A race can be a favorite for many different reasons. For me, the 2017 Salmon Festival Race will always be a favorite race because it was the first finish line that I crossed with my daughter.
I have loved this sport since I completed my first full km of running. I fell even more in love when I crossed my first finish line. Little did I know that that sharing this sport with my children would surpass all the awesomeness that I have already experienced while running.
The Salmon Festival Race was held in Campbellton, NB as part of the town festival. It is a small town race that offers a 1 km run for the children, as well as the 5 km and 10 km race along the waterfront, on an out and back flat route. There were 220 participants total for the three distances, with 115 of those participating in our 5 km race. It was a great timed race that provided us with a technical t-shirt and a beautiful finishers medal! There was a little lack of communication on how things would play out but in the end it didn’t really matter with the smaller crowd.
Although the day’s weather was misty and COLD, the mood was fun. We were so happy with the later 9:30 am start, as we had traveled from Halifax (6 1/2 hours away!) the day before and the extra sleep was needed! Ashlyn was super pumped the night we arrived and getting to sleep early was so NOT in the cards. After getting some breakfast, figuring out what we should wear, and dealing with some nerves, we headed to the race. It was so cold when we arrived that we grabbed our ankle timing bracelet and headed back to the van to stay warm.
Once the 10 km race was getting ready to start, we couldn’t sit any longer. I’m glad that we went to watch that race start because they ran in the opposite direction that I had anticipated we would be running! The call was made for 5 km’ers to line up and we joined the crowd. Ashlyn was taking pictures of the scenery and we were chatting when the horn blew. No warning, just bang and we were off. It was confusing but we kind of giggled it off. Even though I have followed her speedy pace during training, I knew that if she was going to finish the 5 km, she’d have to reign it in at the beginning. By the half way point of the first kilometer, we were at a good pace and enjoying the race.
We took walk breaks when we needed, made sure we were running when our supporters found us along the route (ya know y’all do it!!), were inspired by the runners pushing strollers, were encouraged by runners who had already turned around and were coming back and then we became those who were encouraging once we turned around. Everything was going smoothly until we hit 4 km. Ashlyn had not completed more than 3.5 km in our training, she had a head cold the week before the race and her legs were telling her that she was done. We had a little walk break pep talk and took off again!
I love running a first time racer in. I love being the person who reminds them of all the hard work that has been put into this race – to dig deep and just give it for a strong finish. I love watching the smile that emerges when they see the finish line and realize that they are almost done. It’s always a pretty awesome moment. It’s incredible when it’s your kid.
Our support crew of my brother, nephew, my mom and eldest daughter were there at the finish line to cheer us in. They had actually been driving around while we raced and crossed our path a few times. It was pretty cool.
We received our medals, grabbed a snack from the chocolate milk, water, granola bars and banana choices before heading to the van. It was still freezing, we were sweating and the shivers set in quickly. I wish we could have stayed longer to watch the podium awards as Ashlyn placed third in her age group (F 1-19) with a time of 37:47. Lesson learned!
It was a fun race that I will always cherish, especially those last few minutes. I am now even more excited for this fall’s Maritime Race Weekend where I will have TWO of my girls running the 5 km sunset race with me. It will be so awesome!!