Windermere Marathon Race Report aka Running on the Surface of the Sun…

As I posted in my last post, going into the race the forecast was HOT.  We knew this going in, and perhaps should have adjusted our goals, but both Lori and I were really hoping that she could still BQ, and really had no idea how the heat would affect either of us.  

We drove out to Spokane on Friday, it was a nice drive, but felt long.  There was construction (as there always seems to be) in the pass at Fernie.  We had some fun eating carbs in the form of cheese buns and donuts!


Saturday we did a quick shake out run, trying to get out in the middle of the morning to see what the temps might be like.  By the end of our shakeout, it felt warm, yikes!  The rest of the day was spent doing a bit of shopping and generally trying to take it easy.


Sunday morning came early, but thanks to being an hour west, 4am was actually 5am, and thanks to our superpowers as moms, we rock at 5am.  We met our supermom friend Shelby at the shuttle busses, and were off to the startline.  We were there pretty early, and there were a lot of comments wishing we could just get started before it got any warmer.  Alas, the race organizers were not able or willing to change it (we asked!!).

Let's DO this thing!
Let’s DO this thing!

km’s 1-10 (5:00, 4:59, 4:55, 5:06, 5:23, 5:06, 5:02, 4:58, 5:01, 5:06)

We started off fast, we knew that at the time, but we thought that the only hope for coming in around 3:38 was to plan for a fade once the weather got hot.  I would race it differently in retrospect, but we had no idea how we’d react, so I also have no regrets.  The course was mostly downhill, with a bit of an up in the 5th km, as you can see from the splits.  From the beginning we were grabbing water at every aid station, and dumping it on our heads.  I had Tailwind in my handheld, that I was constantly sipping on.  Took our first gel at km 8, and followed it by water at the aid station.  We spent the first few km’s running through the neighborhood, there were a few sprinklers that we tried to run through, but it was too early to be very helpful.  The route wound it’s way towards the river that we would follow into Spokane.

km’s 11-21.1 (5:08, 4:57, 5:05, 5:06, 5:02, 6:05, 5:02, 5:12, 5:11, 5:11, 5:11, 5:12)

Lori and I stuck together until just after 15 km’s in.  I started to feel like I needed to use the bathroom, and I was feeling like she wanted to run a bit faster than I did.  I decided that I’d rather duck into a porta-potty quickly than be uncomfortable, so at the next aid station I told her to go ahead, and maybe I’d catch up, maybe not.  I was assuming that I wouldn’t see her again until the finish – or maybe I was just hoping that I wouldn’t see her again.  After my pitstop, I slowed the pace a bit, but was still right on pace for a 3:40, it was warming up but I felt ok still.  2nd gel at 16 km’s, followed by water at the aid station.  I was still dumping water at every opportunity.  Most of this section was on a bike path along the river, it was really pretty, but also pretty quiet, this is definitely not the course for you if you like a lot of spectators!  A lot of it felt like a long run.  I enjoyed it though since it was completely new to me.  My half split was 1:48:38, I was happy with that, it gave me a couple minutes cushion for breaking 3:40.

km’s 22-32 (5:11, 5:16, 5:14, 5:23, 5:47, 5:23, 5:17, 5:28, 5:37, 5:33)

It was right around 26 km’s in that I really started to feel the heat, and you can see that in my splits.  I was still dumping water on my head at every water station, but at this point I started actually stopping, getting a couple cups of water, dumping, drinking, filling my handheld, and then moving on.  We were also running along running along an asphalt road, it felt so hot, running on the black road with the sun on our backs.  I kept moving, but I remember thinking, ‘this isn’t fun anymore’.  I had let go of my goal of 3:40 and was just trying to convince myself that the faster I moved the sooner I’d be done.  I kept visualizing Lori and how far ahead she was, how many km’s she had left.  I was sending her positive vibes and trying to use them to keep my legs moving as well.  I had gels at km’s 24 and 32.  The one at 32 was so hard to get down, I had to fill my mouth with tailwind so that I could drink it as I just couldn’t swallow anymore solids.

Maybe if I smile, I'll feel like this is fun again? #fakeittillyoumakeit
Maybe if I smile, I’ll feel like this is fun again? #fakeittillyoumakeit

km’s 33-42.2 (6:23, 5:27, 7:37, 6:29, 6:46, 8:12, 5:43, 7:46, 6:19, 5:20)

It continued to be hot, and hard to keep moving, I was focusing on each aid station, just getting to the next aid station so that I could dump more water on, and move on.  I was really wishing that they had ice, or even cold water at the aid stations.  But there was nothing cold, just warm water or Ultima (blech!!).  It was right before 34 km’s that I looked ahead and saw what looked like Lori walking, OH NO!!  I was really hoping that I had seen wrong, but I picked up the pace and moved my butt so I could catch up to her and find out.  As soon as I got close, I knew it was her 😦  I caught up, she said that she had the chills, stomach cramps, and just felt sick when she was running.  The heat was clearly having a much worse effect on Lori than me.  She told me I could go ahead, but I knew that I wasn’t PR’ing or improving my BQ, so saw little point in finishing a couple minutes ahead, vs, run/walking it in with her and finishing together.  We ran when she wanted, and walked when she needed.  Running actually felt way better than walking.  My quads were pretty sore at this point, I’m sure from going out too fast.  We splashed water, and drank at every aid station, but still the aid stations had no ice, or anything cold 😦  Finally we got to the last aid station, just a half mile from the finish.  THEY HAD ICE WATER!!  It was amazing I put a cup of it on my head, and then dumped a cup of ice down my bra.  We ran it in to the finish, and I think we can safely say that we were never more happy to be done a race!  We saw Shelby at the finish, and she told us she had come in 3rd woman overall!  Amazing.

DONE, thank God!
DONE, thank God!
So happy to be finished, and yes Shelby has a less than year old baby, and still ran a 3:30!!!

Somewhere in the last few miles of the race someone had ridden past us saying 12/13, which I totally didn’t clue into, but he was saying that we were the 12/13th women at the time.  Too bad I hadn’t realized, my competitive spirit may have spurred me on, I’m sure Lori’s glad I hadn’t realized though lol.  We didn’t even bother to check the official results when we finished, thinking that there wasn’t anything remarkable about our 3:54:30 finish time.  When I went to check my chip time online, I realized that it hadn’t recorded my finish time.  I emailed the organizers, and after a couple days the timing company got back to me and fixed things.  I also realized after the fact that my time actually got me 3rd in my AG!  I didn’t get any award or anything though because I didn’t realize until we were already back home.  Not a big deal though, I am just thrilled that I placed in my AG, because it really shows what a tough day it was out there, and that we did really well given the conditions.



6 thoughts on “Windermere Marathon Race Report aka Running on the Surface of the Sun…

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