Friday, November 4, 2011

My Marathon Man

It's marathon weekend.  Again!

This time, we're heading to Hamilton.  Me with my trusty camera - Doug with his trusty Asics.

My marathon man is at it again but things are a little different than they were in April.  On Sunday, instead of taking part in the ancient tradition of the Boston marathon, he's taking on the three year old Hamilton marathon.

This time, instead of taking hours and hours to wander through the Boston expo, we will probably take 15 minutes to wander through the Hamilton one.  Apparently it's in a tent by the finish line.

Instead of 26,000 runners, there are 2,500.

Instead of throngs of spectators lining the streets and screaming for hours there will probably be long stretches with no one other than police officers holding back cars at traffic lights.

Police officers...and me and my posse - ready to collect excess clothing, refill water, hand out lip balm, cheer, scream and take lots of pictures.

Cause that's what we do for the people we love.

It was an interesting summer with both of us training for marathons.  Maybe because it was my first but all summer long I felt like my entire life revolved around my running schedule.  I was always in some phase of running - planning a run, getting ready for a run, running, recovering from a run or cross-training to prepare for the next run.

Doug, who did the same training I did plus an extra month's worth, didn't seem at all phased by the whole thing.  Perhaps because he's done it before but he made the whole thing look easy (though I know very well that it's not).

I would hardly know he was running a marathon in two days except that it's on the calendar.

I've been at the finish line now for three of Doug's marathons.  Each time I've had to follow him in my mind, looking at the clock and sending him courage as I waited at the finish - scanning every runner until I spotted his familiar gait.  It's fun, exciting but emotionally draining too.  Especially when I see runner after runner limping, grimacing in pain, collapsing, crying or looking downright ghastly.  One gets to see some pretty nasty things when they hang out at the finish line of a marathon.

Doug is a great runner and I'm not really worried about him but I always feel better once I've got him in my sights.

This time will be different. This time I get to stalk him. There's one long stretch where he's on his own but I'll still get to plant myself at 2 or 3 spots along the route.  Provide support should he need it and reassure myself that yep, he's fine.

Only then will I race to the finish, find the perfect photography position and stare down the road willing him to appear.

He always does, looking the way he always looks - strong and steady.

A few hundred metres from the finish line of the Niagara Falls marathon (3:35)

Coming up the home stretch of the Cleveland marathon (3:42)

Stay tuned for next week's photos and recap of the Hamilton Marathon.

1 comment:

  1. He certainly does have a very specific gait and it's a fast one!
    I am looking forward to spectating my first ever race and watching an amazing marathon runner. GO DOUG!