When I initially decided to run a fall marathon I considered doing one of the two Toronto marathons. I am glad I took a look at PEC and decided to do it. I quite enjoyed the small town marathon experience and the course was relatively flat. It is also a scenic course, running along the shores of Lake Ontario and through Sandbanks Provincial Park.
The PEC marathon starts in Wellington and ends in Picton. We found a hotel within walking distance to the finish line in Picton. As per my usual marathon routine I was up at 3:00 to have breakfast then was back in bed around 3:30. I was up for good at 6:00 and was out the door around 6:30 to walk to the finish line to catch a bus to the start. I wasn’t planning on bringing an extra layer of clothes to keep warm in at the start but I am glad I ended up taking advantage of the service they had to return our belongings to the finish line. It was cool this morning and given that I was on one of the first buses and at the start line around 7:00 I would have been frozen by the time the race started at 8:00.
As mentioned it was pretty cool at the start but once we got going we quickly warmed up and it was a perfect morning for a run. I felt strong in the first half of the race and hit the half at least a minute ahead of my time in the first half of this year’s Ottawa marathon. We started running into a headwind around 26 km into the race. I managed to keep up with my pace for a while but at around 34 km I could feel that the wind was making me work harder and was tiring me out. I started doing 10 and 1’s from this point on. The course is relatively flat with a couple of hills toward the end. The hills presented another challenge but I think it had more to do with the fact that I was already fighting the wind. By 39 km I was exhausted but as we got into Picton I started to feel a final burst of energy and at 40 km I started to pick up my pace again because I knew the finish was close.
In the end I crossed the line in 3:22:52, good enough for 32/220 and 31/133 men. Also in May, I experienced cramping in my calf muscles over the last 10km. In an effort to avoid that today I increased my mileage in training over the summer and I did not experience any cramping today. I think it was another good step towards my eventual goal of a BQ.
I would recommend this race to anyone considering it. The small town vibe is fun and a nice change from running in the city. Plus, if you have a spouse who is not running the option to visit several wineries around Picton is a good selling point!