Like any dedicated age-group runner, I generally take a morning-after look at the on-line results from my week-end race. I first briefly scan the top overall and masters results. Then on to the real interest area – my age group results: who turned up in my AG, their times in comparison to mine, etc. This was exactly my morning musing yesterday. With coffee in hand and a good internet connection I went to the results of the 2013 Mont-Tremblant demi-marathon.
Still gently testing my healing knee, pining to do the half but knowing my training wasn’t sufficient, I ran the 10K event. From overall results posted at the finish, I knew I had placed third in AG. AG winners were not announced at the post-race event so I didn’t have information on others who placed. On the Results web page, I keyed into F60+ and saw there were nine women in my age group, and some impressive race times. The F60+ woman in second place, Johanne Fortier, came in at 52:05:6, a good five minutes ahead of my third place finish.
Scanning up to the F60+ first place finisher, I see a time of 45:20.9. Not only was she first in age group, but 51st place overall and seventh woman to finish. Who is this amazing person? The name is Jacqueline Gareau, hmmm – Jacqueline Gareau, why is that name familiar?
Oh, could it be that Jacqueline Gareau, winner of the 1980 Boston Marathon as well as other marathons, a Canadian Olympian among many other accomplishments? I’m thinking, yes it could.
I love this about road racing. You never know who will show up at a race, particularly when you are out of your own stomping grounds and stepping into theirs. There is usually no clear way to know who among the crowd is in your age group and when it will be a running legend. That makes the surprises at the finish all the more awe-inspiring.
In addition to sharing an age group, I have something else in common with Jacqueline Gareau. We have both run Boston, the difference being – and its a big difference – she has won the Boston Marathon and I have met the qualifying time to get there. Judging from the philosophy on Gareau’s website, we also share a love of nature and an active life.
More about the Mont-Tremblant demi-marathon event in a later post, but in the meantime: If you have had age group competition surprises in your races, drop a comment and let me know. Let’s compare notes.