This post is Part II of a two-part series outlining my experiences at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Remix weekend! In Part I, you can read about the Cunningham Seawall 10K. I won’t touch on package pickup in this post, since I also covered it in Part I!
Sunday – Half Marathon
I was still aching from the day before when I woke up considerably earlier for the half. I knew two folks starting in the early wave at 7:45am, and wanted to be there to send them off before my 8:15am start. So I headed down in order to arrive by 7am.
Since the race started directly in front of my office building, I wisely brought along my passcard, and took advantage of my own VIP washroom. What could be better?
I connected with Susan, who was really keyed up for her first half!
Then, I had the opportunity to meet an out-of-town BibRave Pro for the first time!! Elizabeth (@trainwithbain) and I had been corresponding, so getting a real-life hug was awesome. I envy a lot of our US BibRave folks, who travel quite freely throughout the States to various races (much cheaper than domestic travel here in Canada).
And then they were off!
Ran into Corinna (@gusgreeper) and hubby Adam in my corral before our wave was launched.
Now – I had set some goals for myself, after a bunch of split calculating the night before. I wanted to take it easy for the first couple of kilometres – avoid going out too fast – and then pick things up for a nice steady pace to cruise to a personal best.
That’s not how it went.
Maybe I went out too slow. By 5k, I realized I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be, but thought I could make up the time. As I approached 10k, it was clear that a PB was not in the cards. Somewhere around this point, I caught up with Susan and – as requested and with her explicit permission – I gave her an encouraging slap on the bottom. I like to think that gave us both an extra burst of energy!
By this point, too, we had passed several bands/musical performers. A couple provided some great energy, others were a bit down-tempo. All of them were pretty good. But none of them had signs to tell us who they were, so I have no idea who I really liked.
My honey was waiting (at the spot closest to home) to cheer and take photos as I went by.
As we headed into Stanley Park, along the road by Lost Lagoon, and up the hill by the Rose Garden, my pace continued to flag. I was tired. We passed a singer performing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah‘, and a guy to my right said what I was thinking: “Enough with the ballads, already!” Talented musician, to be sure, but really not the rock ‘n’ roll one needs to be inspired!
Somehow I managed to pull myself out of my slump for the final 3 kilometres – which pretty closely mirrored the previous day’s route. It took everything I had to get across that finish line…and I was absolutely beat.
However! I had finished both races and was able to claim my Remix medal! I felt like a rapper!
I waited to see Susan finish her race, all smiles and celebration!
Then cheered for Debra when she arrived.
I was so knackered that I didn’t even stay around for my free beer – gave my ticket to a friend. But not before a few more photos!
All in all, I’m glad I took on the challenge of the Remix weekend. Although I have done a double-headers once before (the 5 Peaks Seymour and Spirit Run on consecutive days), this one took a lot more out of me (31km vs. 14km, so natural I suppose). But I was pretty chuffed and ended up taking all of my heavy medals to work the next day to show off to everyone! Why not share the bling, right?
Chip Time: 1:50:50
Average Pace: 5:15 min/km
Place Overall: 816/4977
Age Category Place: 108/324
I heard a few complaints about the gunmetal grey of the Brooks tech shirt, but I kind of like it. It contrasts nicely with the sunset-esque logo depicting the statue of Harry Jerome, an accomplished Canadian track star, an icon of the Stanley Park Seawall. The medal is fantastic – a First Nations-inspired orca design, leaping out of the water.
For running both the 10K and the half, I also got the Remix Medal – square, with a spinny guitar pick in the middle. As good as it gets!
From what I can tell, identical to last year. A tour of Gastown and some of East Van, Chinatown, and then hooking up with the Seawall east of Yaletown, eventually moving up to the street to Stanley Park. The toughest bit is the hill at 16km past the Stanley Park Rose Garden – before the final cruise around Brockton Point. The biggest difference compared to the 10K is that we were on the road, rather than the Seawall, for the Stanley Park portion of the course – right up until the last kilometre or so. I think this race is great because you see so much of the city – although it’s not quite as ‘scenic’ as the 10K. And with a few more bits of elevation, particularly near the end, it’s definitely more challenging.
The organizers/volunteers really kept people moving at the end – whereas the day before we had hung around in the finishing chute to greet people as they arrived. And due to the geography around the finish line, it was impossible to get back to the actual finish line, so I lingered outside the fence where medals were being handed out. As with the day before, there was a beer tent – and more live music. Although I didn’t stick around for beer, I’m sure it was another good part!
Would I Run It Again?
I’ve done it twice now. Again, it’s a solid race, and I think it would appeal greatly to folks from out of town. Not a ‘no’ for me, but not a definitive ‘yes’. Yet. We’ll see. Enough people I know running…I might do it again!