This post has been a LONG time in the making. But with the ING GA Marathon on the horizon, I figured that it was about time share some of my recent travels/running news.
To sum up the past month… WOW!
In my previous post, I said that running with the Olympic Torch was a special treat, but as it turns out, it was only the beginning of my adventure.
I spent three weeks in Vancouver/Whistler for the Games covering a variety of events, including the Gold Medal hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. Simply put, it was the greatest game I have ever been to.
I also went to the snowboard halfpipe, some short track speedskating, figure skating and luge events.
A colleague of mine kept a great blog of our adventures, so rather than re-hashing everything here, you can read more here.
Because most of my work days were between 13-16 hours, keeping up with my running schedule became very difficult at times. I usually had to run REALLY early in the morning in order to get it in.
Running along the Seawall in downtown Vancouver and through Stanley Park are truly two of the most beautiful places I have ever run.
While in British Columbia, I ran in the Historic Half Marathon out in Fort Langley, BC. What a cool event. As a bonus, I ran it in a personal best 1:31:10 and finished 40th out of 507 men. (I was the top-finishing American! I think I was the only American in the field, actually.)
Getting to the race proved to be the toughest task of my trip. After tracking down the local running store, I had planned to go to the store on the Thursday before the race and pay my $80 entry.
One slight problem… on Wednesday I was summoned to be one of three reporters to attend the Tiger Woods press conference in Jacksonville, FL. My flight was at noon on Thursday. The running store opened at 8. I ran to the store as soon as it opened, left my check with the guy behind the counter, jetted off the Florida and hoped for the best.
Here was the scene in Florida at 7:30 a.m. that morning.
After a few emails and phone calls to race director Mitchell Hudson, I finally convinced him of my unusual situation and he agreed to let me in. Thanks Mitchell.
A BIG THANKS also has to go out to my new friend Pamela Felix, who agreed to give me a ride to/from the race about 20 miles outside of town. It’s true what they say… Canadians are VERY nice folks.
On to the race… I didn’t want to disappoint Mitchell, so I decided to really go after it. It was a fun race on a fun course with some big hills and back-to-back downhill sections near the finish. I was super-psyched to finish in 1:31!
The race was held the day of the Canada-U.S. preliminary-round hockey game. So, being the little punk that I am, I decided to chant U-S-A, U-S-A! as I was approaching the finish line. It was the first time I have ever been booed at the end of a race. But it was all in fun.
Since returning from Vancouver I have been very busy with family activities and other work-related things, so I have fallen behind on my training a bit.
However, I did manage to squeeze in a 22-miler last weekend and did a 6-mile scouting run through the VERY hilly Druid Hills section of the ING GA course. I’m very happy I scouted it out and feel much more prepared knowing what I will encounter on the course.
Because the ATL course is so hilly, I abandoned my goal of breaking 3:16 to try to qualify for Boston and instead am focusing on running at a good, comfortable pace and making it through all 26.2 without a hamstring blowout like I had did in NYC.
I will be running the race with a couple former colleagues as well as a group of friends from my neighborhood. It should be a great day. Hopefully, we have great weather like we did in 2009!