"Don't judge each day by the harvest that you reap but by the seed that you plant."
~Robert Louis Stevenson
It's easy to feel small, even insignificant standing shoulder to shoulder with runners waiting to start a race that boasts 26,000 participants; that's a lot of bodies and nearly twice as many feet. For someone running their first race at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) the electricity in the air can stir up even more anxiety than is typical at a race start. Even those who find themselves repeating this event can feel like small fish in a big sea. This event is loved by a lot of runners.
|At the start...|
I stood in my start corral, among these runners, as I did last year when I ran my first marathon. This year a few things were different though. The corral color was different, for one. I had trained my ass off under the watchful eye of my coach, Rejean Chiasson at Pace and Mind and as such had made huge improvements in my fitness and subsequent pace times. I had some confidence in my ability as this would be my third marathon in a year. The goal I had set of a sub 4 hr finish was lofty, but reachable if the formidable running gods found me in their favor. I stood knowing I would run a massive personal best time even if I didn't cross the finish at 3:59:xx. Last year I debuted as a marathoner at this race in a time of 4:51:xx; with all the hard work I did over the season my time would be better than that. The most important thing that was different this time, though was that my friend of more than 35 years, Laurie Ruyter, stood along side me in that corral, readying herself for her first half marathon.