Monday, 3 November 2014

One week later...

New York and Hamilton marathon and half marathon results crossed my FB page yesterday. Great results for NL friends and acquaintances. Big congrats to all.

It brought me back 7 days to the Niagara International Marathon. Could it have been only one week ago? Hard to believe - seems like a lifetime in some ways. The Paradise Running Club team of 10 full and 7 half marathoners set out on a life changing journey over the past four months. I think it is safe to say that our mission was accomplished along the Niagara Parkway last week.

With the awesome support of the PRC group at home and on the road (thanks Mel, Mary and Linda), the team partied and shopped a little more than the schedule called for. The excitement of the city and event was almost overwhelming at times. The destination race was like a big family road trip minus the sibling rivalry. This tight knit group of like-minded individuals got along great and supported each other fully! Race day saw the culmination of months of training... and a successful result for everyone on the PRC Niagara team. Great friends and running partners shared an amazing experience. The newly bestowed medals for finishing 21.1 or 42.2 kilometers were worn proudly by all.

Only two of us had ever experienced the absolute joy of crossing the marathon finish line. A few more had felt the same joy at previous half marathons. On Sunday, those that crossed the finish line were greeted by cheers and tears. Each finisher stayed on until the other team members crossed the finish line. For some supporters that meant almost five hours in the cool Niagara Falls mist. Hugs and congrats were abundant at the finish chute. Ahh...memories to last a lifetime! Someone said their heart grew three sizes that day. I think we all felt that way about this awesome group and racing experience.

For the marathoners, some highlights were the bus ride to Buffalo and art gallery where we waited to start; the national anthems prior to race start, followed by the Last Post - just days after two of our Canadian Forces heroes died; the stately homes of Buffalo; the Niagara parkway and of course the choruses of Go Yellow Go and Where is Paradise? Well, everyone along the route now knows where Paradise NL is. located. I think it is safe to say we painted Niagara yellow and black. Congratulations to all my PRC teammates! What a proud moment for all of us!

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