Hail hail to the good times
It was a near-perfect day for running as the temperatures were perfect and there was very little wind for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. To tell you the truth, as excited as I was about the weather I was also a little jealous after my last few marathons had less-than-ideal conditions.
Lanni Marchant and Krista Duchene were chasing Sylvia Reugger’s Canadian marathon record (1985) of 2:28:36. On the men’s side Eric Gillis and Rob Watson were chasing Jerome Drayton’s Canadian marathon record (1975) of 2:10:09 and the leaders were aiming for the Canadian soil record of 2:07:58.
All parties went through the halfway mark ahead of pace.
About 90 minutes into the race I went into the broadcast booth with Tim Hutchings (probably the best announcer in the business) and Michael Doyle (Editor of Canadian Running Magazine). It was great to sit down and watch the race unfold on the screen. It became clear to me pretty quickly that the cameras on the course were focused on the leaders and we weren’t getting any info on the Canadians. Twitter was the easy solution to get the updates I wanted. It seemed every time I looked down at my phone for updates that I would look back up at the screen and our faces were being broadcasted. This led to many friends tweeting and texting me messages trying to get me to laugh on air.
“I think something’s on your teeth”
“Sienna Heights owns me” (Inside joke about Kyle D losing a 4 x 800m back in the day)
“get off your phone when Mr Hutchings is talking to you” (all the way from Scotland!)
“give me a peace sign”
The good thing that came out of me checking my phone is that I was able to give some updates on the Canadians. Chris Moulton even made it really easy for me by tweeting how fast Eric had to run his last 10km to get under the record.
In the end Chimsa got the Canadian soil record running 2:07:05. After that I was anxiously waiting Eric’s arrival. I was ready to rip off my mic and run over to the finish line. Eric ended up running 2:11:48 for 5th and Rob 2:13:29 for 6th. It was a great result for both.
Eric had a few injuries this year and didn’t start a couple of marathons so to run 2:11 from where he was a few months ago goes to show that he is a big talent. If he can get some consistent training in between marathons then a big improvement is in the cards. That was Rob’s fourth marathon in the past seven months and he ended up with a PB.
It would have been great to see Eric break the record, and for me, selfishly, there would be less pressure chasing a six week old record than a 38 year old record! haha
The first women ran 2:25, which is a great performance but at that point we were really interested in seeing the Canadian women who were posting good splits through 35km. We could see them coming up Bay on the screen and knowing the course I was confident in calling that Lanni was going to break the record a minute or so out. They both ended up breaking the old record, (Lanni 2:28:00 and Kirsta 2:28:32). What a day for Canadian women’s marathoning!
New Balance made some awesome throwback singlets commemorating Jerome Drayton.
I wrote in a Tweet that Eric and I now need to pose with a big poster of Lanni and Krista…
One week until Niagara Falls half marathon!