It was a beautiful, sunny, clear, fairly calm day with no snow. I think all 2000 people that were signed up for the run were there and close to me. I do like my privacy.
Did the starting gun go off? I never did hear it. Were there instructions? I could not hear them. Was the group starting to move at a walking pace? Yes. I went too. Then a slow jog started. Me too. Then there was a mat across the street. I did not see it. My foot caught it. Down I went, with only about 1000 people right behind me. Good thing I spent so many years working with gymnastics when I was younger. I hit the street, did a quick forward ankle-over-teakettle roll and was on my feet again with only a slight twisted ankle and stinging knee and hand. Four more steps and one of my two water bottles escaped my belt and tumbled to the street. Remember those 1000 people behind me. I left the bottle for them. The run route twisted and turned through beautiful residential streets for several kilometres and then stretched out as far as I could see in a straight line. My feet started to hurt by about 10 km but I felt a lot better than the person lying at the side of the street at 11 km. I heard the ambulance come for them as I kept running. I didn't want that ambulance to come for me. My plan was to run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 10, etc. I manage to do that until about 14 km but by then my feet felt like they were running on hot coals. Are we having fun yet? For much of the rest of the run, I ran when I could and walked when I needed too and forgot the watch. I was still finished, yes, I finished, within the time frame that I had set for myself.
The pun for the Chilly Half Marathon was evident in the finish line: Chilli peppers on the finish poles and a metal chilli pepper on the finish medal.
p.s. Just for the record: I was 13 out of 15 for my age group; 750 out of 809 males; and 1545 out of 1772 runners that finished and the "official time was 2:26:28 so I guess Églantine was a bit fast on the finish line photo. Thanks to Églantine for both the run photos. (I did not take my camera and tripod.)