There are so many things that makes this race unique. The Start Line is in one country and the Finish Line is in another. I can’t even imagine the logistics of planning a race that begins and ends in two different time zones AND two different countries . And yes… the time zone thing had us confused. We slept in the Atlantic Time Zone and drove 15 minutes to catch the shuttle bus in the Eastern Time Zone which would take us to the Start line in the Atlantic Time Zone. And yes we were an hour earlier than we expected because … well..we just didn’t think about the Time Difference.
You need a passport to travel across the USA / Canada border and you can imagine how that would mess with your time if you had to queue behind other runners to clear customs. The border inspection facility is less than a half a kilometer from the Finish Line so most runners wouldn’t look like their passport photo anyway. The only time that I could look worse than my passport photo is near the end of a tough Half Marathon. Fortunately the race organizers have figured out a way to get around this by giving you a chipped bib which you have to present to USA customs the day before, along with your passport. By preregistering the day before you can just run, walk or crawl across the border during the race and the customs officials will high five and wave you through.
This is the prettiest route that I have ever ran. Campobello Island in New Brunswick and Lubec, Maine both offer spectacular coastal views of lighthouses, fishing boats, etc. It is also the toughest route that I have ever ran. I wasn’t expecting those hills. For the first 2 or 3 km I kept telling myself, “It’s only a hill, get over it.” I eventually got smart and realized that I wasn’t going to get over all of those hills so then I started walking up the hills. Yeah.. I am weak like that.
All local hotels were booked so we arranged to sleep in a tent at a campground. Yes.. a tent. Sleeping on the ground the night before a hilly Half Marathon. … what could possible go wrong..? Actually that turned out ok. My hip has been scolding me for weeks and I was worried that Ground Sleeping would turn my hip into a raging Nag. Imagine my surprise to wake up Sunday morning to realize that my hip had miraculously healed. Maybe I should sleep on a yoga mat in a tent more often…. ? ( Two days later the hip continues to be ok. I think.. It’s hard to hear any of my body parts because my Quads keep screaming at me now. )
Did I mention the never ending rolling hills? Hills don’t scare me but these ones were relentless. I didn’t PR but my finish time was less than 2 minutes slower than my fastest time and I am okay with that.
Here I am at the Start Line, and there I am at the Finish Line.
This race has the best volunteers and the most spectacular views.
This wasn’t the steepest hill . Actually it is probably the tamest slope on the course, but it goes on forever. After 17 or 18 kilometers, this one killed me.
And I finished with a smile and that counts for something, right?