My Half Marathon weekend got a good kick-off with what one must do if they visit Kelowna, go on a winery tour! At 10:15 am, here I am ready to begin my day at the door of Little Straw Winery. You know you are early when they greet you with water and crackers to clear your mouth of toothpaste taste. Young wines to taste here at this smaller facility. We did get to try a very nice Icewine. It was good to start out quiet and easy.
This day started off with morning indulgence and ended early after a pasta loading feast of spagetti in preparation for the following morning!
We're not talking about best finish time, but the best of everything else you could ask for in a racing event! My time was in the range of what I had originally hoped for but better than I expected. Before leaving for Kelowna, I posted a hopeful finishing time of somewhere between 2:08 and 2:15 but after Saturday's feast of food and wine, I was just going to do what I could and that turned out being 2:10:19! I'll take that and be very proud of it!
I had a decent night's sleep, a respectable breakfast and the Hotel Shuttle Bus driver waiting for me at 7:15 am to chauffeur me to the start line. Were my stars aligned today? Was it the sign of a well organized event? I was in and out of bag check in a flash! I was in and out of my pottie visit in a wink! It then started to sprinkle but lasted all of five minutes. I scooted over to seed myself, "Oh Canada" played, the count down happened and then John Stanton sent us on our way. Once I heard my beep as I stepped on the starting mat, we then entered a wide open street where the crowd quickly spread out and we were never to be congested again.
The race from beginning to end captured my attention. I saw apple orchards, sprawling hills surround the city, beautiful autumn colors and still yet vibrant flowers. I ran by two horses behind a fence but very close to the road that were showing off their morning friskiness. I may have seen vineyards in the distance! Not sure! I didn't notice the incline but realized there must have been when we were awarded with a couple of significant declines. I couldn't help but put the pedal to the metal on these.
Once we got to the lake, there was a clear blue sky and sunshine. It was picture perfect but no time for photos yet. Sail boats were in abundance as were folks cheering us along. It was nice to see the routers out all along the whole route.
Seeing the finish line not too far way, hearing the announcements and the upbeat blarring music, taking in all the hoots and hollars, I got that feeling inside that invites me to dig a little deeper so I could finish strong down the home stretch. I had a wide open space around me and I gave it all I had. I heard my name, I saw what my time could be, up went my victory sign and on came a wide smile just in time to step on the finishing mat and hear my finishing beep!
We had ideal weather conditions. The route was most scenic. I had an excellent finishing time and a fun time too. I like my shirt and the gloves. The event was so well organized. I'm going out on a running high! Jubilant! Victorious! Content!
A Winning Combination!