Banff Half Marathon

3 Jul

So, there was that time where we flew to the other side of the world and participated in a half marathon… in the Rocky Mountains… and this is kinda how it went down…

We arrived in Canada a week prior to the half marathon.  What a beautiful country. And what a fabulous place to explore. And before we knew it, in that week we had walked up and down and around mountains… for 53km, Cycled 50km, Canoed 3km on the Bow River… and done a massive (!) 6km run… Needless to say as we stood at the start line of the run I turned to Dave and said that I was the least prepared for any event I’d ever signed up for.  Of course I have to add that the training in the lead up to the run was also almost non-existent.  I had done maybe one double digit run in the prior 3 weeks, and run only a handful of other times. 3 weeks prior to the race I had participated in a bike ride that took all my focus and attention away from my running (my fault) and I was a little dubious about how this was going to turn out…

The weather in the week prior to the race had been a bit hit and miss, but the weather come race morning was stunning. While it was quite cool to begin with (actually it was literally zero degrees), the race didn’t start until 9.30 so there was time for the day to heat up a little – I think it was about 8 degrees when we kicked off.

We self-seeded – right near the back, finding a patch of sunlight to stand in while we waited. Then, it was go time. 1km in and I admit I was feeling pretty concerned… haha… that spelt trouble, I only had 20km to go! I suggested to Dave that he was more than welcome to run his own race, but he insisted on staying with me.  By about 3km finally my legs had started to warm up and the shins hurt a little less.  We began calculating at what point we’d see the lead half marathoners coming back (it was an out and back course for most of the trip) – we estimated it would be at about our 6km mark and we were pretty close to spot on. We stopped a couple of times for photos – after all, it’s not every day that you run a half marathon in the Rocky Mountains… we even had a very friendly fellow runner stop and take both of us in a photo so we didn’t have to take a selfie 😉

I took the easy way out and walked up a lot of the hills, but of course tried to get any amount of “free speed” I could heading downhill.  We were pretty excited to hit the 9km mark where we turned around to head back to town (and do a loop around town before the finish).  At this point we were both chuckling to ourselves as the locals were putting ice cold sponges down the backs of their shirts due to the heat (whaaaat…. I think the very top temperature for the day was 20 degrees…). Dave and I – dressed in our winter running gear – continued on and enjoyed the cooler temperature run.

At about 16km I pretty much wanted to just walk the rest. Dave was still able to keep chugging along, and seemed to just be able to keep running (though he swears later he was actually struggling…hmmmm).  I took some more walk breaks, but as Dave pointed out it became so much harder to start running again once we’d starting walking. Despite my best effort to convince him to walk the remaining 5km, he insisted we run various patches. So, we did.  I tried to suggest that we should be admiring the scenery slowly, but it was to no avail. By this point both of us wanted to be finished.

I may or may not have snapped at Dave when he wanted to literally drag me up the last hill, but we made it, and the finish line was oh so sweet.  Our time was not amazing (2.48), but hey, with the lack of training we can’t complain at all. It was a truly spectacular place to run, and we were so very grateful for the opportunity and the health to do so.

Now we just have to plan where the next one will be…


PS No, we didn’t see any bears, and despite it being recommended we didn’t carry any bear spray

One Response to “Banff Half Marathon”


  1. 2018…Twenty Eighteen… Two Thousand and Eighteen… | This is life... - December 30, 2018

    […] times (various sprint distances). We were also fortunate enough to be able to participate in a half marathon while in Banff, Canada. In training and racing I’ve cycled 4093km, run (or walked) 1323km, and […]

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