One of our new members has been good enough to share his experience with us, which I love!
So introducing – Patrick Westcott!
I raced the Scotia Toronto Marathon on Oct 18.
It was my second time doing this race, and I’m happy to say that I took about 12 minutes off my 2014 time. I finished this year in 3:50:35. The weather was a bit chilly but I encountered only minimal wind and it was blue skies and sunshine for most of my race. I was just happy to get to run in shorts and no jacket in October!
During the race I got a chance to run alongside and chat with Premier Kathleen Wynne along Bloor Street, she was racing the 5k. My wife and our two kids cheered on the runners in the beaches and it was great to see so many people and neighbours along Queen St.
My race was tough for me and was tricky keeping dumb thoughts and demons out of mind. This was my third marathon in the past 12 months and I’m still a running newbie so it’s all a learning experience. There are sections of the course that I can’t even recall being in (did I really run past Honest Eds?) and others parts that really stick out in my mind (Bayview, the beaches, Wellington).
Like I did in 2014, in the lead up to Scotia marathon I raced the MEC Toronto half marathon (1:44), and this year skipped the Toronto Zoo 10k and instead did my first 5k at the Pearson Airport runway race (20:59). The half and 5k were good preps, but I feel for my next marathon I may skip lead up races and focus solely on the marathon – I’d like to have more even splits and get closer to 3:30.
Speaking of the lead up to Scotia, my second marathon was the GoodLife Fitness Toronto marathon in May 2015. I trained very hard all winter and spring and finished in 4:17. I was very discouraged that my time was slower than my first marathon in October 2014. I had hit the wall at GoodLife (not nearly enough gels), had to slow down considerably at 32k, and barely dragged myself to the finish line. However, I was determined to try again so I set my sights on Scotia 2015.
Some history: I started running in 2012 and run and train solo. My old beaches neighbour – and my go-to running expert – Quynn Morehouse provided a lot of advice, books, etc that I eagerly learned from. I consider myself a rookie and I’m loving the challenges, rewards and fun of running. I’m looking to learn and experiment more in order to run more efficiently and faster, including trying group runs with BRC – see you Saturday @ 8:30am.