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Race Report: Surrey Marathon

Posted Oct 03 2013 12:25am
It's always hard to sit down and put everything into words after a big goal race is over. Those few (or many) hours spent running were the culmination of months of training, endless conversations with friends while logging miles, elaborate recovery regimes, careful planning, learning about yourself, your body and the monumental task of realizing that yes, you CAN do this!

A race is never just a race and every time I sit down to write a race report I relive all of those things and hope it's all making sense as I put it all together into a story to share.

After spending most of the week worrying about the weekend's soggy, wet forecast I woke up at 4:45 race morning to the sound of rain pounding firmly on the roof. Hmm, guess they were right about that forecast! I quickly got ready, headed downstairs and sent out a few messages over breakfast.

On the way to the race I picked up a friend and fellow clinic instructor from our store, another friend and runner from my own clinic and of course, my sister! There were a few nerves in the car but for the most part everyone seemed to be feeling okay. Krista beat us to the race location but gave us the heads up on some sweet parking spots.

Central City on race morning courtesy of Krista
The race start and finish was at Central City which is a huge mall, office building and community space. It was awesome before the race because we could hang out and get ready inside and stay dry before heading out to the start line. And of course, take some pictures!

A bunch of our Langley Running Room runners and clinic members
My sister Brandi and I smiling and ready to go!
The start area was pretty quiet which is one of the nice things about running in a small field. We were able to meet up with some of our other runners and share a few "good lucks" and pre-race hugs. Before we knew it, they were counting down and we were off!

Four of us from my clinic started out together and since we seem to usually have similar paces we figured we'd stick together as long as it made sense. It made for a really nice relaxed start to the race which was just what I needed since my main goal was to keep a nice, consistent pace. Before too long we found ourselves at the 10km mark and everyone was feeling pretty good.

This was my only on-course selfie!
The course had changed a bit since last year and for the most part it seemed pretty good. It was a double loop for the marathoners and on our first loop, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I noticed there were some slight inclines and then a few steeper but still not huge hills in a few areas but didn't realize how those hills and inclines would feel on the second time around!

This year we had more trail sections which was pretty cool. There were some paved pathways and then a longer gravel section through Green Timbers park. In general, I never knew quite where I was because the course had lots of turns but I think that was a good thing. I don't always like knowing exactly what's ahead of me on a long run.

There were lots of chances to potentially see my sister and we finally passed her just before finishing the first loop. We gave big hugs and carried on. This is also where we started running into friends who had come out to cheer us on. My friend Sarah who came to Goofy with us and her family was there as well as Solana and Lisa with big signs and cheers. As usual, Solana was in crew-mode and asking if she could do anything or if I needed anything. She's kind of like my race-mom, always looking out for me.

A foggy picture of us from the finish line
The first loop passed pretty quickly and we finished it on pace for a 4:45 finish. I was pretty pleased about that and hoped the second loop would go as smoothly. I tried to think about all the parts of the course I enjoyed the first time around and tried to look forward to them.

Our little foursome stuck together for the most part. We changed positions a lot and each took turns leading, being in the middle and playing caboose. Even when we weren't right beside each other, it felt good to have my usual running buddies there with me. Funny faces and my hunchy shoulders aside, I just love this photo that local photographer Corinna Cooke captured of three of us in the rain.


This picture was snapped in the brief period of time where I had my jacket off. Because of the rain I decided to wear a rain coat and after being pretty warm for much of the first half, I decided to finally take the time to peel it off. Seriously, not 5 mins later it was totally pouring so on my next walk break I put it back on again. The conditions on Sunday were pretty tough to dress totally perfect for!

The second half of the race started out much like the first. Comfortable pace, feeling okay. Somewhere around 30km was where that started to change. By that point my legs were starting to feel kind of sore and I was getting tired. By this time our fearless foursome had spread out a bit and one friend and I kind of fell into step.

We did a good job of keeping each other laughing since we were both feeling kind of gross. I know that I did the training and that I would finish the race but by about 36km my body just didn't want to run anymore. This is the first time this has happened in a big race but I kinda felt like I was done. My legs were sore, I was wet, I was cold and all I could think about was how much of that darn loop I had left to run.

We decided to combat the fatigue by extending our walk breaks a bit and that helped. Perhaps if I gritted my teeth a bit more I could have run a bit stronger but at that moment I felt like I was doing everything I was capable of. Those slight inclines I noticed the first time around felt like mountains and I was in no mood to climb!

We slowly made our way back toward Central City and the volunteers and musicians were doing a great job trying to pump us up as we ran (or walked!) by. I got a text from Solana that she and the others were waiting for us at the finish and that boost my spirits for the last few km. My friend and I took our last walk break and said, "let's go be marathoners!" as we turned the final corner and saw our friends waiting for us.

Almost finished! 
I was totally starting to cry when they snapped this picture. After a tough couple of hours in the rain it was so nice to see our friends out there cheering for us. I was in full tears when I leaned in for a hug from Jen, my fellow clinic instructor.

This was just what I needed, Jen!
As I came down the finish chute, I saw my sister waiting on the sidelines for me and went in for a big and much-needed, hug. I asked her what her time was (4:22!) and carried on. As I crossed the finish I could hear the announcer saying my name and he announced the nicest little blurb about me, my family, my running journey after being hurt and the fact that I was an official blogger. I stopped after the finish, totally humbled and listened to what he was saying. It was so nice.

Finish line hugs for my running partner and her first marathon!
There's something about hearing your name announced at a time when you're already feeling so emotional, I couldn't help it, the tears flowed. I was so happy to be finished and so happy to be there with friends and family. You leave so much of yourself out there on the course and maybe it just finally hits you at the finish.

I found this race to be especially emotional because I had so many good friends and my sister there running their own first marathons. Many of my friends were in the clinic I co-instructed and I helped my sister plan out her training too so their finishes were just as special to me because I feel like I had been there with them the whole way along from training to getting that medal around their neck. It was so awesome to see them achieve this huge goal - it's truly amazing how much someone else's accomplishment can mean to you.

More finish line hugs with Krista!
We managed to collect everyone in our group and meet up with everyone else who had come to cheer us on. I couldn't believe how many friends had braved the horrible weather to come spectate this race and it meant so so much. I am also indebted to all of the brave volunteers who came out to be there for all of us on Sunday - especially the young man who was eating a bag of chips and happily offered them up when I asked if I could have one!

We did it! Krista's first full marathon!

Just call us the Marathon Scott Sisters!
In the end, my official time was 5:02:49. It wasn't enough to beat any of the time goals I thought about but it was close enough to my last marathon time (4:59) that I don't feel too bad at all. I had a tough day out there and the yucky, cold, wet weather conditions didn't really help.

No matter what your finish time is though, it's pretty hard to finish something as big as a marathon and not feel pretty good about yourself. I still feel amazing every time I cross a finish line and Surrey Marathon was no different. I remember each race for different things and while Surrey won't be remembered for a new PB, it will be remembered as the race that showed me how far a little determination and perseverance can get you. My body didn't exactly want to finish that marathon but my heart sure did.


I want to send a big thank you to everyone at the Surrey Marathon for inviting me to be involved this year as an official blogger for the event. Being a part of the festivities from start to finish and all of the support provided by everyone on the organizing team made my training and race day that much better. Thank you for inviting me to a part of this great event.

Did you run Surrey Marathon? How did it go?
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