Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June Bug and her great Edge to Edge adventure.

This past weekend I was in Tofino, on Vancouver Island to watch some friends - June (aka June Bug), Cory, and Carmen run the Edge to Edge marathon. June was going to try and qualify for Boston. Cory was recruited as her pacer and Carmen just wanted to run the course because she never had.

The Shaunettes did a costume change to become the June Bugs and entered in a 5 woman relay team so that they could run and cheer. I got to do my first official stint as a cheerleader. What a great time - it was so much fun to actually be the one cheering and I now know why the girls love to do it.

We headed over on Friday and after a few wrong turns (or lack of) we finally go to Tofino where we had rented a house for the weekend.

The actual marathon is from Tofino to Uculet along the Pacific Rim Highway. In the first 10 km they actually run along the beach for about a km and then back to the highway and the view from the beach is stunning.

Since my foot was still tender from the race the week before I made the uncharacteristic rational choice to become the June Bug relay team's official Sherpa and Kirsten stepped up to run my leg and hers. Which she did a blistering time in - I totally expect at 2:05 or less from her on her next half marathon.

When we got up in the morning I started to laugh - must be race day - it is raining but it was still warm and the incredible wind of the 2 days prior was no longer there. There was some anxiety about the start since there was no timing chips only gun time until we realized that with relay and full there were just over 200 people running and the start was across the whole street - they could pretty much all hold hands and cross together at the same time (LOL).

I can tell you now that that race will never be the same - we were in full costume with june bug attenaes and shirts, cheers and music the only thing missing was the megaphone. We yelled and screamed for everyone and drove down the highway honking and blasting the stereo. At each aid station and port-a-potty we would jump out yell June Bugs in the house and start dancing. The relay hand off was marco polo style - incoming runner JUNE outgoing runner BUG and away they would go. June, Cory and Carmen said they could hear us for about a km before they would see us and it made them run faster everytime. Eventually other people started asking us to cheer for friends - can you yell for my daughter - sure what is her name and so on and so on.

People had mentioned that this would be a tough course to qualify on but we were optimistic that June could do it. The first 35 km seemed pretty mild and June was in good spirits - everyone had mentioned that there were some hills near the end into Uculet. Around 35 km is where they start we knew that it would be the time for June to dig deep so we made sure to get out and really pump up the energy. She was still looking strong and the hill did not seem too bad. We thought that it was just one big hill but no as we started driving it it was like holey cr*p this is brutal - 7km of hills and not little ones either, not rollers, I mean hills. This is where I was truly glad that I was not running this marathon and I love hills but this was too much.

We raced to get the other car and to the finish line to make sure we were there for when they finished so they had their stuff to shower and change into. They looked utterly amazing and strong finishing the race which is a very steep downhill. We then waited for the final June Bug and Carmen who had fallen back because of cramping. Everyone finished and there were times were great.

June and Cory 4:23, June bugs around 4:33 and Carmen around 5 hours all great times on an extremely difficult course. So we will have to go to Portland in October now so that June can qualify there which she will definately do on that course.

For me that was my best marathon ever - really it is much easier and you have so much more energy when you are driving the vehicle.

Peace out

Shaun - aka June Bug Sherpa

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