Race Report Contributor: Terry SanCartier (via RunK2J Race Report Form)
Event Name / Date / Location : Marathon de Longueuil / May 22, 2022 / Longueuil, Quebec
Synopsis: The organization is excellent and the volunteers fantastic! Small town feel on the South shore of Montreal.
My Race Experience: Standing among all the runners minutes from the start signal, I became emotional. My friend Sylvain, who for years would come out and cheer at the start and at the finish, passed away of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2020. He was always so supportive of my running. I’m dedicating my run to him as I will be running in the city he called home all his life.
The countdown begins with sparklers at the starting arch. Time to run. It’s already quite warm and I’m trying not to think about how humid the air already is.
I stick with the four hour pace bunny. Her husband told her a few days before the race that he didn’t feel ready to pace the entire marathon so she stepped in and will be pacing the first half. I stick with her for 12 kilometres or so then pull back.
I have no specific time goal in mind except to go by feel and finish as fast as possible. My pace is not consistent. I’m fading and I can’t figure out why. I’m taking my gels and drinking what’s given out on the course as well from the 1.5 litre pack I’m carrying. I feel well hydrated and I had an excellent night’s sleep. Hopefully, things will improve in the second half.
I reach the start area and keep left to run the second loop. It’s now much hotter and humid and there is very little shade. I grab something to drink, a banana and am given two gels. I thank the volunteers and walk for the first time as my hands are full trying to hold on to everything. I’ve completely consumed the contents in my water pack.
The early part of the loop is nice as we’re running in Parc Michel Chartrand with plenty of mature trees. I’m curious to get to the revised section along the St Lawrence. When we get to it, the path is nice except that we are sandwiched between the seaway and a busy highway. Still, I make the best of it and look out at the Olympic Stadium and large ships in the water. There is shade as long as I run along the stone wall. It does help as I’m able to run continuously. I stop quickly at the water station. They only have water left and some hard plastic cups. I continue for several kilometres before heading back (the only out-and-back section). I stop again at the aid station and now they’ve run out of cups. I open up my water pack and the volunteer filled it with at least a litre. I thank her profusely and continue.
A runner stops and asks to be taken back to the start line at the medic tent. I’m surrounded by runners struggling. It’s rare for this race to hit temps in the high twenties and low thirties.
I run and take short walks and run some more. In the last stretch I see many runners who like me are run-walking. I pass one who asks me if I have wheels under my shoes. “I wish I did!” He’s running his twelfth marathon and is 74.
With less than a half kilometre to the finish, I pick up the pace. I can hear footsteps behind me. It prompts me to run even faster.
I stop my Garmin and look at my finish time. Ouch! It’s a personal worse for this course. The heat really affected me today.
Some races seem harder than others. Today was one those days. Walking back to my car, I passed by a man BBQing in his back yard. He gave me a thumbs up and made a heart gesture. He seemed genuinely impressed. I thanked him, smiled and waved. It was a kind gesture and helped me put things into perspective.
Would you do this event again? Why? : I would. I’ve done it 4 times so far. It’s not a destination race but it is a well organised race.
Would you recommend this event? Why? : The course is relatively flat. People in Longueuil are proud of their race weekend and they should be.
Closing thoughts. Any hints for others planning to do this race? Where to stay? Things to bring? What to wear? : The X1 hydration drink offered on the course is a product that I’m not familiar with and hasn’t worked well for me in the past. I recommend bringing your own electrolyte drink.
Longueuil Marathon Info Stats:
Overall Venue Rating: 4 – Great
Rate the course: 3 – Good
Please rate the aid stations: 4 – Great
What was provided at the aid stations: The volunteers are excellent. Water and X1 hydration is served at each station. Gels (Brix Maple Syrup gels) and bananas are given at the aid station just after the first loop.
How was the weather: It was very hot and humid this year. Having run it several times, the weather is usually ideal and heat and humidity are rarely a concern but that was not the case this year.
Judy & Harold Footnote: This is Phase-1 of of Terry’s 3 Marathons in 3 Week-ends LOL Odyssey (Longueuil / Ottawa / Laval). You are our kind of crazy.