Temperature - Warm
Humidity - High
Race Plan - 13.1 Miles Of Fun
For the second year in a row, it was set to be a toasty race through Montreal. You'd think at the end of September that the weather would have its act together, but apparently Mother Nature didn't get the memo. The heat was so worrisome that the team at RnR actually canceled the marathon and moved the start of the half marathon earlier in the morning.
After a fun 5k the day before, I was ready to dial the pace back and enjoy another tour through Montreal. When I ran the half last year, I was injured and actually had to drop from the full to the half during the race. :/
While laying out my clothes the night before, the RnR's VP of Communications Dan texted me asking if I would take over the race's official Snapchat. Of course! You don't have to ask me twice. I did it the year prior and had a freakin' blast.
For Montreal, you have to take the metro to the start area, which is on a separate island. I once again successfully navigated the metro and two trains to get from my hotel to the start area. There were less people to navigate since the half marathon was earlier than the 10k. Last year the 10k folks were coming against the traffic if you will of the marathon/half marathon participants.
Once on the island, I emerged from the metro station and got in the endless port-o-potty line. I figured I wasn't going to win so no need to rush to get into my corral.
After what felt like hours, but was well over 30 minutes. I was done with the port-o-potty lines and make the trek up the on ramp to the corrals. The race starts on the bridge so everyone needs to get up the on ramp to get there. Having the RnR Snapchat really helped me pass the time since I was totally solo at the race. :)
With literally 6 seconds to spare I made it up to my corral (#2). Clearly I had higher ambitions of my finish time when I registered for the race.
Side note: friends I swear in 2018 I am going to attempt to PR at least one distance. It's been too long since I've tried/actually PRed.
I was ready not matter what to have fun during my 54th career half marathon. Since I was wicked late to meet my corral, I had zero time to fret before we hit the Start Line.
Alright friends it's GO time!!
Boy I wished I had someone by my side to run with, but not every race will be that way so these times really help me get stronger mentally when I am solo in a race without music/podcasts and need to dig deep for motivation.
In case we were going to forget at all that we were in Canada, we had the kilometer markers as reminders.
Yay! We were about to wind ourselves around the roller coaster park. We don't actually get to run inside per se, but it reminds me of Disney at least getting to see the rides above us.
Mile 1: 8:40
Mile 2: 9:11
Mile 3: 8:45
Mile 4: 9:13
The bands were truly bringing their A game.
I love the BioDome on the course. The spectators really bring it right around that spot (except the folks in my picture of course. :P
I'd like to draw the attention to the sweat for two reasons: 1) it shows I was actually running and not just taking pictures/dancing to music and 2) that is was freakin' humid!!
Yes we all know I am a complete dork! :P
I couldn't stop busting a move during this race.
I loved the eclectic nature of the bands on the course from rock to french to retro. There was definitely something for everyone.
Mile 5: 11:01
Mile 6: 8:44
In case anyone forgot we were in Canada, the fuel right around the 10k mark reminded you. :P
I've been having some stomach issues so I've been relying on my own fuel and drink on the course (outside of water). I made sure to have Pedialyte in my handheld and enough GU energy gels to feed myself and anyone else that looked like they were struggling. I always want to make sure I pack extra. I appreciate the race offering fuel, but I rarely take it only because I am worried about how my stomach will react.
Just after the 10k mark, you wind your way up the onramp so you can take the bridge over to Old Montreal. I took a quick peak on how the water stop I just left was doing.
I took my time heading over the bridge to not only take in the scenery, but to cheer on the other runners as well and take in little does of inspiration.
Boy I love running. It is seriously one of the best ways to explore a city.
Since I was standing on the bridge, it was a chance to take inventory on how my body was feeling. Luckily my IT band didn't hurt nearly as much as the year prior. Instead it was my left knee/hamstring. Why can't I run Montreal without being in pain?
Once off the bridge, we would be coming upon the famous Habitat 67 apartments. After snapping a pic to send to the wife, it was time to stop and cheer on the runners!
After a quick water stop and a text from the wife that she would be meeting me at the top of the incline of Mile 10, I got a little pep in my step to continue on. ;)
Mile 7: 12:03
Mile 8: 9:28
Mile 9: 10:10
Mile 10 isn't the prettiest mile of them all, but there are still some great supporters out trying to keep participants' energy high.
As we made our way up a small bridge to Rue de la Commune (the street that runs along the water), I spotted a sign that I just HAD to take a pic with.
Am I right?
Okay it was finally time to dig deep and get to the wife. I needed a familiar face and a little love to push through the final 5k.
Mile 10: 8:54
And there she was right at the top of the incline at the same exact spot at last year. I thought she was going to have Advil, but unfortunately she left it in the hotel room. BOO!! I'd have to push through the final 5k before I could get any. I took the opportunity for a GU break.
After a quick peck, I was off.
All I wanted to do was get to Miles 11-12 because then I'd be running through the gayborhood. Last year they brought it when it came to entertainment so I was excited to check it out again.
And just like last year, you take a left out of the gayborhood and immediately hit the incline up to Mile 12. I stopped at the bottom to offer someone a GU who looked like they were struggling. They took me up on it. See that's why I always carry extra!
As I made my way up the hill, the "shower" was set up again to cool off runners. Did you catch the special surprise at the end?
A rainbow! The perfect gift as we left the gayborhood.
When I hit the Mile 12 marker, I had all the feels. I wasn't ready for the race to be over.
Mile 11: 13:15
Mile 12: 11:32
Apparently Montreal likes jokes and they threw another incline to kick off the final mile of the race.
Now they were obviously using the signs from the marathon during the race in some places, but believe me, I was only logging 13.1 miles that day. :)
I was all ready to power through the last mile until I spotted another amazing sign.
I had to stop, right?
Mile 13: 10:57
I gave it a little kick in the end and after I crossed the Finish Line I looked back and again was greeted by a rainbow. :)
FINAL TIME: 2:15:17 (10:20 min/mile pace)
Woo! Another half in the books and I had a blast. I was about 2 minutes slower than the year before, but it was worth it for the extra cheering. :)
Once I collected my water/medal and post-race snacks (very orderly in the Finish chute), I headed to the Heavy Medal booth to collect my remix medal.
The wife and I reunited there and headed to the VIP experience. Thanks #RockNBlog crew for hooking us up. I was dreaming of the post-race massage and wine during Mile 9. I'd highly recommend adding the VIP experience to your race weekend if you run RnR Montreal. One of the fanciest VIP experiences of any RnR race. It also gave a primo spot of the post-race entertainment.
Ohh the massage was a nice 10-15 min treat before we started the 5ish hour trek home.
We grabbed some food then had to make our way back to the hotel so we could drive home.
When we emerge from the VIP tent, we spotted the Montreal Health Association. Since it means so much to me, I had to stop for a quick photo.
Thank you Montreal for another amazing race weekend. It was great having the Remix Challenge this year and I hope it stays for years to come.
If you are looking for a great location for a racecation I would recommend Montreal in a heartbeat.
Disclaimer: I did receive complimentary entry into this race as a RockNBlog ambassador, but all opinions are my own. Ain't nobody got time for lyin'!