Knowing there would be a crush of people, we arrived at the Armories very early on Saturday morning to pick up our race kits.
Although the "swag bag" was sparse, it was okay because it really wasn't about that, this race was for the families of the men and women serving in our armed forces and the injured and disabled military personnel. The technical shirt is awesome....
I was disappointed that red technical shirts were not available to purchase at the expo, in my brain I had fully expected some sort of red shirt with "Support our Troops" on the back of it. So, me being me, wrote to the founder of the Running Room with my sentiment and believe it or not, I received an email back from John Stanton within the hour! Even after he had been announcing the runners coming across the finish for over eleven hours. He is taking my idea to the recap meeting today, Monday, so I'll let you know if I hear anything from that in the future.
Sunday morning the Wooo Hooo's met at my place and we headed downtown to meet up with a couple more by 8 a.m. We were very lucky to be able to congregate indoors at Ottawa's City Hall, it was pretty cool out in the early morning. We stationed ourselves near the doors to see the happenings outside at Confederation Square, yet near enough to the washrooms...
The cannon went off at exactly 09:00 and off we went! I actually ran into the fellow I met at the Ottawa Marathon in May...during that race we stuck together for the last 5 or 6 Km's and it was nice to start off with him for this race!
As always the Wooo Hooo's start off the race together, but run our own races and meet up at the end. Jen and I stuck together at a nice even pace throughout the race. It was a little slower than what I had originally thought about doing, but since I have the Half in Toronto on Sunday I didn't want to leave a lung in Ottawa!
There were so many people we know out running it was awesome. Blogger Nat from See Nat Run had emailed me her bib number earlier in the week so I was on the lookout for her, even though we had never met before! Unbelievably, as we were running a loop portion of the race I ran up behind a woman and for some reason, I turned and checked out her bib number, it was Nat...I looked at her and said Nat? She was plugged into her music so I leaned into her face and yelled NAT! Thank god it was her otherwise I would have been charged I'm sure!!! How great is that to meet a fellow Blogger. I even had the pleasure to meet "the Man" and "the Boy" in the recovery area....it's a fantastic feeling! The world just keeps getting smaller!
The weather was perfect, a little overcast, cool and pleasant. Later in the run the sun came out and a breeze picked up...it was the perfect fall day!
Downtown Ottawa is always busy along the canal, it is truly an "outdoor city" no matter what the weather. Yesterday was no exception. I could not believe the numbers that were out to support and cheer on the runners! There were people walking, strolling with dogs and kids in tow, there were roller bladers, cyclists (I looked for you Sprocketboy), other runners and there was even a bi-plane cruising along following the crowd for a little while.
The race itself was broken into four events, 5K disabled run, 5K, Half Marathon disabled run, Half Marathon. Trust me there is NOTHING disabled about any of our injured war veterans, they are just so inspirational to be out there running with the rest of us. True courage, strong hearts and self determination, amazing. Thank you for the sacrifice's you have made to keep our country strong and free!!!
I could go on and on, but truly this was one of the best races I've done to date and I'm really looking forward to the Canada Army Run 2009.
What a great way to spend an amazing fall day!Next week, Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon....look out, I feel a party coming on!
Life's fun if you don't weaken,