Monday, April 22, 2013

One Marathon. Done.

I've crossed another goal off of my annual goal list: complete a marathon.  Which I did this past Saturday.  My feet still hurt.  Here's what we did:

  • We skipped the trip to the San Juans, unfortunately.  It was storming the night before we left and we figured that if for some reason the ferries to the east side of the sound and the ferry through the San Juans got delayed due to the weather there would be no way to make it to the marathon.
  • So we hopped the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria BC the next morning and the weather turned out to be nice as soon as we got to the BC side of the water.
  • I did complete the marathon (see certificate above).  Note that I am the slowest walker I know and it took nearly nine hours of walking to complete (needless to say my feet and still unhappy).  Of course the fact that I would walk ten paces then find something interesting to take a picture of didn't help (see photos here and here).
  • Canadians are the nicest people on the planet!  They are so friendly and helpful (nearly a half dozen times people stopped to ask if I was lost or needed help during the walk since I was looking around for the trail markers and, well, I probably did look lost.  One guy went zipping by me on a bike, stopped, turned around, and came back to ask if I was looking for something.  Amazing!).  Also, if you are anywhere in the vicinity of a crosswalk, they stop and wait patiently while you cross the street (in Las Vegas, unless it is a certainty that you will cause damage to their car, people don't stop at crosswalks).  tl;dr: if it wasn't freezing cold in Canada, I would move there!
  • The weather was great for a walk.  It was sunny and warm most of the way with a light breeze--perfect for walking.
  • There is A LOT of nature in Victoria BC!  We walked 12+ miles out from Victoria and found ourselves in the wilderness.  We walked the Lochshead Trail, around two lakes, and hit all kinds of other trails through forests and along waterways.  Beautiful!
  • Canadians also sound nice (I like their accents!) and look nice (or maybe everyone I saw on the trial looked nice because they get out in nature often.  Maybe socialized health care?  Whatever it is, they look much healthier than Americans).
  • We had donairs twice (something we don't often find in the US) but I couldn't find poutine anywhere (it looked tasty on a Food Network Canada TV show we watched).
  • Bus service around the island was excellent, with a $5 pass, we could get on and off buses all day as we checked out various parts of the city.
  • I was a little leery about the hotel we reserved (Travelodge in Esquimalt) because it was a cheap rate where you pay first then find out the name of the hotel but I thought that since it was a two-star hotel with hundreds of four-star ratings, it might be OK.  And it was.  It was clean and quiet and well cared for and located perfectly for us.  We were super happy with the hotel!
  • This was a smaller walk festival than I have been to in the past with only about 20 people completing the marathon and lots of people doing shorter walks and while I walked by myself much of the way, I did walk about 10k with a lady who was preparing for a May trip to Spain to do the 800k Camino de Santiago walk.  You meet the most interesting people volksmarching!
Overall it was a wonderful trip, I got to knock off another goal (although "do a marathon" may never again end up on my goals lists!), and I am already planning to come back up to the Pacific Northwest next summer to attend a week-long volksmarch festival in the Columbia River Gorge (where I will do daily 10k walks instead of one long--and painful--42k walk!).


  1. Congratulations on completing the marathon! That's fantastic. I am not a fan of either poutine or donairs, but I like our Canadian national sweets - Nanaimo bars and butter tarts! Which require a lot of walking off :)

    1. Oh no...I totally forgot abut finding a Nanaimo bar while I was there! Love those things!

  2. Wow!! That's wonderful! Congratulations & well done!!

  3. Holy cow April! You did it! That's so awesome! I love the photos you took. It looks incredibly beautiful there.