Chilly Chase Half Marathon: Race Report

Posted: January 25, 2015 in Race Reports
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It was one of those dreams where you know you’re dreaming and it’s not even a dream it’s really just your mind on overdrive trying to figure out something but without the rational thought to actually find a solution of what to wear, whether I’ll be overdressed or underdressed and what if I can’t find a car2go…and that’s how I woke up the morning of the Chilly Chase.

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The Chilly Chase Half Marathon is part of TRY Events, which organizes a number of races throughout the year in Metro Vancouver. The Chilly Chase comprises 4 races – 5K, 10K, 15K and half marathon. I seem to have set myself up by publicly declaring 2015 the ‘Year of the Half Marathon‘, so that’s the one I chose!

It was a wet and miserable (yet foggy and mysterious) Saturday afternoon when I went to package pickup…

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…which was very low-key, with only 2 other participants there when I arrived. I got my bib, a delightful pair of socks, and my timing chip.

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TRY Events are ‘bare bones’, which is actually rather refreshing – the basics, a few perks, and a small crowd. My only complaint about this race is that there was no course map for the half marathon, either online or at pickup. The volunteer explained that it followed the same course as the 15K, and then continued around the Stanley Park Seawall…and back again. Fair enough, especially since this route is very familiar. But I would definitely have liked to have had a course map with kilometre markers, a bit like this:

Snap 2015-01-25 at 12.35.29

After package pickup, I went to physio. Since the Honolulu Marathon, I’ve been having pretty consistent pain in my right foot. Treatment looked like this:

Physio

Electrical pulses & needles

(By end of the race, my foot was pretty sore again – iced it, and will take it easy the next few days.)

Race Day

After the waking dream drama, I got up and ate my oatmeal, relaxed a bit, and easily found a car2go to get me to the start line well ahead of time. A beautiful, warm January morning – perfect weather for a race!

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Ran into a few of my Forerunners buddies, and we hung about in the Creekside Community Centre gym. It wasn’t chilly at all (about 12 degrees), but nice to be inside before the race.

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The half marathon gun went off promptly at 9am (the other races followed with staggered starts, a few minutes apart). I spent the better part of the first 10km trying to keep pace with Bob (of NYC Marathon Guest Blog fame). I was able to maintain a pretty consistent target pace for the first 5km, but at that point realized that I may have gone out too strong as my pace slowed.

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On Bob’s heels

 

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Still going strong…at 3km

I think the toughest moment of the race was the south shore of Lost Lagoon, because we ended up running through mud. And isn’t it always the way? When you splash through a puddle, the water lands squarely on the toes of your opposite foot. Yuck.

We hit the Seawall, and the lead runners were already on their way back from the turnaround point. I started counting them and reached about 40 before heading back myself, picking up the pace again and trying to stay on track. Things started to falter again at 16km, at which point Bob caught up with me again, and we pretty much paced each other for the rest of the race.

I mustered up a wee bit of energy in the final stretch, besting Bob by just seconds! Didn’t quite achieve the sub-1:50 time I was hoping for, but 2015 is still young.

Finish sprint

Bookin’ it at the finish

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See…just seconds behind me!

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Bob, Gail, Stephen

I realized that after all the focus on last year’s marathon, I’ve been humble-bragging to myself a bit, thinking, “It’s only a half marathon.” But a half marathon is still 21.1km, nothing to sneeze at. And with the First Half Half Marathon just 3 weeks away, I’m going to focus my training a bit more and take things a bit more seriously.

All in all, a great race! Weather, friends, organization, volunteers, swag – everything a race should be!

Final results:

Chip time: 1:50:38
Average pace: 5:14 min/km
Place overall: 41/152
Age category place: 7/17

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Comments
  1. Emily Gercke says:

    Great time! Was it a PB?

  2. Lucy says:

    You are a racing machine! Love all the pics of you, Gail, Stephen, and Bob (especially the Bob photobomb).

  3. So proud of you BJC! It was great weather for a run in January. Keep on smiling!

  4. Wow, that looks like a great race, Bradley! Hope your foot pain gets better soon.Love that they gave you socks too – that’s awesome 🙂

    • bjcjapan says:

      It was such a fun race – and great because a lot of my running buddies were there, too! Foot is feeling a lot better..bodes well for the next race!

  5. MB says:

    Looks like a fun race- I love the medal! You defintiely kept your smile up! I hope that foot feels better, that can not be fun 🙁

    • bjcjapan says:

      For a relatively ‘sparse’ race, the medal was awesome! I try to keep up the smile…at least when there’s a camera around. I think my shoes were the cause of the sore foot. I’ve gone back to my Nikes, and feel a lot better. 🙂

  6. Sun says:

    Sounds like a great start to the year of half marathons! Congrats on your race 🙂

    Running through mud is really tough – especially toward the end of a race. Kudos for pushing through and kicking it in at the finish!

    • bjcjapan says:

      Thanks! Quite honestly, the mud wasn’t as extreme as it might have been…but I do like to complain. Overall, it was a fantastic run and a lot of fun!

  7. Ima Mosier says:

    I love the race medal!

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