Mississauga Marathon

The Missisauga Marathon has been a race that I have wanted to do for the last few years, but because of it’s timing with the Forest City Marathon, I have been unable to make it out.  I was really excited to finally be running it.  I would be treating it as a training run, leading up to my big GR20 hike at the end of June.  The focus was just getting used to lots of miles on tired legs. 

Since I wasn’t running for a time goal of my own, I was more than happy to run with my friend Stephane, who was doing the 42.2km distance for the first time.  Sarah and Brady, another couple of friends from lululemon, were running in the Half, so I was looking forward to having lots of company for this race. 

On race morning, Stephanie and I arrived early at the mall, near where the start line was.  We were supposed to meet Sarah and Brady, who picked up our race kits the day before, but we couldn’t find them anywhere.  We were starting to get a little nervous that the race was about to start and I didn’t have my bib or timing chip yet!!

Finally, we spotted Sarah in the crowd, and I felt much relief.  There were some issues with the traffic being redirected and it took them much longer to get there than they prepared for.  I got my bib on and the race was about to start, only with no sign of Stephane. 

I entered the corrals with Sarah and Brady, thinking that I might be running the second half of the race by myself.  We thought maybe Stephane had second thoughts about the race, considering he had never run more than 21k before and he was about to try for twice that distance.

The starting gun went off, and the crowd started to shuffle forward.  The start was really slow since we tucked ourselves closer to the back.  We were patiently walking, getting closer to actually crossing the starting line, when out of no where, Stephane comes running over from outside the corrals.  He hopped the barricade and joined right in.  He must have had some troubles with traffic too.  So now we were all there, and once we crossed the mats at the start, we were able to run a regular pace. 

The first half of the race was quite enjoyable.  We just chatted and had fun while passing the mileage markers.  Shortly after the half-marathoners split off, we started to slow a little bit.  Stephane was now running further than he ever had before, and I knew it would be a challenge to keep him going all the way to the finish.  Luckily, he is generally very fit, which would have to make up for his lack of training mileage. 

After passing the 30k mark, we were starting to take more frequent walking breaks.  I suggested to Stephane that he try to take in as much water and gels as he could, to get his legs feeling more energized.  We made it through with only a few kilometers left to go. 

We turned onto the final stretch of road leading towards the finish, and slowly caught up to this really strong looking guy wearing a t-shirt that, on the back, said something like, “You’ve just been passed by a track star!”  I thought it was a bit of a bold statement to put on your shirt, especially for someone looking absolutely parched near the end of the race. 

I thought I would have a little fun and try to encourage him, along with Stephane over the last few kilometers of the race.  I came up beside him and told him to keep it up, that we were almost there.  “Try not to let me pass you!!  You are strong!!” 

I’m not sure how much it helped the track star, but Stephane and I pulled through to run the last bit into the finish.  Stephanie and her friend Laila, along with Sarah and Brady were all there to watch us come across the line.  We came very close to having an even split.  Even though it wasn’t a fast race, it felt great to be able to be a part of Stephane’s first marathon. 

After a short recovery in the park, we headed on back to London.  I would need to keep myself in good shape with such a busy race schedule ahead of me. 

© Brian Groot 2020