Posted by: roblanger | May 17, 2010

Mississauga Marathon Race Report

Wow, what an incredible day. Conditions at the start of the race could not have been more perfect. It was about 10 degrees celcius and sunny as the gun went off at 7:30 am on Sunday morning.

The start corral was marked off for runners to line up based on where they thought they would finish. The front was for sub 3 hour runners and behind that was 3:00 to 3:10. This is where I lined up. Why? Well, this was actually my “A” goal. Given my training, I knew that I was fit enough to come in at sub 3:10 and this was truly what I was shooting for. So I was pretty much at the front of the pack and didn’t have to weave through anyone at the start.

I went out pretty fast, caught up in all of the excitement and the slight downhill that begins the course before it flatens out about 500 meters into the race. First kilometer in 4:11. Better ease off just a bit, I thought. There’s a long way to go.

The first part of the course was mostly flat with some downhill sections so I ended up reeling off sub 4:20 kilometers for the first 15k of the race. This could only lead to trouble. WAY TOO FAST!! Who did I think I was? Some elite African in the body of a middle-aged white guy, that’s who! Robert “Cheruiyot” Langer goes through the half in 1:30:54, on pace for a possible sub 3:00 finish! Go Robbie Go people cheered along the beautiful streets of Mississauga. “You’re in 72nd place”, yelled one fan counting the runners as they went by the 22k marker. “Seventy-second place?”, I thought. “Better step on the gas!”

Robert “Cheruiyot” Langer was feeling great and nothing would keep him from smashing the Langer household marathon record by nearly 2 hours. Unfortunately, it seemed like he couldn’t differentiate the gas peddle from the break, and he ended up slowing after the half, but Robert “Cheruiyot” Langer crossed the 30k mark in 2:11. Forty-nine minutes and 12k to glory. Forty-nine minutes for 12k? No problem! Not for an African-Canadian like me.

Thirty-five kilometers and still going strong. Wait… what’s that? I’ve been stabbed! Someone just stuck a knife in my ribs and is twisting. Help! Police!

Where’s the blood? NO BLOOD? Must… Keep… Running…

Uh oh, can’t keep my eyes open. This is not good. Must… Keep… Ru… walking… NOOOOOOOOOO! Don’t walk. Pick it up in 3, 2, 1, go…

Great, back to running with only 4k to go. But someone please take the knife out of my ribs !! Every footstrike reverberates in my head with the sound of Bonk, Bonk, Bonk, Bonk.

My run is now at 10:00/k pace. Just keep running. Wait… that’s walking pace. Hey, who’s that funny looking guy with the rabbit ears with the 3:10 sign going by me at 39k? Noooooooooooooooooo. A little bunny just crushed my spirit and took the last remaining Cheruiyot out of my body.

Ok, 2k to go and I can still achieve my “B” goal of sub 3:15. Get your arse in gear and finish strong, no excuses. Ok, maybe not strong, but finish running!

Down the finish chute, lined with people on both sides, I stepped on the gas and crossed the finish line in 3:13:26; 86th overall, and 12th in my division. Robert Cheruiyot would have been proud of the gutsy finish. Robert Langer certainly was.

One year and ten months of running. Four and a half months of hard training. Three hours, 13 minutes and twenty six seconds of hard racing. One Boston qualifier. Priceless.



  1. Yahooooo! Congratulations! So proud of you. All your hard work paid off. An inspiration! Yahooooo! Now rest up those legs for Cabot!!!!!

  2. Fantastic!!! You are on your way to Boston! Slow down a little now, and enjoy the Cabot.

  3. Thanks guys.

    Gloria, right now I’m sore enough that I’d have a hard time walking my leg of the trail!

  4. “Pain is temporary; finishing is forever”
    Congratulations Rob!!! All those hours, hills, kilometers, snowy/rainy runs paid off. What better place to be in April than Boston!!!
    Enjoy the Cabot…
    “Keep on runnin’…”

  5. Congratulations on your fantastic day in Mississauga. I found your blog from your Runners World post. I qualified in Mississauga last year and ran Boston this year…although nowhere near your spectacular speed. You are going to LOVE the Boston marathon for reasons you can’t even anticipate. I had a great day and savoured every minute. The trickiest problem was eating the day before. All the restaurants in Boston book up early. So plan for that. Oh, and register on day one…it sold out record fast and will do so again. Enjoy the training. Congrats on the BQ.

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