It has been a week since Ottawa Race Weekend and I have yet to write a complete recap. The fact is there are so many different approaches as to how I could review the weekend. After all, it was the end of a fundraising series of races for me; it marked the first time ever I ran a half marathon only two weeks after another half; it was the first time I ran two races in one weekend; it was my first large, international half marathon since the NYC Half in March. But in the end the race stands out for me because of the fun I had picking up race kits, visiting the Expo, hanging out downtown and running the 5k race, all with my 10 year old son, Evan. As a mom, what a treat to share something like a big race weekend with my quickly growing child. While he may have the look (and attitude) sometimes of a pre-teen, he is still quite content to hold my hand and spend time together, just the two of us. We had two days with no arguing, nagging, or rushing. There is a certain irony to the fact that on a “race” weekend we had the opportunity to slow things down, take our time and enjoy each other’s company. And, to see Evan finish just under his goal of 30 minutes, well, that was just the icing on the cake. I am thankful for such an opportunity and for the memories the weekend has given me.
As for the races themselves, I think Race Weekend does Ottawa proud. Sometimes we forget what we have in our own backyard. The fact is we have stunning scenery that I think is hard to beat. I would have to think that any visitor participating in the race would have to be impressed. Just the view of Parliament Hill as you cross the river back into Ontario is worth the run alone. And the spectators…I really can’t say enough about the people who cheered and waved signs on the sidelines for complete strangers. Prior to running the races I had promised myself to high five as many kids (and adults) as I could and I held true to that promise. I can’t even begin to count the number of high fives I received in the two races.
So, I could write about the food shortage at the end of the half marathon, or the difficulty getting into the correct corral because of the barricades, or what looked like a ridiculously long line for race kits on Saturday afternoon (not an issue when we were there on the Friday night). I could write about how unbelievably tired I was by the 18k mark or how I seriously thought that I might lose my breakfast by 19k and was terrified to do so in front of so many spectators. But those aren’t the things I will remember in the weeks and months to come. What I will remember is a great Race Weekend, with great organizers, volunteers, courses and spectators. And of course I will remember a wonderful weekend with a son still willing to hang out and participate in a sporting activity with his mom.