The summer of 2015 – one of the driest and hottest on record in Vancouver. And as you’ll learn from my 2014 Eastside 10K Race Report, last year’s race was also sunny and dry.
This year – not so much!
It wasn’t a surprise. The weather reports have been consistent all week – the weekend would be wet. True, we were told the rain would be heaviest Saturday night and Sunday morning…but I guess it arrived early. I woke up to this:
And the pitter patter of rain on the window.
I probably got up a bit too early, and arrived at the start line a bit too early. I was bundled up in my WestVanRun gear! I stayed warm and dry as long as I could, but finally had to strip down, check my bag, and head out.
At least arriving early gave me a chance to connect with some of my favourite running peeps! (Special thanks to @DebraKato and Pat Cheung for these photos!)
I made it to the corral. And yes, for the moment, I was still smiling!
This is the third time I’ve done the Eastside 10K. Since the inaugural 2013 run, this race has grown in popularity from 1200 runners to nearly 2300 (registered) runners this year (I suspect the rain may have kept some people home)! And I understand the appeal – it’s well organized, the medal is unique and very cool, it’s the only race that runs through the impoverished Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) – and there’s a big fundraising component supporting the less fortunate living in the area. Registering this year was a no-brainer.
My feet started to get wet within the first 500 metres or so. And then I just stopped caring. I’ve run races in the rain before, and at least today was mild – not the soaked and chilled-to-the-bone feeling I’ve experienced. It was actually quite refreshing, and didn’t really affect my run…
…until the halfway mark. We turned around and headed back the way we came. I knew what to expect – the hills, the puddles, the terrain. The rain seemed to be coming down harder – it actually hurt a little bit (not really, but you know – it felt sharp?). But most annoying of all was that my shorts started to slap against my thighs. They were completely water-logged, and I felt like I was getting heavier and bogged down. At this point, I wished I had worn my Brooks split shorts that I wore for the Vancouver Spirit Run – they make me feel a bit exposed, but at least they wouldn’t have been so heavy!
So I hiked up the shorts – actually folded the waistband over and pulled them higher – and kept on.
I knew enough about the course to save some energy for the final push. The last kilometre starts with a significant uphill onto the Viaduct (I pondered what would happen to this race route if/when the City of Vancouver demolishes the Viaduct…). I pushed to the top, and then stuck to my guns in not letting anyone pass me during that last kilometre. I set my sights on individuals ahead of me, caught up, and passed them.
A little kick at the end. They told us to smile, but I’m fairly certain I had my grimace/race face on. Crossed the finish line, high-fived a few folks and thanked a few others who I had been pacing. Got my medal and told a damp selfie. Turns out that while this was not a personal best for the 10K, it was a course PB – a minute faster than last year!
Changed my clothes and got a close-up of the medal:
And cheered on some runners at the finish line:
By this point, I had lost track of my team. I was wet and hungry – I headed first to Starbucks for warmth and coffee:
And then home for a well-earned nap!
Chip Time: 48:31
Average Pace: 4:51 min/km
Place Overall: 367/1720
Age Category Place: 39/98
If CRS West could control the weather, I would have asked them to cut back a bit on the rain. But since they can’t – I have nothing but good things to say about the Eastside 10K 2015!
Dropped by Queen Elizabeth Theatre for package pickup. Forerunners had a display with a selection of running gear, but otherwise it was a simple affair. Grabbed my bib and t-shirt, and I was on my way (with a photo, of course!)
The t-shirt design is great. One of the cool things about the Eastside 10K is that participants have an opportunity to vote online for both colour and design! I love the interactiveness! It’s made of polyester/cotton, so I’ll likely use it for the gym (or general wear) rather than for running. But I like it!
The dog tag design of the Eastside 10K medals are always cool. This year features the ‘Gassy Jack’ statue on the reverse – a landmark we pass en route.
The course is out and back, with a loop at the end. It runs through the poorest parts of Vancouver, as well as the touristy, cobble-stoned streets of Gastown. Due to the weather, there weren’t many people out to cheer us on. The race starts and finishes near Stadium/Chinatown Skytrain Station – which means a nice downhill at the beginning, and a tough hill at the end. There are several small hills which are alternately helpful and hurtful, depending on the direction you’re going!
I think there were 2 aid stations, with Gatorade and water – and we passed each of them twice. I didn’t stop, but they looked well staffed with energetic volunteers – cheering and encouraging in their plastic jackets and garbage bags! Awesome!
Good selection of stuff from PowerBar and Oasis juice, plus raisins, bananas, mini bagels, yogurt, cookies…and more great volunteers! We also got nice recovery jackets. The bag check was in a parking garage, so at least there was a bit of shelter for changing and congregating. But I didn’t linger, what with the rain and all…
Canada Running Series races are always good. Well-organized. Good volunteers. I have no complaints. They also had a men’s urinal station, which gets extra props in my books! Kudos to all!
Also – linking up with Jessica at The Silvah Lining
for her Race Recap Linkup #TuesdayTales!