this point, Liam decided he was done with walking and hung back with Brie’s husband and son. This was probably for the best since it was easily 28C and we’d find out later that there wasn’t enough water.
I really had no idea what was going on with the race start since the announcer was inaudible. I was really confused why we started on the bridge as were the other pedestrians who weren’t able to pass through until the race started. The course was an out and back along the river, eventually crossing over the bridge and into St. Patrick’s Island. Ange, Brie and I fell into a slow, easy pace so we could vent about the poor start to the event and catch up. I really enjoyed this because I surely would have died trying to push a fast pace in the heat. Once we were in the island area, we found Jim and the boys at a playground. It was less than 1km to the finish so I tried to convince Liam to join in for the last portion but he was having none of it. Why run when you can play at an epic new playground?
We continued on, finishing with exactly 30 minutes on the clock. We got lei’d and were handed a popsicle stick that I had no idea the purpose of. Apparently there was a number on it that acted as our finishing pace, as the race was not chip timed. Shrug. Eventually, Jim was able to tear the boys away from the playground and Liam was ready for his race. We ran hand-in-hand, the couple hundred metres into the finish. Liam was thrilled that everyone at the finish line was cheering with him and so proud to get his own finishers lei. He was so excited about his race that he immediately exclaimed: “That was so fun, can we do it again?!”.
We grabbed a banana and water post-race to enjoy before getting into line for the Jane Bond Food Truck, which was no cost to participants. The wait for food was long, 30-40 minutes, and I needed more water. Unfortunately, all of the sports drink and water was gone by this point, which was not good given the extreme heat of the day. I wanted to ration the bottle of water I brought with me, knowing it was all I had until we got back to Brie’s house. While we waited for food, Liam and London ran up and down the big hill and us girls chatted in line. There were a few draw prizes announced as well as the medal reveal for the upcoming Calgary Marathon. This year’s race is a superhero theme and although I wasn’t planning on dressing up for it, these medals have me kind of excited. Liam can’t wait to get his superhero medal and told me that I have to be Wonder Woman and he’s going to be Batman. So, looks like I’ll be spending the next two weeks trying to put together some superhero outfits for Liam and me.
Anyways, back to the post-race happenings. We all found a shady spot to sit and enjoy the hoagies, which ended up being unexpectedly good. I will have to keep my eye out for that truck in the future to try some more things from their lineup.
Unfortunately after sitting and relaxing, we had a long trek back to the train station. Insert grumbling about the stupid transit situation again. I was so thankful to get back to Brie’s to chug a few bottles of water and have another snack.
All in all, we turned it into a fun afternoon. I would hope future races would include some more detailed pre-race info, a not-so-awkward start position, and heaps more water, especially if it’s a hot day. I really enjoyed the island theme, the food and the race shirts ended up being really cute too.
As a Calgary Marathon ForeRunner, I was given an entry to participate in the St. Patrick’s Island Fun Run & in the 2016 Calgary Marathon, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you’re interested in supporting my fundraising efforts for the Calgary Marathon Charity Challenge, you can visit my fundraising page here.