Upon learning that the half-marathon and 10k events had already been sold out two months before the Ottawa race week-end in May, I made the painful decision of committing myself to the full-marathon, despite my unsettling wounded-knee.
I register for the local race partly because the spring marathon in Ottawa has always occupied a special place in my heart. Back in the summer/fall/winter seasons of 2001 and 2002, I was training hard for my first Marathon. Unfortunately, unbeknown to everyone, the cancer in my father had relapsed and spread. In the weeks leading up to Marathon 2002, my life was in turmoil and the whole family was preoccupied with the rollercoaster rides of good and bad news. On April 1oth of 2002, the family finally concurred with the doctor to take life-support off my father. He was gone within an hour.
For the next 10 months or so, I was too busy to grieve. Then in the winter of 2003, I was running on top of Mount Royale in Montreal when all of a sudden the death of my father hit me and I burst out into tears. I was both caught by surprise and felt embrassed by the concerned looks from passers-by. Three months later, I ran my first marathon in Ottawa. Altho I have now done more than a dozen of these races, the memory of the first one in May of 2003 has always been bitter-sweet, because I was running that event for my father.