Last weekend I travelled out of town for a soccer tournament. Before we hit the highway I compulsively checked and rechecked my kit bag over half a dozen times and wallowed back and forth on a few items. It wasn’t until the next day when we’d made it to the field I realized that my extra socks were in no shape to be worn and I was down to 1 pair for 4 games (Thank goodness for accommodations with laundry!). Maritime Race Weekend is only a couple weeks away (YIKES! Where did the summer go?) so I connected with race director Michelle Kempton to get her perspective on things runners forget – and especially forget about Maritime Race Weekend.
Things To Do NOW!
1) Get your accommodations settled. If you’re planning on getting a hotel room and you’ve not booked yet, stop reading, go book RIGHT NOW, we’ll wait. Tourism in our beautiful province doesn’t slow down in September. The Ramada Park Place Hotel is offering a “Maritime Race Weekend” nightly room rate to receive discount, simply indicate you are with the Maritime Race Weekend. If you’re staying with friends or family, double check on sleeping arrangements – it would be terrible to learn the night you arrive your marathon pre-race sleep is on a yoga mat on the floor in the room their 3 boys under 10 share. In fact, this race is the perfect excuse to start going to bed early (the work really can wait) now. Get your body adjusted ahead of time so Saturday morning wake up won’t be a shock to your system.
2) Book Friday off from work. Friday traffic is heavy at the best of times. Maritime race weekend sees thousands and thousands of extra vehicles ascending on the small community of Eastern Passage. Race traffic will conflict with Friday rush hour traffic. You’re going to want to beat that traffic through Dartmouth and into Eastern Passage. The start time of the Friday evening race won’t be delayed because the sun will set and we won’t race in the dark. There is lots to do at Fisherman’s Cove so you won’t be bored while waiting and it will give you time to do a proper warm up.
3) Gear Check. Take stalk of what you plan on wearing for the race. Does everything fit well? Is it comfortable? Will it give you a weggie from km 16 through km25? How about your shoes, still supportive? Are your laces in good condition? If something’s not quite right NOW is the time to go make those purchases you need to be ready to run. I’d never advocate for new shoes two weeks before a marathon, but two weeks is better than two days.
Things To Do At Race Kit Pick Up
4) If You Can’t Pick Your Kit Up, Make Arrangements With Someone Who Can. Maritime Race Weekend is not a little event. Many thousands of runners will be participating. For the sake and sanity of the volunteers graciously giving their time to make this event a success, and for the other runners anxiously waiting for the gun to go, let’s all commit to do our very best to have our kits picked up at race kit pick up. Imagine if everyone delayed, or forgot, or couldn’t make other arrangements – it would be one heck of a line up at the event. Let’s all commit to just not go there, and if we can’t pick up our selves, get in touch with someone who can!
5) Gear Check #2 – Double Check The Kit(s) You’ve Just Picked Up. Do you have a bib with your name spelled correctly? Is your t-shirt the right size? Do you have four safety pins? Say “no” to any of that for yourself or anyone you’re picking up for? Don’t leave until you get that sorted. There will be volunteers specifically designated for helping you if a mistake was made in putting your kit together. While you’re there don’t forget to visit the event expo featuring Maritime Race Weekend Sponsors. Who knows what sweet additional swag you may walk away with!
Things To Do The Night Before
6) Gather EVERYTHING You Need. Grab your heart rate monitor, socks, shoes, sports bra, race shirt, spandex, water, bib, pins, extras of whatever it is you think you might need. The last thing you want to be doing is running around last minute Friday afternoon or before the birds Saturday morning.
7) Get Some Rest. Since we’ve already discussed making your sleeping arrangements ahead of time, now is the time to take advantage of your awesome advanced planning. Go to bed early. Enjoy your comfortable bed. Put away distractions. Calm your giddy, excited self and catch some Zzzzs so you can really enjoy the experience.
At The Race
8) Warm Up. There will be distractions a plenty and LOTS going on around you. Don’t let this get in the way of a proper warm up. Your warm up will calm your nerves and get you in a good head space to run your very best.
9) Cheer And Encourage. Have the backs of others on the course. If you’re having a great race, remember not everyone is. Sometimes a word or two of encouragement is all it takes. Be aware of other runners, don’t be so caught up in your own time that you can’t make yourself available to a runner who needs a hand or little extra motivation – there will be LOTS of volunteers along the course for this as well, but chances are as a runner, you will notice before they do.
10) After The Race, Enjoy The Party! Once you’ve crossed the finish line with a fabulous new PB, now is the time to celebrate your accomplishment. Recharge with Milk and other post-race yummies that will be on hand for race participants. Friday night stick around for the Pirate Jamboree (8pm-12pm) and Fireworks (9pm).
Best of luck in the last two weeks of preparation. We can’t wait to see you at the race!
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