Monday, May 19, 2008

Race Review: The Sudbury Rocks Marathon

The Sudbury Rocks Marathon was the second marathon in Hubs 5 marathons in 5 weeks mission. Sudbury is a small city located in Northern Ontario, approximately 4 hours from Toronto. It is mainly known for its mining of nickel. Here is a picture of a giant nickel located in Sudbury, appropriately called "The Big Nickel".

The marathon medal is also a big nickel, which is really cool. The Sudbury Marathon is a 21.1 K double-loop course. It is the only race in Canada that is age and gender graded, meaning that racers start at a different times, depending on their age and sex. This means that a fit 50 year old female stands as much chance at winning the race as a 25 year old male. (This has yet to happen- the handicap is really small). Here is the course map and elevation chart:

We drove up to Sudbury on the Saturday before the race (we stayed at momma Hubs house on Friday night, which is about half-way to Sudbury). This race is a small hometown event with only about 55 full marathon participants. We decided to attend the pasta dinner as it was in the same hotel that we were staying at. We were glad we did because the key note speaker was Sudburian adventurer Megan McGrath. At age 30, she has quite an impressive resume and made a great motivational speaker. Here is an excerpt from her biography on her website.

Meagan McGrath was raised in Sudbury, Ontario. She enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1995, and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 2000, with a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry). Upon completion of her Aerospace Engineering training, Meagan McGrath was posted to Ottawa in 2001, where she worked as an Imaging Radar System Engineer, a sub-project of the Aurora Incremental Modernization Project. In August 2005, Meagan McGrath was posted to the Air Force Experimentation Centre, the Ottawa detachment of the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre.
Since 2002, Meagan McGrath has climbed many peaks throughout the world in an attempt to climb the “Seven Summits” the highest peak on each continent. At 0507hrs, on 21 May 2007, Meagan summitted Mount Everest, achieving her goal to climb the Seven Summits.
In addition to the Seven Summits, Megan has also completed the Marathon Des Sables, pretty much the toughest marathon in the world. (described below) She placed third I believe amoungst the women.
The Marathon Des Sables ("Marathon Of the Sands") is a challenging running/trekking event, that takes place annually in the Moroccan portion of the Sahara Desert. Meagan covered 245.3km (in 6 sections: 31.6km, 38km, 40.5km, 75.5km, 42.2km, 17.5km) during 7 days - equivalent to 5 1/2 regular marathons, through the Sahara desert.

Her enthusiastic positive personality and amazing accomplishments left Hubs and I feeling like anything is possible!

Race Day
Well I was sitting this one out, but planned on running with hubs for 5K or so, and then providing support along the course.
I met up with hubs at the 23K mark and he was in good spirits. He had found another runner to chat with (did I mention that Hubs loves to chat?). I was amazed at how strong he was, considering he had just ran a marathon a week before. When I left hubs at the 28K mark, he was starting to slow, but his spirits were good. I felt relieved.

Anyway, Hubs finished the marathon (his second of five marathons in five weeks) in a time of 4 hours 28 minutes. Pretty impressive when you considered that he was running the marathons back to back. Here are some race pics:

Way to go Hubs!

So my final rating on the Sudbury Rocks! Marathon:

City and attractions: 7/10
Expo: 2/10
Course entertainment: 1/10
Medal: 8/10
Race T-shirt: 8/10
Spectators: 2/10 (full)
Course support: 8/10
Post race support: 8/10
Difficulty: 6/10 (10 being most difficult)

Next up in the 5 marathon series is the Mississauga Marathon: stay tuned! Thanks for reading!


Marcy said...

Alright!! 2 down and 3 to go! The Man did AWESOME!! ;D ;D

Lily on the Road said...

WOWSA, great report! Sudbury, the moon scape of Canada!

Way to rock (sorry) that race, congrats...and great reporting...did I mention that? LOL

anners said...

Only 55 runners in the full? That takes some serious mental game! Congrats to your hubby!

Anonymous said...

Would you recommend it as a first marathon race ?