The culmination of my Team Over The Top winter clinic (that began in earnest on Jan. 3, 2015) were the Mississauga, Canada 1/2 and full marathons, the Flying Pig 1/2 marathon (Cincinnati) and the Ottawa, Canada full marathon.
My team of participants performed admirably, overcoming the odds in a few instances to push through to the finish line. As their coach, I am proud of each of them (as I am of all of my TOTT runners – a number of them did the training but decided not to race this spring). As I say to all of my runners, quite often getting to the start line is the most difficult part of running a 1/2 or full marathon. There are, quite simply, SO many things that can go wrong.
- Annette Carter ran the Mississauga 1/2 in 2:08:32. Consider this: she raced with a broken toe and swollen foot after dropping her vacuum cleaner on it the day before the race. If this wasn’t bad enough, she took not 1, not 2 but THREE washroom breaks during the race. How she ever ran a 2:08 (close to her personal record) is beyond me…shear will power and pain tolerance – as she said to me later “no way was I going to quit!”
- David Harris ran the Mississauga full in 4:16:23. Consider this: David got deathly ill on the Wednesday night of race week. A raging fever, severe cold and flu symptoms kept him in bed till race day morning. He somehow staggered to the start line and was actually ahead of the 3:40 pace bunny at the 30 km mark. That’s when his illness reached in and grabbed him by the throat. How HE finished is also beyond me – and I was riding beside him for the last 12.2 kms. This is a personal journey for David where quitting is simply NOT an option. The most frustrating part is his training supported an easy sub 3:35 marathon – good enough to qualify for Boston. This WILL happen at the Toronto Scotia marathon in October, 2015 – mark my words (he will not get sick again pre-race!)
- Kristen Page ran the Flying Pig 1/2 marathon in a Personal Record time (by over 7 minutes) of 2:05:12. Consider this: she actually had a great day to the point where she said “I could have gone faster”. I had set an A goal of sub – 1:59…she’ll get that in her next 1/2 marathon race. Kristen has set PRs in each of her 2015 races to date since joining my TOTT clinics
- Kerry Howse ran the Ottawa Capital City marathon in 3:44:14. Consider this: Kerry gave birth to her 2nd child just 10 months ago. She also developed a swollen facet joint in her lower back just 3 weeks pre-race (from sleeping in an awkward position when in London, England studying for her MBA. I know – you’re wondering “is she super-woman?” Well, she is in my eyes – and I’ve coached Olympic and professional athletes in many sports. Once Kerry knew she couldn’t do permanent damage to her back by running, the decision was made – go fo it and try to break 3:45 (well off her PR of 3:18 BUT, under the circumstances, a big time stretch). As you read above, she broke 3:45 by sucking up the pain and mentally locking onto our pre-race goal pace
- Michelle Bolhuis is competing in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho full iM (140.6 miles) on June 28. She trained with us all winter before heading to her training base in Florida last month. She runs barefoot (the only iMer in the event to do so) and is internationally ranked in her age group. I look forward to hearing her results – this is one of the toughest iMs on the planet…
As you can gather, my TOTTers are not your ordinary athletes. They are mentally tough, physically committed to total body fitness and downright wonderful people. I have many more like them BUT few who dig as deep to accomplish goals. It’s my privilege to be in their company and to guide them to ever higher achievements.