Ottawa Fall Colours Marathon

The next stop on my Fall marathon tour was the Ottawa Fall Colours race.  After working from 6am-2pm and feeling the onset of a chest infection, I had to drive seven hours to get to Ottawa.  This is a perfect example of how not to relax before a big race.

Something I have learned, is if you do have a long drive by yourself, you might as well make it a productive one.  I have started listening to some audio books while in driving to races my car.  I listened to most of The Science of Getting Rich by Bob Procter, which is one of the best personal development programs I have ever heard on my way to Ottawa.  Upon arrival in Ottawa at my friend’s house, I almost immediately crashed.  

I woke up early, with my chest feeling much better than the day before.  I had a nice light breakfast, and then hurried off to the race site.  The weather was brisk and windy but was much better than the rain that had been forecast.  I decided to wear my new run tights as well as some gloves because of the cold.

Early on in the race, I bumped into a guy I had run with at a race with in Kingston earlier in the year.  Then after a few kilometers, I caught up to a guy wearing a shirt that read, “Today, I am 100 Marathons old.”  Naturally, I wanted to chat with him a bit about goal setting and which races were his favourites. 

Then another guy came up to announce that he was running his 1st of 100 marathons.  I liked his attitude and we ended up chatting as we ran along.  We passed the 25km marker before I even thought to look at my watch.  Having great company always makes time fly by. 

My new friend, also named Brian, told me to go on ahead without him, as he needed to slow down and walk a bit.  From there, I turned on the reserves and made for a speedy finish. 

After a very hilly and windy 42.2k, I came running down the final stretch in just over 3 hours and 37 minutes, where my friend Kim was cheering me on.

I was happy to be done, but I wanted to stick around and see Brian finish.  When he did come through, roughly 30 minutes later, he had that look on his face like it was a combination of celebration and accomplishment mixed with pain and defeat.  I went to shake his hand after he crossed the line with his two small children.   Instead of extending his hand, he threw his arms around me, for a great big hug.  He wanted to thank me for helping him through most of the race and being a great motivation. 

It was a great reminder of why I love to do these events so much.  The people you meet are absolutely amazing.  Both the ones I help inspire and the others that inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing. 

I was able to stretch and hang out with Kim for the rest of the day.  We checked out the Rideau Centre and did some shopping.

After another pleasant night’s sleep I made the seven-hour drive back home for a turkey dinner at mom’s house. 

Rest is the main priority this week, as next weekend, I will attempt to run a 50k trail race in London on Saturday, and then the Toronto Half-Marathon with Team Diabetes on Sunday. 

© Brian Groot 2020