I should have known – I should have known! How can an inaugural marathon, in my hometown no less, possibly compare to a 40-year-old marathon in one of my most favourite cities that consistently brings out tens of thousands of people? It can’t. No possible way. Abbotsford is not Portland, not even close. So really, I shouldn’t have been too, too surprised that the upcoming marathon is turning out to be a bit of a, uhm, bush-league operation dare I say.
I know I shouldn’t be hard on it, it’s in its first year, it’s raising money for a great cause, and I haven’t even run the blimy thing. It could be great for all I know. But, quite honestly, I was spoiled by Portland. Yes it rained like a bloody mofo, but the expo was pretty awesome and they really did treat you like a superstar as we should be treated. And then last weekend in Toronto, while the expo wasn’t nearly as extravagant, it was still pretty good. And I guess I’ve come to kind of expect, when I run these distances, to get treated like a princess, I mean really, is that so much to ask for? Really?
Apparently it is. Last week I got an email from the organizers informing me that there would be 200 marathoners, and I know that they couldn’t exactly control how many people signed up for the race, but still my heart plummeted a little. While I’m not a huge fan of people (sorry guys), I do like that atmosphere of people around me, people to chase, people to get annoyed with when they pass me, people to understand my desires and my pains, people who wouldn’t even blink an eye with thoughts of crazy when I start belting out Livin’ On a Prayer in the last 10 kms. But on Sunday, am I really going to have that? Or, am I going to be facing a whole lot of lonely road?
And with that, how many cheerleaders are going to be on the sidelines yelling out our names, cheering us on, pushing us that one step further? Those cheerleaders are so, so important and I really do fear we will be lacking that this time around. Luckily for me, I’ve got a rather large extended family who, hear me now dear brothers and sisters, I will dig out the voodoo dolls for if they don’t come out. (ps. They can cheer you all on too :D)
Now I can’t promise they’ll be dressed in such fancy duds, but I have heard that one or two of them might be in spandex!!!
I was also notified that the roads would only be open for 5 hours, which for me shouldn’t be too big a deal as long as nothing goes wrong, but what about the first time marathoners, what about the ones who hit the wall, who have pukey bellies, or are hobbling on a IT band crippled leg just to make it to that finish line? How defeating would that be, working so hard to make it to the finish line and there not actually be a finish line. And yes I know it’s a huge rigamarole to close down the roads, etc., etc., but shouldn’t that have been thought of? Oh wait, it was. Apparently if some people don’t feel they can finish in that time, they can start at 6 a.m. – when the roads are not yet closed off! Awesome.
And my final gripe is that they’ve only got the package pickup on one day – with NO expo by the way (but I wasn’t really expecting one) – and that one day is on Saturday, which means, I’m going to have to drive into Abbotsford when I was hoping I’d be able to pick it up on the Friday on my way home from work. Can you say inconvenient?
But then again, I knew in January when I signed up for this marathon that it wasn’t for the locale, and it sure as heck wasn’t for the loot. This marathon, as flawed as it may be, has something that Portland never had: my favourite running chicks! So, it really can’t be that bad can it 😀
What was your best/worst race?
I know the feeling. I mean, I don’t, but I do. What?! No, I mean, I like to pick big-ass races for all the reasons you mentioned above. The atmosphere, the swag, the cheering spectators!
You will be with friends, that’s worth more than gold!
I hope you have a great race that far exceeds your expectations. :^) And wherever you’re running in that picture is gorgeous. Makes me jealous.
consider this is practice for the Tiffany Race, there you will be treated as a Princess!
contact the Race director about picking your stuff up on friday. they might make an exception for you (you are a princess afterall) that is one benefit of a small race – personalized service.
will be cheering from philadelphia for ya!
Katie, Katie, Katie….what can I say? You were spoiled by Portland however, the joy of a smaller race is not being jostled by thousands of people as you try to run your race. Bay to Breakers had over 50,000 people a couple of weekends ago and the only exciting thing about the expo was seeing my name overhead where you picked up your race number. They also advertised on facebook about a secret word to use to get a limited edition pin which turned out to be a tiny little button. Not very exciting at all.
I have been to races with big expos (Disney) and races with non-existent expos (Run for Water) and really for me it is about the bling at the end and the sense of accomplishment for finishing another race.
Take the race for what it is…a Boston qualifying marathon in your hometown. Enjoy the route, which you know so well and just bask in your success of completing another marathon.
I probably won’t be there to see you off but I will definitely be there to cheer you in as you complete your second marathon.