Sunday, 21 April 2013

Montreal leads the way

Dear Ella,

So the first "Run for Ella" has taken place - in Montreal, organised and led by the very wonderful Maya.  Part of her blog post is below and some photos.

The Bristol 10k will I hope be in slightly less challenging weather conditions - i.e. no snow!

Lots of love

I am a member of the outdoors club at McGill, and they have a house about an hour away from Montreal. There's a bus that goes to within 15km of the house, so the plan was to take the bus. We met at the bus station at 9 and there were maybe 12 of us. As the bus was pulling away more people came running up and just made it! Then whilst on the bus, I got a call from a few others who had missed it. Basically, as is the nature of these things, we ended up waiting for two buses (they go every half hour), and a few people had driven up. I'm actually not sure exactly how many of us there were, probably around 30? (I've been kicking myself the whole time for not counting everyone!) So we took a few photos. My friend Yolanda had made the sign, and she wanted us to have a flag (not sure why!) but the only one she could find was a Quebec flag, and with the politics in Quebec and the separatist movement, it made everyone laugh!

It was sunny and cold, although we warmed up pretty fast once we started running. We were going along a bike/ski path, really beautiful, that goes all the way to the village where the house is. However, after about maybe 4 or 5km it turned out the path was still snowy, but the snow was half melting, so it was slushy and really hard going. We'd separated out by this point, some of the guys had shot off ahead, and I was closer to the back, taking it steady. Then, just to add insult to injury, it started to snow and hail - only in Canada! We ran alongside a river, and we stopped for a break at one point by some rapids because the river was so swollen and just impressive. After a while we managed to find a way onto the highway, so we ran the last stretch on the road - not as pretty, but easier on the ankles than the snow and slush!

Amandine, as friend of mine, was waiting at the end with balloons, water, snacks, and a HUGE grin! She'd planned to bike up and down the train giving us water and words of encouragement, but the snow meant she hadn't been able to. As we were standing there, a bunch of cyclists who had also planned to join us on the trail, but who'd had to take the highway arrived, so together we walked to the house where Jane, another friend, had cooked for us all. The faster runners had made themselves at home already, and it was so lovely to walk in and see everyone having a good time. Amandine and I had gone shopping for food the night before, and somewhat amazingly we'd bought exactly the right amount. Jane had made a chilli and rice, and we'd bought oranges, granola bars, tortilla chips, cheese and salsa for snacks; and then big tubs of icecream. No one went hungry, but there wasn't any food left. It was perfect! I'm guessing that there were probably close to 40 of us at this point, what with the bikers, and a few others who'd turned up from somewhere! 

People started to head home from the house, there were two drivers who shuttled people back and forth to get the bus. I talked to people about Ella a bit, which was lovely. And then my friend Sofia made me cry by getting everyone to be quiet and saying how wonderful she thought it was that I'd organised it. I started to say how much I appreciated all of them, everyone has been so encouraging and enthusiastic. I didn't even know probably a third of the people who ran, and I was just amazed at how they all wanted to take part. And because I'm a bit of a crier anyway I burst into tears in front of them all! Which they all thought was adorable, but I just wanted them to stop looking at me! 

Then, the last drama of the day. Amandine's car had gotten stuck in the mud, well and truly stuck, the front wheels were in ruts, and the tires were completely covered in mud. We'd tried pushing, digging out around the tires, rocking, jacking it up. Hopeless. So then, someone suggesting picking it up to which everyone was like "Brilliant idea!" So a load of us stood around the bonnet and lifted, and a bunch of others pushed, and it worked! We couldn't quite believe it! And then of course we all felt really impressed with ourselves for not only having ran 15km, but also lifting a car out of the mud! 

I'm not sure exactly how much we raised, it's still trickling in on the just giving page, and people gave me cash yesterday that I need to put into the bank so I can put it online, but I'm pretty sure just yesterday it was over £100 - I'll keep you posted.

Lots of love!


1 comment:

  1. This has had me in tears - totally awesome ;)
    Thats all I can say!