I arrived in Canada few days before the run, of course I had to visit the shops, do some sight seeing, a bit of walking - OK a lot of walking, the night before I aimed to have an early night, eat something healthy and get well rested, yeah right! Ended up having a Chinese in china town, walked back to the hotel and arriving back rather late than expected. Who cares, I was in Canada and enjoying every moment. The morning of the run, little bit organised. I would of thought by now I would of been a natural preparing myself to run the 26.2 miles, maybe I got a little bit big headed thinking, I have done this many times before, I can do it again no problem. Getting on the train to the start line, it was jam packed with people, no idea what most people were saying as most of them were talking French, but it made it more exciting and a huge reminder I was in Canada. Starting on the beautiful Jacques- Cartier Bridge I looked around taking in the beautiful scenery, soaking up the sun and enjoying being squashed between 12000 people. I was eager to start, traditionally telling myself "do not start to fast" "I am not aiming to win it, just finish it" and of course feeling nervous, so nervous I really felt like I was going to be sick. Before I even started the heat was getting to me, wishing I took my shades or at least a cap to get the sun out of my eyes. Doesn't matter I am in Canada!
within 5K of the race we entered the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve which is the formula one Canadian Grand Prix, it had been part of the Formula One World Championship for 10 years. Have to say how smooth it was to run along this.
Shortly after, running across St Laurence river ( not literally) on another beautifully structured bridge and worth a mention was Pont de la Concorde. I recall stopping here maybe 5 minutes, just taking in the scenery, the atmosphere and realising how lucky I am to experience this moment. I then was about to take a photo from my phone, then realising my mother had texted me worrying because I did not let her know how I got on after the marathon. Of course had to remind her we are 5 hours behind and I am not even half way. AS much as I loved the whole marathon, getting to the half way mark there were 2 lanes - go right if you are completing the half marathon, go left if you will be continuing , hearing all the cheers and knowing I can stop running in a matter of one minute I was very tempted to go right. Of course I didn't, there was too much of Montreal I did not see yet, I kept left had some water and went off to finish the full marathon. shortly after the half way point, arriving at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park, which was dotted with the famous Canadian maple trees. ( no grizzly's around these ones though) I started to feel quite emotional, the live band playing, the thought I am in running in Montreal, knowing I would complete this run, remembering this time last year I could not even run a mile the emotions you feel is very hard to describe to someone who has not had this experience.
A very long time after I started, ( my longest time ever completing a marathon, which I have no shame of) I saw the finish line, people yet again cheering, praising you. I got my medal, had my photo taken, collected my bag, complety forgot how I got back to the hotel but I slept, I slept for the rest of the night.
Oaisis de montreal marathon was 100% absolutely amazing.