Yesterday was the day we’d been training for all summer!
After over four months of waiting for my chair it shipped over a week ago. Problems with delays at the factory where it was made, and then issues with shipping meant that by Friday afternoon it was stuck in a semi-truck at the UPS Depot in Windsor, with no chance of getting it to Barrie before our race.
Marianne from My Team Triumph Canada, and an amazing friend who lives in Windsor called, pestered, insisted and succeeded in emancipating my chair from the depot late Friday afternoon, drove it up from Windsor and assembled it on Saturday, and arrived with it in hand Sunday morning.
It was hiding under a cover at Yonge-Dundas Square when we arrived, and as much as I was excited when I saw it, I was overjoyed when I sat down in it!
The weather was absolutely beautiful – sunny and warm.
My incredible team of angels included Sean, Ang, and of course my wonderful Trevor!
Trying to get from the meet-up location to the race start was a ridiculous scrum! Sean and Trevor got some pre-race people-moving warm-up making a space for us to get through to the starting corral. Thankfully we were set to start fairly far back, since the start gun went off about five minutes before we find our place!
The first few kilometers were wall-to-wall people – and we kept passing people the entire way. In fact, apparently 9847 people ran the half-marathon and another 3974 entered in to the marathon – and before the race was done we had passed 2830 of the half marathoners and a likely 2399 more marathoners before the day was done!
That means that when my team wasn’t busy pushing me forward, they were running out ahead of me to clear a path. It is always amazing to me how “in the zone” people are when they are running – they often seem positively shocked by the existence of another runner on the race – much less the possibility that they might get run into if they run directly in front of my front wheel while we’re running down-hill!
Up University, around Parliament Hill, down Bathurst, right onto Lakeshore and out all the way to Ellis Avenue. Our goal to begin with was to try to keep up with the 2:00:00 pace bunny, but we passed her on our way down Bathurst, and apart from a very short stint coming up the hill on our way back along Lakeshore, we managed to stay ahead of her the entire rest of the race.
Everyone was still feeling great as we came under the Gardiner, to an awesome wall of sound. The crowds went wild as we came through, spurring us on for the final hill up Bay St., where we found another equally eager crowd to cheer us the last few hundred meters.
We hit 21 km and realized we weren’t quite there.
Most people at this point would have been disappointed, but it only seemed to entice my team. Ang took the handles, the boys cleared a path and we gunned it!
Despite being an extra 700 m more than we had planned for, we managed to come in under our target time, posting a time of 1:56:28.4!
If you want to hear more about my adventure from stuck in the hospital to my brilliant finish yesterday, please join me Friday as I present at Ignite Barrie, 2017!