After a play day in Banff & a pre-marathon Canadian wedding (another first – LOL>), slept in for a late 9am race start – first marathon outside the U.S., first all-kilometer trek (42.2K), first of my Canadian Province Quest (10 provinces, 5 years).

Banff MarathonCanadian blogger friend Sarah pulled up in her Jeep rental, armed with bagel & peanut butter.  Curbside pick-up.  Pretty sweet, huh?  Canmore to Banff – 20 minutes.  On-street parking, short walk to Banff’s Central Park, 10K road race already in progress.

Layered up, trusting the day’s forecast: rain would stop, temps remain cool, wind breezy.

Small field of marathon runners, quick pop & we’re off.  One, two kilometers in town, then dropped onto a bike path which paralleled Trans-Canada Highway 1 to Johnston Canyon in the Park.  Pine & marshy meadows high-fenced to contain wildlife from entering the highway.  Vista views of the Park’s high chiseled peaks – STUNNING!

Unfortunately the distance between markers (miles vs km) wasn’t noticeably different – my first experience with kilometers – but the incremental # of markers, a bit overwhelming.  100% mental.  17, 18, 19 – nope, still not halfway.

 

Parks Canada asked us to pass on this notice (Issued June 1st):

 

The Wolf activity has been very active in the Banff Region.

 

WHAT:  Wolf warning

WHERE:  Bow valley of Banff National Park, including campgrounds and day use areas.

WHY:  Wolves have shown bold behaviour and accessed human food in a campsite.

 

Never approach, entice or feed wildlife.

Ensure all food, garbage, and pet food are stored inside a building or vehicle.

Supervise children and keep pets on a leash at all times.

If you are approached by a wolf, act aggressively to discourage it from approaching.

Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

 

Please report all carnivore sightings to Banff Dispatch: 403-762-1470

 

Route Change (Announced June 16, 2016)

 

Due to the increased and consistent wildlife presence, mainly wolf and bear activity, Parks Canada has determined that the Half and Full Marathon courses will be adjusted. As a result, Parks has granted runners exclusive access to the renowned Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail Route.

 

This beautiful route will still offer an accurate and fully serviced course for the participants. The Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail was built in honour of Banff National Park’s 125th Anniversary. The trail is a testament to, and celebration of the values of the national park, encouraging visitors and Bow Valley residents to explore the landscape in an environmentally friendly way.

 

toujours frais

toujours frais

An impromptu lap was added between kilometers 16 & 25, because of wildlife concerns.  Elite runners passed on the left…weird to be lapped, then to lap others as the race drug on.

30K achieved, loop craziness ended.  Thin air, strong headwind – but no heat.

Instinctively knew I was finally returning to Banff centre.  12 kilometers to go – a 10K run is 6.2 miles, must be just over 7 miles left.  Whole lotta estimating.

Had never previously seen a ‘40’ marathon marker.  Exact same wave of relief as passing mile 25 in the States 🙂  Couldn’t yet see the Finish but knew it was coming.  Turned off Bow Ave, short ‘city’ trek, then up Banff Ave to Central Park.

Banff MARATHON FINISHER – Alberta, first of my Canadian 10!!

 

2016 Banff Marathon

Congratulations K R on completing, with a finish time of: 4:48:40

 

Shared a walk along Banff’s Bow River with my pal Sarah, before hustling back for a hotel shower & autobahn return to Calgary – 630 flight home, work in the morning.  No post-marathon lasagna this day…had to stomach Tim Hortons (fast food Canadian).  Ho hum.  Celebrated belated Dad Day [on] Thursday with steak & grilled corn – lovin’ me some summer (thanks Ash & Tom).  YUM!

Next weekend:  Campobello Island, New Brunswick

 

 

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