Harrier Blain Penny had the following to say about his personal best run in the Ottawa marathon last week:
"Ottawa Race weekend saw just under 40,000 runners compete in all 7 events and was the first time in history all events sold out.
Sarah and I ran the 2 km family run with our kids Julia and Evan (in his wheelchair) to kick off our first event on Saturday afternoon. Julia - 4 years old - ran her little heart out chasing her other friends and finished with some healthy flushed cheeks. We had just enough time to catch a meal before Sarah took to the start of the 10 km race in the evening. I often don't get the opportunity to watch races from the sidelines, but it was really something to see the leaders fly by and eventually clocking a 28 min winning time. Sarah may not have set a record time out there, but definitely had one of the biggest smiles as she ran by us.
After a decent night of sleep and a 4:30 am wake-up for the 7am start, I was feeling excited about racing my 3rd marathon. The weather turned out to be perfect. 15 degrees at the start and just a light wind and overcast. I was feeling fairly fit going to the line, but lacking distance runs for the marathon prep and not quite sure how it was going to go. I had a goal time of 2:45, which to be honest, was a stretch and my lifetime marathon goal.
Not feeling overly confident that I could pull off my goal time, my approach was to be religious in pacing and mentally told myself that I just had to get to 32 km, then dig into 'the suitcase of courage" and not crater. Everything went to plan till I hit 32 km and I was probably a minute or two ahead of my goal pace, when I took a gel that caused serious stomach cramping. I was pretty bummed that it brought me to a halt and I just limped along in a slow jog trying to relax as much as possible to get rid of the cramp. About 2 km later I managed to shake it, but knew I couldn't take on anymore food or fluids or it would be all over for me. I finally got my speed back up to a good cruise of about 3:55 - 4:00/km and with the cheering of my good friends Rich and Olaf, managed to bring it home on fumes in 2:45 and change. That was good enough for 38th overall in a field of 4,000 with over 20 elite runners. Obviously I was not in contention for any podium appearances and all the glory went to Arata Fujiwara of Japan who won his first marathon and set a new course record in 2:09:33."
Great running Blaine...