It's all Downhill from Here

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The Toronto Marathon is an annual event, in which about 10,000 people push their bodies over a gruelling 42 km marathon or a not quite so gruelling (but still gruelling enough) 21km half marathon. (I promise not to use the word gruelling again)

Kim, Jane, Maria, Susanne and I opted to walk the 21km leaving from Mel Lastman Square in North York and finishing up in Queens Park, downtown Toronto. I have never been part of a community walk before and felt excited yet apprehensive as the gun went off. We strategically placed ourselves towards the back of the pack, but I’m not sure what our strategy was. Yes I do. Our strategy was to finish! Training had given us the experience of walking up to 12km, but for Susanne and me, who had not walked a half marathon before, beyond this point was unchartered territory.

As we zoomed along Yonge Street (the longest street in Canada), we were able to periodically window shop as well as move to the beat of the various musicians who were stationed along the way.

Once again I was so impressed by the encouraging spirit of Canadians. This is something which has struck me since arriving here, that people genuinely and often praise and encourage one another, from students in junior years through to adults we have met along the way. Sunday was no exception, as participants openly cheered on other participants and spectators lined the streets urging on the runners and the walkers with cow bells, posters and motivational words.

The microchips attached to our shoes told us we crossed the finishing line 3hours and 16 minutes later (my best time yet!) and we each received a silver medallion for our efforts. From here we headed straight for the heated tent for a much needed massage.

I am SO glad that we did it together and am very grateful to the others in our little team for their encouragement and belief.

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