Well, yesterday was the day: The Montreal Marathon! We left for Montreal Saturday morning, taking Debby with us who would run the the 10k. The hotel was right across the Race Expo, so we sure didn't waste any energy there. Afterwards we went for a stroll through Old Montreal, and found a place for dinner (and yes, we had pasta, and a glass of wine!). We called it a night early on, to make sure we'd be well rested. After a very decent night sleep, we woke up around 6 am which gave us enough time to get ready. We took the metro to the start, and after we got on I realized I forgot my Garmin watch. Oh well, now we could not keep track of our pace, and it forced us to listen to our body. Which in the end probably was a good thing.
Luckily there was a bag-check at the beginning, which was great because the start and the finish were not at the same location. The start was on top of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, and during the first part of the race, we ran on the Formula 1 track! At around 11km, we had to cross the next bridge, to get into the harbour, and that's when we really started feeling the wind! And that wind would never leave us alone. The course itself was quite hilly, which we trained for. But the wind was a factor we had not anticipated, and which is really hard to train for! At one point, we turned around the corner, and the wind was so strong, it made my backpack move! It didn't matter what direction we were running, the wind was turning all the time, maybe due to the taller buildings and open spaces? Several times we ran uphill and in the wind, which is fine early on, but after 35 km it becomes very challenging. On the up side, it didn't rain, and the temperature was great.
The finish was great, though. You run a final loop in the Olympic Stadium, and the moment you enter the stadium, we were both swallowing back tears! Very impressing.
All in all it was a good race; the organization was pretty good, and although we did not meet our goal time (4:45), we both feel we should do another one at some point to redeem ourselves! But there is no rush :-) Right now, we're trying to soothe our sore legs, and take it easy. The next half marathon is in two weeks, and we're hoping to do well there. However, it's the same weekend we're moving into our new home, so we'll see how that will actually play out!