There’s nothing like doing races and pushingyourself to reach your goal. Whether it’s to complete the race or achieve a new personal best, everyone is out there together working towards their own goal.
By: Kari Tkach
Running the half marathon at the 2017 Manitoba Marathon really made me happy and in many ways, it was like coming home. I’ve lived in Winnipeg all my life, and running your hometown race really is something special. Five years prior, on June 17, 2012, I ran my first ever 21K right here at the Manitoba Marathon. After finishing the race with a time of 2:16, I lost focus on racing.
While I kept active doing crossfit, boot camps, and team sports like hockey and soccer, I still ran every now and again. I even joined a few 5km fun runs with friends, and the relay at the Manitoba Marathon a few times, so I guess you could say that I couldn’t completely give up running.
When my boyfriend suggested racing together this year, I was hesitant at first. It had been a while since I trained for distance running, but I also figured it was the challenge I was looking for. While we don’t train together, we share our runs with each other and talk about what went well, what didn’t and what our goals are. We support each other when it comes to finding time to get our runs in and also in the nutritional part of running which I’m learning is a big part of this.
Over a six week time frame, we entered three half marathons, a little ambitious maybe, but again it’s part of that challenge. The first race went well and I bested my 2012 time and finished in 2:11, three weeks later my race wasn’t so great. During the three weeks leading up to race day, I struggled with training during and on on race day I finished feeling defeated and humbled with a time of 2:21.
To be fair, that race was just want I needed to make me refocus my training. For the following three weeks I followed my plan diligently and going into Sunday’s race I felt strong, confident and ready to reach my goal to finish around 2:10.
The cool and wet weather for this year’s Manitoba Marathon was the ideal race day for me. All things considered (like a late start of 7:15, five minutes past the half marathon start time of 7:10am) the race itself went smooth. My pace felt strong. I normally walk while taking water breaks thinking, “What’s a few extra seconds added on?” But this time, I ran while attempting to drink water. I felt a sense of urgency or maybe it was a sense that I needed to catch up because of that late start time.
I love the community support for this race every street I turned down there were people cheering me on. Even in the cool rainy weather people were out with their signs and noise makers supporting the runners. It was uplifting and it gave me the momentum I needed, when I needed it most.
Running into Investors Group Field I heard the announcer say my name and in that moment I felt such pride and excitement. Regardless of my time, I was finishing the race stronger than my last. My time? At 2:07:28 it was a new personal best. I left the race feeling ecstatic that I accomplished my goal. But also excited for the next one, which will be in September, where I’ll be aiming for my next PB.