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Another Day In The Hammer.

Another Day In The Hammer.

1500

This was my 3rd time running Hamilton Marathon. My neighbor was able to grab my bib on the Saturday which is really convenient. Hamilton Marathon is usually scheduled on the weekend when daylight savings time ends. I live in Markham so four of us carpooled from Markham and we on the road by 5:15. There is on-site free parking at finish area. Being a point to point race, free school shuttle buses take you right up to the start area. We were on one of the last buses so I had 15 min to spare before the start of the race (that is pretty good for me, usually I’m running to the start). I made my way to the gym and changed in to my running gear, I decided to wear my brooks asteria http://www.runningfree.com/products/Brooks-Asteria-p46470/?pstart=1.  They kept announcing how much time till the start of the full and half.  With 2 min till start time I lubed up with body glide http://www.runningfree.com/products/Body-Glide-Large-p28267/?pstart=1 and dropped off my bag at the free bag check. I headed to the start line I got into the corral and was greeted by fellow Running Free athletes and other competitors. I took my first of 5 strawberry-banana power bar gels http://www.runningfree.com/products/Power-Bar-630/PowerBar-Gel-Case-of-24-p30963/?pstart=1.  The first half of the marathon is pretty easy going with nice little rollers and very little wind this year.  Aid stations with tons of volunteers and ice-cold hydration every 3k or so.  I went past the 21.1k halfway mark and there was no timing mat and no race officials (a little strange, but ok!). There was a bit of chilly wind all the way downhill on the highway (pretty cool to run on a closed highway!).  Coming off the highway and heading into the park area I was greeted by the family who decided to surprise me 🙂  It was awesome to see them get some unexpected hugs in. I then got back to running and my pace had started to drop off a bit.  Being faster on the front a marathon typically kicks my butt on the back. It was slow going for 5k or so. I picked it up my pace slightly and ran through the k 36/37. I got to my favorite marker of a marathon 38k, I always find I know the end is close and will be able to stop running shortly! There was some 2 way running traffic & predestination traffic from k 39-40. From 40k on there were lots of people cheering to the finish.  I saw the family again in this finish shoot just before the finish line and was able to give the kids high fives and then crossed the finish line.

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After crossing the line, medical does there thing and make sure you’re ok. You get a couple bottles of water and finisher medal. They offer a finisher race blanket. In the recovery area, they offered apples, bananas, and hot chicken broth. Outside the tent was nun to drink.  Bag check was close by and the volunteers were able grab it for me right away.  I got out of my wet clothes and was nice and dry. The finish area was clean and organized, they had a number of vendors around, I went and grabbed some clif bar samples for me and the kids.  I saw a ton of familiar faces who were either running or supporting others that I see throughout the year from other races that I run or pace in.  It was also nice to see the Hamilton race ambassador and Olymipic marathoner Reid Coolsat in amongst us all, he was very approachable, I was able to chat with him for a quick second, he is truly a humble guy.  I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Gillis (his training partner) earlier in the year and he was the exact same.  Those guys help me to stay motivated to keep running these races and try and achieve new goals.  In the finish area is a huge park on-site which is great for the kids.

As a running free member and someone who does a fair bit of racing throughout the year. Here are my recommendations I would ask the organizers; Add some more timing mats, for race splits. There was only 1 timing mat on the course at turn around 35k of the out and back, nothing on the front end of the course. Secondly, add some time clocks throughout the course. There were no timing clocks on the course at all. The course KM markers were pretty bang on throughout the entire day, which is a rarity, so don’t move them! Finally, add a few more porta-potty to the aid stations. They only had 1 at the aid station I visited, so I had to wait a bit for the person of head of me. Hamilton Marathon is a really good local GTA race and reasonably priced as a Boston Qualifier.

 

 

 

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