On Saturday June 17 my mom and I ran the Millarville Half Marathon from Black Diamond to Millarville.
If I were to pick my favourite half marathon in Alberta, this race would win.
While it’s neat to run through the downtown of Calgary, I think the scenery of the Millarville Half Marathon wins. The views of Southern Alberta are absolute perfection.
Saturday started out just how you want for a race. Cool, slightly overcast, but not cold. My alarm went off at 5am and my goal was to hit the road by 5:45. I drove to Millarville and then hopped on the shuttle bus to take me to the start in Black Diamond.
The race is quite small (I believe capped at 2000 participants) and offers race day pick up (the best!) so my mom grabbed our shirts and bibs when she arrived, and I was waiting to be bussed down.
The weather was quite chilly, perfect for running, not perfect when standing around waiting for the race to start. I went to my mom’s car to grab my bib, then we took a walk to the port-a-potties, and then back to the car to reluctantly get rid of my long sleeve. I dislike being cold, but I also really dislike taking my long sleeve off 5 minutes until a race and then needing to carry it the whole way.
Soon it was time to gather and wait for the start of the race.
I didn’t have many goals for this race, I really only hoped it would be better than Calgary, and the cooler weather was welcome 🙂
We started off a touch on the slow side, but kept trucking, working on keeping a consistent pace. My mom and I chatted about whatever it is people talk about during a race, and I was feeling good until about the 10km mark.
It was there my stomach revolted.
It had been upset the night before, but I had hoped it would settle while I was sleeping (it appears it did not).
I knew there was a port-a-potty at the first cinnamon bun stop…..3km away. I gradually slowed down and let my mom pull ahead.
(The port-a-potty is at the base of the hill in the picture. Ugh)
The stomach cramps, and related speed limit made the last half of the race a pretty big pain. A port-a-potty stop helped, but I found I wasn’t able to run much faster than 6:45/km and I cannot express just how frustrating that was.
In nearly seven years of running, this is the first time my stomach has impacted a race, and I’m thankful for that, but it certainly doesn’t help the frustration in the moment. I tried to distract myself by taking a few pictures and reading race signs, but that this point I really just wanted to be done.
I couldn’t even book it to the finish line, lest my stomach decide it had had enough.
Stomach issues aside, I always enjoy the rolling hills and scenery of the race.
I finished Calgary and Millarville in the same time, and given the issues experienced on the Millarville course, I’m actually quite pleased with the result.
My mom and I enjoyed a beer while wandering the market, and then decided it was time to head to her house to float in the pool. The drive is about an hour from Black Diamond to Granum, so we headed out to enjoy the weather in her pool with an adult beverage (or two?) in hand.
Thankfully my stomach settled almost immediately after the race, so I was able to enjoy food and drink after.
Has your stomach ever thwarted a race effort?
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