More about the PanAm Games

Last week Helen wrote about the Games and this week, I want to let you know about my 
experience as a course marshal for the Women’s Marathon.  It was a very early start and walking through the Exhibition grounds in the dark before 5AM was eerie.  When I reached the muster point for the volunteers, the first person I saw was Phyllis.  The other TPW volunteers – Diane, Sue, Shirley, and Helen – were all there and remarkably cheerful, given the hour.  I finished my breakfast bagel and waited for my Sector Chief to summon us.  We walked out to Sector 2, from Jameson Avenue to The Boulevard Club.  I was assigned a stretch of road, given a flag and a whistle, and waited for the race to start

It was quite a thrill to watch the race unfold from my spot about 2 ½ kilometres from the finish.  The women raced by me 8 times as they headed for High Park and looped back to the start line.  The amazing Peruvian, Gladys Tejeda, pulled out in front early and held a big lead throughout the race.  Adrianna Da Silva, from Brazil, and Lindsay Flannigan from USA, battled on and off for second with Brazil winning silver.  A Canadian, Rachel Hannah made a huge effort to come from behind to take fourth spot.

The heat and humidity took its toll on the racers with at least four of the field dropping out.  My heart went out to Leidy Tobon from Columbia.  She was trailing early in the race and finally gave up near me after climbing the course’s hills three times.  I wanted to tell her that the hills of High Park have defeated others but our language skills only allowed me to ask if she needed help and for her to confirm that she was okay.

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