Posts Tagged ‘10k’

West Van Run

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the West Van Run weekend races as part of being a West Van Run Ambassador. Be sure to join the West Van Run Crew for social runs on Saturday mornings, and Thursday evening training!

With just over 48 hours before our departure for a 2-week vacation in Japan, the epic West Van Run Weekend 2017 launched in full superhero force! I’ve written about all of the enticements to run West Van Run, and the anticipation paid off with a fun, well-executed two-day event. Costumes, friends, PBs and a lot of goodies made the weekend a huge success!

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Great Climate Race

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Great Climate Race as part of being a WestVanRun Ambassador. Don’t forget to register for the West Van Run (5k / 10k) on March 4 & 5, 2017. Use the code ‘bradley‘ for 15% off!

In writing this post, I feel a bit guilty because my involvement in the race itself was remarkably minimal. I showed up, ran the race, and then dashed off for brunch with friends. Nevertheless, it was a very positive experience, so I’ll provide all the details I can!

The Great Climate Race focuses on the impact climate change has on all of us. It’s a walking/ running event series that enables participants to crowdfund for local renewable energy projects. I definitely recommend visiting the Great Climate Race website to learn more.

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Eastside 10K

Disclaimer: I won 2 free entries to the Eastside 10K from Modo Car Coop from their #ModoMobi contest. I appreciated the opportunity to run, and to invite a friend!

Now in its fourth year, the Eastside 10K remains one of my favourite Vancouver races. In addition to the charitable component, supporting the Downtown Eastside, the race winds through some of the most historic parts of the city. It’s well-organized, and I always run into a bunch of familiar & friendly faces on race day.

Except this year…those faces were really, really wet.

Flashback to 2015 – a rainy Eastside 10K. I thought we had it rough. I was wrong.

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Summerfast 10K

This year’s Summerfast 10K was everything a local race should be – except, in my case, fast. It was well-organized, with familiar faces, plentiful prizes, delicious food and ideal running weather. Hosted by the Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club (VFAC), it was simply a great race!

I’ll admit that I’ve been slacking on doing any speed work for…well, for quite sometime. Sure, I’ve kept up with running, on weekends and a lunchtime, but I haven’t made it to any of the after-work speed clinics or pushed myself to pick the pace the way I should.

So it’s hardly a surprise that I didn’t get the race results I would have liked.

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Sun Run 2016

Posted: April 28, 2016 in My Story
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Sun Run

Celebrated my sixth Sun Run this year! Here’s a quick recap of the last few years:

  • Sun Run 2009 (1:17:23) – my very first race…ever! Finished in a solid one hour and 17 minutes
  • Sun Run 2010 (1:04:58) – trimmed over 10 minutes off my previous race results
  • Sun Run 2011 (1:03:23) – slightly faster, but still room for improvement!
  • Sun Run 2012 (57:39) – finally broke the one hour mark
  • Sun Run 2013 – registered, but had to pull out due to my Mom’s illness
  • Sun Run 2014 – falling the weekend before my very first marathon, I decided to give the race a miss; fortunately, there’s a guest blog!
  • Sun Run 2015 (47:08) – hot on the heels of my 10K PB at West Van Run, set my course record by breaking 50 minutes!
  • Sun Run 2016 (??) – read on to learn how this year’s race turned out!

Just me and 40,000 of my closest friends ran this year’s Sun Run. After all these years, I knew what I was in for – crowds, crowds and more crowds. And, at the same time, lots of smiles, amazing energy in the city, and (yet again) beautiful spring weather. That’s the Sun Run!

I signed up with a large group of colleagues and their family and friends. There were close to 150 of us representing. But in the chaos at the start line, I didn’t run into anyone I knew this year…

THE START LINE

Predictably, I got complacent. The Sun Run start line is less than 15 minutes walk from home. Sure, I went through the usual routine, ate my oatmeal, drank some coffee…and then another cup of coffee. Though we had plenty of time to get to Burrard and Georgia, it dawned on me that the coffee had gone straight through. I lined up for the porta-potties.

And then I waited.

And waited.

What the heck are people doing in there?!

Although I was in and out in a flash, by the time I got to my corral…well, it was full. I had strategically seeded myself in the Yellow corral, the one right behind the elites…but there was no room for me.

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I crowded into the Green corral, blocked by a fence, and knew that this year would not be a Sun Run PB. Because no matter where you are, they will walk. Predicted finish time: 44 minutes? The walkers will be there. Five across. Holding hands.

ON THE COURSE

The Green corral was released not long after the Yellow corral, so it was a relatively short wait. But here’s the thing about the Sun Run…unless you’re at the front, you will never be nimble enough to dodge the hordes before you. And this happened to me.

The gun for the Green corral went off, and as we shuffled toward the timing mat, the announcer was yelling: “No running! Wait until you cross the mat!” I assume people were being trampled. I kept my eyes forward.

Over the mat, onwards! And then, at perhaps 100 metres, the girl in front of me fumbled, gasped (I can only assume), and dropped her smartphone. And came to a dead stop. Right in front of me. A collision was unavoidable. But I ricocheted off her, recovered my pace, and continued.

A good chunk of the race was a blur. The route is so familiar, one that I’ve run so many times, that none of it stood out particularly. Except:

  • Christina cheering as we ran along Pacific Ave.
  • One team with awesome Star Wars themed shirts…but I only ever saw the back, so I have no idea who they were *sad face*
  • A guy dressed as…moss man? At one point I thought he was beating me, but I definitely finished first!

And, naturally, a whole lot of fancy footwork to avoid being tripped, trampled or otherwise catapulted off the course by many members of the running public!

THE FINISH

I heard someone call my name as I veered up onto Cambie Bridge, just before 9k. Who was it? Rumour suggests it might have been Lucy, but I have no evidence to back that up. And then the finish line…I hear the name of my coworker Lana being called (how random, out of tens of thousands of people!), and I’m done.

Truly done. Hot and sweaty and done.

I waited around to watch a few people finish – a few folks spot me and come by for a chat. Finally, I head indoors, where BC Place is absolutely rocking.

Sun Run

Finally, we join some friends for brunch, and head home. Another Sun Run in the bag.

REFLECTIONS

Now, don’t get me wrong, Yes, I may sound a bit complainy about the challenges inherent with the Sun Run…the crowds, the runners who don’t really know running etiquette, the challenge to achieve a decent time (which, by the way, people do). But, I love this race. It has a special place in my heart since it’s how I began. It’s my origin story, of sorts.

And the Sun Run brings together so many people – runner, non-runners, new runners, walkers, friends, family, coworkers, strangers – and gets them out, on the streets of this amazing city, in a big, colourful, noisy, disastrously chaotic yet incredibly well-organized celebration.

So, really, I’ve got nothing to complain about! See you at Sun Run 2017!!

Sun Run

Final Results

Chip Time: 48:46
Average Pace: 4:52 min/km
Place Overall: 2688/41138
Age Category Place: 197/1667

Sun Run 2016 – Quick Review

Social Media: Organized through my company, there wasn’t the need for too much social media – plus, I knew pretty much what to expect. However, @VancouverSunRun had a pretty active Twitter feed, and engaged with its audience really well!

Packet Pickup: We had a corporate team event that involved free appies, so this was quick and easy!

T-Shirt/Swag: For the first time (in my experience), the Sun Run t-shirt was not cotton, but a legitimate technical shirt in blue and black. A nice souvenir that I can use in the future!

Course: Scenic, as is to be expected in Vancouver. The first kilometre downhill is always a challenge, trying to gain some momentum without going out too strong, and dodging walkers on the way. There are a couple of challenging hills…Hornby between Beach and Pacific, Burrard Bridge, and Cambie Bridge. But I’m pretty familiar with these, so I was prepared.

Post-Race: The BC Place festival is epic. Thousands and thousands of people on the stadium floor, free samples galore (if you’re willing to line up), and gigantic letters so you can pre-arrange meeting places. I didn’t stick around too long this year, but it’s quite an experience.

Organization: Given the scale of the event, I cannot but commend the organizers for pulling this off year after year. Tremendous!

Would I run it again? Oh, you know I will! How can I not?

West Van Run

It was a long time coming – months of anticipation – and finally the big weekend arrived! With three distances, amazing weather, enthusiastic volunteers, and over 1000 participants, the West Van Run was a complete success!

I was honoured when Kirill, the West Van Run race director, asked me to be an ambassador – to become part of  WestVanRunTeam. Thanks to this – and my involvement with WestVanRunCrew – I have made so many new running friends, and experienced races that I wouldn’t otherwise have participated in. My ‘ambassadorship’ included becoming one of the faces of West Van Run, and I found myself on random bulletin boards and in card displays throughout the city:

West Van Run

During one the weekend’s races, someone ran up behind me and shouted: “It’s poster boy Bradley!” Ah, the price of fame.

West Van Run

Here’s how the weekend went down:

Saturday – the 5k

Debra picked me up in the green monster, we gathered Sam at the station, and we all headed to Dundarave Park in West Vancouver. We arrived to one of the most glorious scenes – sunshine, clear skies, views of the ocean and the city. Although Debra was kitted out in style:

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…the rest of us peeled off layers and ended up running in shorts and t-shirts for the most part. This was a stark contrast to West Van Run 2014, which was accompanied by snow and freezing rain.

In previous years, the 5k and 10k were held on the same day, so I hadn’t previously run the shorter distance. In fact, I’ve competed in very few 5k’s before. Perhaps this is the start of a trend?

So while I had nothing to compare it to, this year’s 5k was a new course, which started on Marine Drive – the ‘main street’ of West Vancouver. We gathered excitedly behind the West Van Run arch, raring to go.

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And go we did! A few hills, some twists and turns – 2.5km out, and 2.5km back along the waterfront and West Van seawall. Sunshine! Smiling faces! Cheers from volunteers and spectators! It was all over in a flash.

For me – a flash that turned into a personal best! 23:31 on the clock – a full 16 seconds faster than the Moustache Miler in November! I was not the only one to achieve a PB – many of the West Van Run Crew broke records on this certified course, and celebration ensued!

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We enjoyed our goody bags, cheered for the winners at the awards ceremony, and went out for some well-deserved brunch!

Final Results

Chip Time: 23:31
Average Pace: 4:42 min/km
Place Overall: 64/408
Age Category Place: 10/45

Sunday – the 10k

I woke up sore. Not the same kind of sore as after a major gym workout, or after a half marathon. More of a concentrated sore, focused on my left hip.

The sun was peeking through the clouds when we arrived in Dundarave.

West Van Run West Van Run

There was a buzz in the air – more familiar faces, a lot more people, a tingle of excitement. Happy to see a bunch of folks who might not have come to West Van Run if I hadn’t told them about it!

West Van Run West Van Run

Unlike Saturday, where I was eager and pumped at the start line, I was lacking the confidence I had before the 5k.

West Van Run

After the gun went off and we headed along Marine Drive, my gait felt a bit lopsided and my hip was bugging me. I tried to stay steady, and focused on not looking at my watch.

Within the first couple of kilometres, the rain started to fall…just lightly, mind you, so it really didn’t matter. At the far side of Park Royal, as we turned around, some supportive and familiar faces who I was really glad to see. Between kilometres 6 and 7 there was an out-and-back…which meant you got to see, first of all, everyone ahead of you. It was actually awesome, because I was cheering on so many of my friends! Saw a few more on my way back.

The toughest part of the course – as I’m sure I’ve said before – is that you can see the finish line about a kilometre before you actually reach it. Longest. Kilometre. Ever.

As I approached, after what seemed like an eternity, I heard the announcer call the 50 minute mark. Not only had I fallen short of my PB (I’ve set a PB at West Van Run the past 2 years), I hit my worst 10k time in 2 years. Now, don’t get me wrong…I know it’s a respectable time. But I couldn’t help feeling let down after the thrill of the previous day.

West Van Run

I got over it.

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Cheers and hugs and rainbows! More friends crossing the finish line!

 West Van Run West Van Run

West Van Run West Van Run

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for awards since I had been invited to celebrate my friend’s birthday by joining a local brewery tour. Not a shabby way to end the West Van Run weekend!

West Van Run

Final Results

Chip Time: 50:10
Average Pace: 5:01 min/km
Place Overall: 194/606
Age Category Place: 44/81

West Van Run 2016

I want to thank Kirill and Karin, who stick-handled this whole event from start to finish and did an amazing job. Thanks to the volunteers at package pickup and on the course; to the sponsors of the weekend; to Debra for all the awesome photography; and to the amazing and talented runners of the West Van Run Crew – I’m fortunate to have you in my life!

Finally, a big congratulations to the runners who broke course records, who achieved personal bests, who finished the race (or both races!), or who ran their very first race.

See you there next year!

West Van Run

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For the first time, I’m joining the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, and Michelle at Fruition Fitness.

The Fit Foodie Mama

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Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Great Climate Race through the awesome folks at West Van Run! Don’t forget to sign up for the West VanRun 5K or 10K (or both!) on March 5 & 6 – get 15% with discount code ‘bradley’.

I learned about the Great Climate Race a few months ago. It was co-founded by Ben West and Mari McMillan, two folks who are truly passionate about our environment. Their commitment to combatting climate change brought about this year’s inaugural event, the overarching purpose of which was to bring people together to crowdfund for local solar energy.

Here’s how the weekend went down:

Saturday

I had already committed to joining the Forerunners crew, rain or shine. And rain it did. Unlike the previous week, when the rain let up just a few minutes into a run, this day we got no reprieve. In fact, it seemed that with every step (into a puddle) we took, the rain got harder and the waters got deeper. We had the option of running 11km or 15km, but when I hit the water stop at 5.5km, I just had to turn back.

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Thanks to Stephen Chung for this authentic experience

Arriving at the store, I wrung out my gloves (outside) before gathering with the other #hardcore runners for this mid-deluge photo:

rain

Thankfully, I had brought a change of clothes – although not extra shoes, so my clean socks were soaked within seconds of putting them on. Still, I was mostly dry as I headed to the local Patagonia store to pick up my race package for the next day. In keeping with the ‘zero waste’ policy of the Great Climate Race, the package consisted of my bib.

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Sunday

Since the 10K didn’t start until 10am, I had a leisurely morning. I ate my oatmeal, drank my coffee, and had some toast with peanut butter. Lazed around a bit. It was actually nice not having to be at a race at the crack of dawn! Then I grabbed a car2go, picked Sam up at the station, and we were off to the start!

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When we arrived at Ceperley Park (Second Beach), the 2.5km race was just finishing. There were tons of people milling about, and we kept running into familiar faces.

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There were public washrooms close by – hooray! – so that made life easier, especially after all the coffee I’d consumed! Karin led us in a quick warm-up, and things were under way.

I had debated with myself about whether or not to wear my singlet, since I’m still a bit self-conscious. But I wanted to show my West Van Run spirit, so I didn’t let my snow-white skin get in the way! Sam, Sarah, Ben and I huddled together between the 40 minute and 50 minute pace bears.

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The first kilometre involved some serious puddle-jumping, as we looped the park and ran along the Lost Lagoon trail. Soon enough, we connected with the seawall, and started our counter-clockwise loop of Stanley Park.

You may recall from my Rock ‘n’ Roll Cunningham Seawall 10K that we did a clockwise loop. I debated at that time which direction was harder, at least from a psychological perspective. On this race day, I concluded that the hardest direction is whatever direction you happen to be going! That is my final word on the topic (until I change my mind!!)

The volunteers along the route – including those holding the kilometre markers – were fantastic. So enthusiastic and cheery! I have so much respect for the folks who stand out in whatever weather happens to be on order, and encourage the rest of us. They are truly the heroes of each and every race!

True to the sustainable nature of the Great Climate Race, there was a single water stop with no paper cups – we were forewarned (i.e. encouraged) to bring our own water bottles. I’m not to run with liquids, so I bypassed this station with a wave.

I was glad by now that I had elected to wear my singlet, because I was HOT – but still smiling (mostly because I passed the 50 minute pace bear… you can see him in the background!). Debra was smiling in her polar bear cap, too!

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At one point, a young woman in yellow passed me, ran about 100 metres ahead, then turned and went back. As she passed from view, I heard someone cheerily shout, “You’re going the wrong way!” I cringed a little, thinking back to the awful experience I had during the Scotiabank Half…that is a phrase I will never utter again.

Up until this point, my legs had been feeling a bit heavy. But as we got close to the 8km mark, I forced myself to pick up the pace. One of my internal mantras, picked up earlier this year, is: “Don’t pass anyone in the first kilometre, and don’t let anyone pass you in the last kilometre.” I pushed myself to get ahead of some of the folks in front of me…and then THE GIRL IN YELLOW passed me!! Yep – she passed me again, even after running back behind me! Harumph.

Rounding the final corner, I realized with a mild groan that the race ended on an uphill. And then I saw Sam’s blue ponytail bobbing along up front and I forced myself to gun it and catch up with her. While I didn’t grab her hand in a victory wave (she had earbuds in and I didn’t want to freak her out), we crossed the finish link at the exact same moment, true West Van Runners!

Celebratory photos!

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Final Results

Chip Time: 48:55
Average Pace: 98/742
Place Overall: 12/49
Age Category Place: 4:53 min/km

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RACE REPORT

Packet Pickup
Not much to report – quick and straight-forward. Dropped by Patagonia, got my bib, and I was on my way. If it hadn’t been for my wet feet (thanks to a run in the rain just before), I might have hung around a bit. But I didn’t.

T-Shirt/Swag
In keeping with the sustainability theme of the race, no t-shirt (though they did have some fun trucker caps for sale!). The ‘medal’ was a cute leaf on a string.

Course
Counter-clockwise on the Stanley Park seawall. Almost entirely flat. Scenic – with views of the ocean, the park, the North Shore mountains…everything you’d want from an environment-themed run in Vancouver! One aid station without paper cups – you had to bring your own water bottle!

Post-Race
Climate bear was there to welcome us to the finish line! Apples, bananas, CLIF Bars and (as long as you had your own water bottle, or bought one on site) water. Friends and fun!

Would I Run It Again?
Yes! I was glad to be part of the inaugural Great Climate Race, and I look forward to seeing how things progress in the coming years.

 

And while I’m at it, I’m linking up with Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice for Tuesdays on the Run!

tuesday