Posts Tagged ‘guest blog’

Hood to Coast

After a lengthy hiatus, I’m happy to have Lucy back to share another one of her guest blog posts…this time about the Hood to Coast Relay! If you don’t know Lucy already, or you haven’t heard her story, you can read my Interview with a Runner – Lucy Chi! Take it away, Lucy!

Hi everyone, the following is my very belated review of the Hood To Coast Relay 2016!

On August 26-27th, 2016, I  participated in my second ever Hood to Coast Relay (H2C). H2C is an overnight team relay that runs a course of 197-199 miles from the top of Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon. Every team has two vans, which rotate after every 6 legs, giving the other team a chance to recuperate. Every runner on the team typically runs 3 legs over this span of 197-199 miles. H2C brands itself as the “Mother of All Relays” given it has been around since 1982. Currently, most teams are accepted into the relay by a lottery system. Like most popular races, it has become difficult to gain an entry into this race.

Hood to Coast

Luckily, this year was my second time completing the relay. I first completed this relay in 2013 and was fortunate enough to be invited back by a fellow Forerunners clinic member who has become very dedicated to organizing this race (Thanks, Dan!). Apart from four members, the 2016 team was completely different from the 2013 team. 

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Lucy kindly agreed to write her third guest blog on the Newport Marathon. You can read more about Lucy from an interview I did with her a few months ago at Interview with a Runner: Lucy Chi!

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On June 4th 2016, I ran the Newport Marathon on the Oregon coast. This was the race I had been training for since January. The goal was to qualify for Boston ideally – or at least achieve a personal best.

In the week leading up to the race, there were a few unexpected obstacles I had to address. One, I had started experiencing an excruciating toothache which was somewhat exacerbated by the impact from running. This was not fun since anyone who has had a toothache knows that you can’t think straight when you have a toothache. Second, I realized I was having an outbreak of rosacea on my body. It rarely happens. In fact, the last outbreak was in 2013. As one can imagine, I was naturally displeased while trying not to be too stressed out about either.

Fortunately, by Thursday, the toothache had subsided somewhat (I did visit my dentist) and the rosacea seemed limited to my torso. Otherwise, in terms of race prep, everything else was on track. I had a terrific pasta meal upon arrival in Newport, 36 hours prior to the race. I also slept well both evenings at the hotel, and the bathroom routine went smoothly on the morning of the race.

I had travelled to the race with my sister, which was also a lot of fun. This was our first race together since the Victoria Marathon 2013. Package pickup was simple the day before. There was no need to show proof of registration. Included in the goody bag were some final race instructions – 1 page, single-spaced and in 10-font. Perhaps my attention span is low these days, but I would have preferred something more concise and in larger font. The instructions did note how the course was measured and that racers would be disqualified if we ran on the wrong side of the road. That made me a bit nervous. What was a surprise was that we would not receive our souvenir shirt until after the race. I guess they really want to make you earn it!

On race morning, we met with fellow Forerunners group leader Judy, and all went to the start line together. The sun was out but the temperature was relatively cool still. On the shuttle bus to the start line, we ran into a former Forerunners friend Stephen with whom I frequently ran several years back. This was a nice surprise. Both of us had trained all winter using the heart rate method and testing with Peak Performance Centre.

The race course itself was an out-and- back course, with the start and finish line located about a 1 mile from each other. It was mostly flat, scenic and along Yaquina Bay. The temperature climbed as the race went on. Fortunately, for the first portion, the road was slightly shaded by a cliff on our left side. However, this disappeared before the 13-mile mark and runners were left exposed to the sun for quite a long period after this point. My pace started to slow naturally. All I could think of was that I wanted to finish this race strong and running. There was no doubt the middle portion of this race was tough for me on this day.

Newport Marathon

The good news in the end:  I did finish the race running and feeling strong again (i.e. no cramps). The bad news:  I didn’t meet my qualifying time nor did I achieve a personal best. However, I was not as disappointed as I thought I’d be. As I watched my qualifying time pass, I realized this race weekend was already great, as I had a lot of fun with my sister and there will be always be other races.

The race medal we received at the end also helped. All half marathon and marathon runners received a beautiful, individually-designed glass medal. It was a medal that one could truly repurpose as a necklace.

Newport Marathon

In addition to the medal and the short-sleeved technical shirt by Alanic, runners also enjoy lots of post-race food such as clam chowder and a pint of beer for free.

Newport Marathon

Overall, it was a well-organized race for a small resort town. For anyone interested in a scenic, fast course in the Pacific Northwest in the future, I would definitely recommend this race. Who knows, I may be back myself in the future for redemption!

Final Results

Chip Time: 3:43:36
Average Pace: 8:33 min/mile
Place Overall: 116/502
Age Category Place: 7/52

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Congratulations, Lucy! I’m really impressed with your efforts and even though it wasn’t a Boston Qualifier this time, I have no doubt in your ability to reach that goal. Thanks for sharing your experiences! – B.

Read other guest blogs by Lucy:

And don’t forget to read my Interview with a Runner: Lucy Chi (one of my most popular posts ever!)

 

During our run a few weeks back, I asked Bob if he’d be willing to write a guest post for me about his experiences at the New York City Marathon. I’m so pleased that he agreed to share his story!

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The morning started out at a cool 7 degrees celsius with a very strong wind. We headed to our respective athlete villages where we could eat, drink and line up for porta-potties. At 10:07 wave 2 began our long 26.2 mile journey to Central Park amongst the excited chatter of every language!
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Crossing the Verrazano Bridge on the lower deck was a real tough challenge due to the strong winds. All I could hear over the roar of the wind was the constant flapping of the runners’ bibs. The sight of the women’s long hair blowing out sideways was impressive. It was even difficult to run upright or in a straight line. The wind let up a bit after the bridge, so about 4km in I discarded my throwaway sweatshirt but kept on my gloves. The crowd support throughout the race was amazing and it was interesting to see the different ethnicities in the five different boroughs. I ran the whole race along the side high-fiving the women and children mostly.
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The finish line in Central Park came up suddenly after I noticed everyone in front of me had stopped running. After 4:29:45 the New York marathon was over. I just had to endure a long walk to get the poncho amidst the yells of “You’re almost there!” (which I heard all morning). What a great experience!
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Congratulations, Bob! Awesome race – and such an amazing experience! I continue to be inspired by all the runners I have met through my time at Forerunners!

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…)

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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!

–Bradley

 

 

@andrea_malo