The Sun Run holds a special place in my heart because it was my first run ever. This year, however, due to the fact that my first full marathon – the BMO Vancouver Marathon – falls just a week after the Sun Run, I elected not to race.
I am please to share this fantastic race report from my friend and colleague, Andrea (@andrea_malo), who graciously agreed to provide this guest post. Enjoy!
The Sun Run 2014
When Bradley asked me to write a guest blog post I was both excited and shocked! I used to blog a little and run a lot. Now I run a little and never blog, so it was nice do a bit of both.
This was my fourth Sun Run since 2010, having run every year with the exception of 2011, as I was in Boston for the marathon that year. I always look forward to the Sun Run as it is a great community event where you have the opportunity to run with 45,000 of your closest friends. People often complain about this factor of the race ‘it’s too crowded, I have to dodge people’ but the best thing to do is accept this is going to happen and enjoy the crowd, the energy and the music along the way. I had to remind myself this when I entered the yellow bib corral and a woman had stroller! I’m not even sure strollers are allowed?! (Editor: They are, but they are encouraged to start in the 1:45 corral…)
I had great intentions at the beginning of April to get some good speedy 10kms in but then had a high heels and wine mishap that put me on the couch for a few weeks, so I went into the Sun Run with minimal training and no set goals except to have fun! Easier said than done for a typical type-A personality though.
I woke on race day and had a big glass of water and an English muffin with peanut butter and jam, pretty typical race day breakfast for me albeit perhaps too close to the race.
When I was waiting for the bus on Cornwall to take me downtown I realized, “damn…what type of blogger doesn’t have a camera to take any pictures?” Sorry – out of practice blogger mistake.
I arrived downtown right when it started to rain slightly, the entry to my corral was right near the Hotel Vancouver so I decided to seek shelter there, I should have sought a bathroom as well… out of practice runner mistake #2 🙂
The elites were off right on schedule and my wave started about 10 minutes later. I had the uncomfortable sensation that maybe I should have used the bathroom in the Hotel Vancouver.
In Sun Runs past I’ve gone out way to fast, getting caught up with the excitement of the crowd and the downhill start. This year I purposely reined it in and did not weave in and out of the crowd trying to ‘get ahead’. I was almost taken out on the turn from Georgia to Denman as some woman decided to cut in front of me to get on the sidewalk?!
It was around this point that I had to really go to the bathroom. It flashed through my mind that I could exit the race after Burrard Bridge and run right to my house but then I thought of all of Bradley’s blog readers who would miss out on my riveting guest post. (Ed: I’m glad she made the right decision!)
I found a porta-potty right before the turn up Hornby. Of all my fulls, halfs and 10km races this was the first time I’ve ever had to stop in a race to go the bathroom. Crazy!!
After that I felt amazing and began to really enjoy myself. Coming off the Burrard Bridge, a fellow Ledcor employee saw my Ledcor shirt and gave me a big thumbs up. This was enough motivation for me to try keep up with him, briefly.
As I was running down 6th Avenue towards Cambie, I had this crazy thought: why do I either hardly train or train like a maniac? Can’t I find a happy medium? I think this is a good ‘lesson learned’ from the Sun Run this year.
I slowly made it over the Cambie bridge and picked it up as I saw the finish line. In the end it was my worst Sun Run time ever (54:09) but it isn’t always about how fast you run but how much you enjoy the race and just being able to run!
One of my favourite parts about local races is seeing people I know from the running community. I ran into an old co-worker cheering for her son at the finish line, and my old running pals Greg and Julie.
I rewarded myself with some chicken and waffles and a mimosa at breakfast at Chewies. Brunch is the highlight of Sunday morning runs 🙂
If you’re looking for another 10km to run, I recommend you sign-up for one of my favourites, the Longest Day of the Year race on Friday, June 13th (eek) this year. The race takes place in the evening at UBC and ends with a fabulous BBQ and a beer garden! It is a great way to start the weekend.
Thank you, Andrea, for the awesome post! It was great to be able to cheer from the sidelines – I know how much I appreciate the cheers when I’m on the course!