Age of Sail Marathon

20 08 2011





Age of Sail


Its been a while since ive blogged.  The fact is I haven’t done much interesting in running.  I had 1 amazing run down in Scottsdale AZ a few weeks back but other than that ive been in full business development mode.  

Ive been doing a bit of running..mostly without a watch or a scheduled distance….just running.

The problem with that is I was supposed to be training for “ The Age of Sail” marathon in Port Graville,  Nove Scotia.    Port Graville is a very small town in NS, over looking theBay of Fundy.  Its where my Mom, and her mom, and her mom are from.  We summered there as kids so its special to me.   The brooks and rivers still run clear and are full of brook trout.  The people are still friendly and not suspicious or paranoid.  The air is clear and clean.   I love the place !!!!

So after my 100 Miler in early May, my body decided it had enough running for a bit.  I continued to try and train for Canadian Death Race including a hilly 50 km run in CreemoreOntarioin June.  After Creemore I realized I wasn’t having fun with my workload and the state of my body and dropped out of The Death Race.  I thought, “ok ill do some speed work and rock out the Age of Sail”, …………………hmmmmmmmmm.

Life being what it is I ended up running maybe 8-10 times in the 6 weeks after Creemore so needless to say I was worried early this week about running aMarathon.  

The thing is after the 100 miler I know I can run a Marathon on any given Sunday………..but its about how badly I want to suffer after…………..The past week ive been in NS with my kids and because I had such a heavy workload and wanted to have fun with them I was working from 7 AM until 11 AM and then from 9 pm until 3 AM……daily………not so healthy!

A few nights ago I decided to run the half marathon instead of the full.  Not my style to downsize but a good decision.

After a fun filled week with the kids, my sister Ava and I loaded the SUV, and packed in a few kids and headed out toParsboro,NS.

We used to do that trek every summer in the mid 70’s, so it was a bit nostalgic to be trucking along in a car jammed to the roof with squealing kids.

The weather was gorgeous, so I had the pedal down to get there and get the kids to the beach after 4 rainy days in a row inHalifax.

Got there we did. 

What an amazing day.  Blue sky, warm….the idealic summer day.  

The kids and I went straight to the beach where we promptly settled in and built a large dam on a small brook.  Collected clay from the river which they turned into bowls, flew a kite and of course made a bonfire. 

Im not sure I have enjoyed an afternoon more in my life!

My siblings and mother showed up at dinner with a picnic of Spaghetti……my first campfire beach spaghetti.  Home made strawberry shortcakes.

We had an early night and I left the kids with my mom to get a good nights sleep at the Parsboro mansion B and B

Next day I was up early and drove to the starting line and collected my kids who were adorned with Volunteer shirts.

My sister Ava, gave a quick run down of the rules, and a bit of inspiration, my daughter Elyse blew a whistle and off we went.

The group was halves and full marathons together so it went out fast.

I settled in to an easy pace and set out to enjoy myself.   

The run starts at the bottom of a 750 meter hill which has 400 feet of elevation so that gets the blood moving.  As you round the first big turn and start downhill at 4 km you have an incredible view of the Bay of Fundy andCapeSplit

At 6 km there is a spring gurgling out of the side of a mountain which I have stopped to get fresh water from since I was a kid.  It is the coldest most delicious water I have ever had and I was looking forward to this part of the run for a long time.   It was already plenty hot out so I dunked my head under and filled my bottle.  It was worth the couple of minutes lost……..a couple runners passed and looked at me a bit oodly.  

  There were plenty of well manned aid stations but I am so used to carrying a bottle from distance training that I do so even on short runs.  I always have a blend of carbo and electrolytes. 

The aid stations were so helpful and friendly, with bananas, oranges energy drinks, water that it was hard for me not to stop and have a chat…..i wasn’t in a hurry but I still wanted to finish before it got much hotter.

At the turn around I had only 5 people ahead of me for the half…….the full runners carried on for a longer out and back.

I thought ……briefly…….i could suck it up and catch the lead pack……NO.

I was out for a nice run that wouldn’t punish my body, as I had to fly to TO and work all-night that night!  Just to prove that point to myself I jumped into the field beside the road and scooped a handful of blueberries from the literal carpet of blue around my feet.

Anti oxidants! 

The whole run was a bit surreal in that it was a story book summer day with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.   You expected to see a red fox running through a field at any moment.      Very few cars passing and wide graded shoulders on the road.

   At 16 km my tendon in the right foot was screaming and causing my stride to have a slight limp. Apparantly im still not fully healed.

 I was extremely glad at that point I didn’t run the full.

I found the 4 hills coming back to be tough but manageable……like the switch backs in Old Mill, or Maple inDartmouth……..

I had way to much energy left I thought guiltily as I made the final 400 meter surge at the finish to a leisurely pace of 1 hour 55min. hmmmm perhaps I shouldn’t have stopped at the spring or picked blueberries during a race. Lol  Yeah right!  That’s what makes these types of small Marathons.

My daughter hung my beautiful “ Age of Sail” medal around my neck.  The medal has a picture of the Tall Ships from the age of sail.

My mother had already shown me a path down to the icy cold spring feed river below where I went and “iced” on a rock for 20 minutes.  Sitting there on that rock in the red river, listening to the crowd cheer for people as they crossed the finish line and the kids trying to fish for trout on the river, I thought this is the kind of marathon I like!

When all the runners came in we assembled in the fire hall for big bowls of fish chowder, or seafood chowder, or corn chowder with home made biscuits, rolls, and pies of all flavours and types.

It was hard for me to leave that perfect day and drive back to the airport and the hectic life I lead

…I cant wait to train next year properly and return…….




3 responses

5 09 2011
Joan Czapalay

Runners like you, Stefan, who enjoy the beauty of this Fundy Shore and the friendliness of our people make all the work of doing a Marathon worth while. Thanks!

6 09 2011
Lois Smith

Thank you, Stefan, for your positive comments about our “part” of the world!
I was not able to attend this year’s event, however, look forward to next year!

Mayor Lois Smith
Town of Parrsboro

12 09 2011

Its one of the more beautiful places in the world….still un-spoiled. Looking forward to next years Marathon

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