Guest Post: Stuart’s Calgary Race Recap.

I thought it might be kind of fun to hear about the Calgary Marathon from a different perspective… you know, from someone who isn’t whining about the whole thing and complaining about her suspect case of food poisoning that just had to happen when she was running her first marathon. I forced convinced my brother to write what his experience was like running his first half marathon.


When my sister asked me to write a guest post on her blog I was like, “What blog?” Apparently she has one… and has for a while. 

Why did I want to run this half marathon?

Okay first of all, I thought she said rum. I thought she said we should go for a rum. Now that is something I could easily agree to.
Running on the other hand? That took a little time to weigh out the pros and cons.
The pros? I would be in great shape and slim down.
The cons? Well… it’s running…

The pros somehow outweighed the cons and I ended up agreeing.
Second of all, the word “want” in the question is used pretty loosely. I really don’t think I had a choice. All in all though, I knew it would be good for me and give me a chance to exercise more now that I’m not in high school where I had sports to rely on.

How did the half marathon training go?

The devil My sister created and printed off a sixteen week torture training schedule. The schedule began in February, which meant that I started my runs on the treadmill considering St. Albert was still in its annual ice age. The beginning wasn’t all that bad. It started off with two to three miles at a time. The thought of a four mile “long run” day was fairly intimidating. Looking back, I realize that a four mile run was the least of my worries…

As the training moved into the warmer months, I started doing my runs outdoors and found it much easier even though I didn’t have a TV right in front of me to pass the time. I stuck to the schedule for the most part (I may have missed a day here and there..) and found it getting easier and easier as time progressed. I was ready for race day!

How did the half marathon go?

I just want to start off by saying, who starts a marathon at seven o’clock in the morning?? Did they not realize that people have to get up at five in the morning because of this?? Have these people never heard of sleep?? I didn’t even know the sun came up that early…

Anyways, I began the day with a bagel and peanut butter (that I ate in the car because I stayed in bed a little too long..) accompanied by a 5-Hour Energy, even though my mom disapproved of it because I “could have had a heart attack.” We got to the marathon grounds and the nerves began to set in after I realized the reality of the situation. There were so many people! It was so frustrating at the beginning of the race because there were so many people I could barely move! I wanted to make up as much ground as possible before the adrenaline wore off but it was near impossible. Nonetheless, I found it much easier to run in a large group of people as the half marathon continued because it kept me motivated to keep my pace steady, and even increasing. I kept picking targets ahead of me for who I would try to pass. 

Note: When approaching a water station, take a few seconds to walk and drink it instead of trying to down it while running and only getting about 5% in your mouth. I learned this the hard way.
As the race progressed and I entered the ninth mile, I was almost sure that the Garmin I was wearing had malfunctioned. I would think that I had gone at least a mile and a half, look down and realize that I had gone about a quarter of a mile. Also, I realized why they start the marathons so early, it got HOT. Running the final mile was super exciting because I realized that I was just about to complete a half marathon. This is something that I honestly thought that I would never really do. I was extremely proud of myself (and relieved) when I finally crossed the finish line. I had always come and watch my sister and mom cross the finish line but it was never me getting the medal around my neck. 

Note 2: Do not drink four glasses of Gatorade after you finish, no matter how tempting it is. This is also something that I learned the hard way.

My family thought I was just doing this half marathon so that I could pig out on all of the free food past the finish line. To be honest, I was kind of looking forward to that. After I finished the race, however, I didn’t feel like any of that! I just grabbed a banana and a smoothie from a Jugo Juice booth and that was it. I am guilty of going back a few times to get another smoothie though!
On the drive home, I used the “I just ran a half marathon” excuse to eat some fast food, which my family never does. So we stopped in Red Deer and I got a burger and onion rings from A&W, which were SO good. I guess I need to run more half marathons so I can treat myself more often!

How did I feel after the race?

I was pretty sore the next morning, and going for a round of golf (walking, without a cart) was just adding salt to the wound.

Overall, I am proud of myself for what I accomplished and lucky to have a crazy sister who forces me suggests that I try new things. I am also extremely proud of her for running a full marathon! Let’s not get started on those though, I think I will just stick to half marathons…

My chip time was 1:47:42. I still argue that I was sub-1:47 because I stopped my watch at 13.1 miles about 300 meters from the finish line and my time was 1:46:58. I just wanted to finish in under two hours but secretly wanted to average around 8-minute miles.
One and done, thats what I always say. Except I’m sure that with my sister around, that won’t be the case. 


Once again I will say that I am incredibly proud of my brother. I made the training schedule for both him and my mom and each day I would see him lace up his shoes and pound out the mileage. I must admit that I was super jealous when he came home from the gym in the first week and said his pace was about 7:15 min/mile for his run. I’m only a little competitive 😉 I am so glad he stuck to his training and hopefully fell in love with running because I haven’t had the chance to run with him yet and plan on doing lots of that this summer!

In case you missed my Calgary Marathon recap you can find it here! If you want to check out all of my training recaps and see exactly how I battled my way through 16 weeks of training, an injury, and running a marathon with a possible case of food poisoning… check out the training tab! 


  1. So proud of both my kids. Couldn’t be any more blessed! However, there is never a shortage of sarcasm in our house.

  2. Remind me again Stu, how did we come last in the 4×200 relay last year in Washington?

  3. You did great Stuart! Great time, and in that finish area pic it looks like you’re coasting in with ease! The recap was great.
    – Shawn

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