The Saskatchewan Marathon is now in its 37th year. They offer a Marathon, Half-Marathon, GoodLife Fitness 10K, 5K and a Marafun for kids. The Saskatchewan Marathon is sanctioned by Sask Athletics and is also a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. This year saw somewhere between 3000-4000 participants between all the different run lengths!
I decided early in the year that I was going to participate in Color Me Rad this summer, but that soon expanded into participating in a few different 5K runs. The first one in the line-up ended up being the Saskatchewan Marathon, which occurred on Sunday, May 31st.
On Saturday, May 30, I had to go and pick up my race packet. This contained my bib, which had my runner number and first name on it, a t-shirt and a few extras like pamphlets and a couple gift cards.
I was super impressed with this top! I knew that we were getting a shirt, but I really didn’t expect this. I was worried about what colour that we would get and that it would be yellow or green, but the pink is perfect! I’m also really impressed that it’s an Adidas top. It’s really lightweight and fits great. I’ll definitely be adding this to my rotation of workout tops. I like that the front is really basic, and the back just has the list of sponsors on it. It didn’t ride up at all while running, and it kept me feeling quite cool.
I kept watching the weather for Sunday and it wasn’t looking so good. It was saying that it was going to be cloudy, rainy and cold. Thankfully by Saturday afternoon, the forecast had improved. It was still saying that it would be cooler, but at least not raining!
Each race started in separate increments and the 5K was starting at 8:30am. Ian and I were up by 7 to get ready. I had checked all the race maps and planned out the best way to drive to the parking lot at Prairieland Park. Unfortunately, we ended up hitting one street just as a lot of the marathon runners were going by. We had to park at that point and walk the rest of the way. We ended up walking just under 2K to get to the location of the run. This was a great warm-up for me so I was not going to complain about this!
We got there at 8:10, just at the 10K runners were taking off. There were a lot of people around, music, and quite a number of tents. They had coffee, bike valet, massages, and bag drop. There was also a few companies with tables set up, like David’s Tea, Tourism Saskatoon, GoodLife Fitness, and MySask 411.
I did my stretching and within 10 minutes it was time to line up. I was starting to feel nervous at this point, but after looking around a bit I felt more at ease. There were all sorts of people in this run. Men and women, old and young, even children and some pregnant ladies! Some people were in bigger groups while others were running alone. The diversity of people and stages of life really put me at ease. No one was there to judge anyone else, we were all just there to run in the Saskatchewan Marathon!
Within 10 minutes of lining up, we were all moving forward to get closer to the start line. I stayed in about the middle of the pack, hoping to be motivated by others around me. It was start time at 8:30 on the dot, and off we went.
I was definitely motivated by all the people. I pushed myself more than when I run in the mornings by myself and was amazed at how fast a lot of the kids are! They definitely have better stamina than I do. There were some water and Gatorade stations at the halfway/turnaround point. At that point, I was definitely grateful to have some liquid. I had managed to run half, walk half and was quite happy with myself at that point.
The way back was a bit tougher. We were merging with a lot of the 10K people at that point, so I was a bit overwhelmed with all the people around, and all the people suddenly passing me! The sun was shining bright and warm, but boy was it windy! I was hoping to run at least half of the time on the way back, but the wind was definitely giving me some issues. I ended up walking more than I had hoped, but I did run the very last part.
It was during the run that I came to really appreciate that they include your first name on your bib. I had many people along the sidelines and at the water station encouraging me by name, as well as some of the runners saying “good job” as they passed by. That definitely gave me some added motivation and encouragement. I’m not sure if that’s normal for runs, or if that’s just the friendly Saskatchewan way, but it was definitely one of the highlights for me.
I couldn’t have been more proud of myself to cross the finish line after 41 minutes and 35 seconds! I was expecting to hit about the 45-minute mark so I did quite a bit better than expected. I checked my numbers online after and I finished 257th out of 341 people. I was also 24/28 in my age category, and 163/234 out of females.
Right after crossing the finish line there were volunteers there to greet you and hand you your medal. One of the reasons I wanted to participate in this run was because they give a medal to anyone who crosses the finish line, regardless of what length of run you are in. I was never much of one for athletic activities growing up, so it’s a nice feeling to be handed a medal for finishing and not just a ribbon for participating!
I had definitely pushed myself to run the whole last length, and I was feeling a bit sick to my stomach from that. I was quite happy to see a Gatorade station set up just after the finish line and quickly drank a cup, which seemed to settle my stomach quickly. I went towards the food tent for participants to see what kind of snacks they had. I got half a banana, a cookie, and a small carton of chocolate milk. They also had cheese buns, which I had turned down, and some coffee and water. I made the rookie mistake of not eating breakfast beforehand (probably largely why I wasn’t feeling as good) so this quickly hit the spot.
I was able to locate Ian a short time after getting my snack and we took some time to walk around a little bit. We then started the trek back towards the car, and that was a great time to cool off. By the time we got to the car I had stretched my legs out and was feeling energized again.
If you haven’t run in Saskatchewan Marathon before, I highly recommend that you do! It was a great first experience and the environment around it was so positive.
I’m definitely excited for the Mogathon coming up on June 14th. I’m hoping that I can improve my time as well as my overall standings. I’m going to keep working hard and hope for the best!