PEI Marathon

Posted by martin.parnell |

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Having heard about the PEI marathon on the Wednesday, I really hadn't had much time to think about it. At 6.45am on the Sunday, as I was waiting at the bus stop, to take me to the race start, I saw a face that I recognized. It was Vince Perdue from the Sudbury Rocks Running Club. Vince was my mentor when I started running in 2003. He had coached me through my first two marathons and helped me qualify for Boston. He too was on a road trip and was running two marathons along the away.

The PEI Marathon is a point to point. The Marathon starts at beautiful Brackley Beach in the famous Prince Edward Island National Park on the north shore of Prince Edward Island. The start line is on the west side of the Brackley Beach change facilities, and marathoners proceed to the east, along the Gulf Shore Parkway, towards Dalvay.

At 7.45am we piled off the bus and headed over to the start line, next to the ocean. We were very lucky with the weather. Last year it was wet and cold, this year 12C with an easterly wind. As I huddled with a group in the middle of the starters I noticed a young lad. I introduced myself and he told me that his name was Tyler Heggie and he was 9 years old. I asked what pace he planned to run at and he said he didn't know. He said that his dad and brother would be pacing him and I wished him luck. At 8.00am the gun went off and Tyler left me in the dust. I would not see him again on the course.

I soon got into a good rhythm and at every aid station I'd stop and chat with the volunteers. I don't normally eat GUs but I hadn't brought my CarboPro, so I had to eat this sticky gloop. The first half of the race was along the ocean and then we headed inland along part of the Trans Canada Trail. After 20km I knew the half way point was coming up. As I looked up the road the sun was directly into my eyes and I was shocked to see the silhouette of a 20 foot beaver. Another runner told me that this beaver (plastic, blow-up) travels to a lot of marathons.

At the 32km mark I hear a yell "Martin" and three runners dressed as Anna of Green Gables caught me up. One was Cathy Hopkins. Cathy and I had run the Comrades marathon in South Africa in May. Running is a small world. The Three Anna of Green Gables went ahead of me and I came in at 4hrs 44min 17sec.

As I crossed the line the announcer mentioned that I had run 250 marathons in 2010 for Right To Play. How did he know? I later found out the Sue had spilled the beans. As I cooled down I spotted Tyler. He looked great and was all smiles. Checking the results I noted that he ran a 4hours 37min 18seconds marathon. I'll be watching for you at the next race Tyler.

Quote of the Day

"If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A 20 foot beaver marks the half way point of the PEI Marathon.

PEI Marathon

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