Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Park’

ScotiaHalf

My role as Scotiabank Digital Champion culminated in Sunday’s race – the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon AND my 25th half marathon or what I’m referring to as my ‘silver’ half!

With 24 half marathons under my belt and a few years of experience, you’d think I’d be ready for this significant race. And yet, race day arrived, and I felt almost as unprepared as I’ve ever felt before a half marathon.

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BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

Facebook informed me that Sunday (May 1, 2016) was the five year RUNiversary of my very first half marathon – the 2011 BMO Vancouver Half Marathon! And it was a great day for celebration! Here’s what I looked like in 2011:

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

Over the past few months, I have been running fairly consistently with the #RunVan Club on Thursday mornings at 6:30am. If you know me, you know I’m not a morning person – so this is a big deal. And it speaks to the quality of people I get the opportunity to run with in the early hours! RunVan is sponsored by the Vancouver International Marathon Society and the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel – and led by a group of very dedicated runners.

I hadn’t originally committed to signing up for the BMO Half Marathon this year – but I was so inspired by the RunVan gang that I ended up taking the plunge! I’m so glad I did!

The Expo

HUGE kudos to the Expo organizers!

In recent years, since I’ve run the BMO, the Health & Fitness Expo has been held at the ‘old’ convention centre. There was always a long lineup to get in, the whole bib pickup process was very transactional, and the expo itself was chaos – crowds of people milling about in all different directions.

THIS year, the venue moved to the new Vancouver Convention Centre, and it was sheer bliss! Just steps from my office, my coworker Kyla (who was running the 8k) and I ventured to the Convention Centre, decked out in BMO blue!

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

Bib pickup was super-quick – if you didn’t know your number, there was a printed out list on boards at the entrance. While waiting in line, ran into Siobhan (@semcc53) – one of my RunVan buddies, fresh off her Boston Marathon!

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

Another RunVan friend, Greg (@gherringer), was manning the course maps.

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

Entering the exhibition hall, we were awed at the grandness of it all!

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

In my opinion, the great thing about the layout was that it zigzagged through the hall, allowing you to browse the many vendors, chatting with friends along the way. We spent some time with Debra, who was bringing her usual enthusiasm to the CRS West booth (Debra and I are both Digital Champions for the Scotiabank Half Marathon!).

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

Also encourage you to visit the website of Arroyo – a new brand of trail running gear from local entrepreneur and speedy runner, Ben!

Arroyo

There were a few minor complaints from those who didn’t want to linger, and felt the expo flow made it impossible to do a beeline to the t-shirt pickup. However, I’m fairly certain there was an open passage at the edge of the hall.

We picked up our t-shirt, free transit passes – and realized we had spent over an hour enjoying the event! Well done, BMO Vancouver Marathon!

Race Day – Start Line

The Half Marathon started at 7am, and Debra had promised to take some photos at the start line before she ran the full Marathon, which started at 8:30am. I picked her up in my trusty Evo, and we headed to Queen Elizabeth Park in the centre of Vancouver proper.

The sun was shining, there was a slight chill in the air, but it was clear that the day would soon warm up. We ran into several friends – including Caroline, Fiona and Jeannine.

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And after a few quick visits to the loo (yay for men’s urinal station!), off to the corral!

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Race Day – The Course

I’ve run this route a few times, and I think I did a pretty good job of telling its story in my 2015 BMO Vancouver Half Marathon race report. So I won’t go into a whole lot of detail. Here are a few of my recollections of this year’s race experience:

  • The lead wheelchair racer passing everyone on the downhill!
  • Awesome view of lead runners heading down Cambie Street, and up onto Cambie Bridge – with BC Place as the backdrop

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  • Thinking ‘if this were the Sun Run I’d nearly be done’ – on Cambie Bridge at kilometre 4
  • Being left hanging when I tried high-fiving a spectator at the turnaround…she high-fived the guy ahead of me!
  • Wishing I was at brunch as we passed White Spot on Dunsmuir (we ended up going there for brunch afterward, at my suggestion!)

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  • Passing the lead wheelchair racer on an uphill (a couple of times…but I’m pretty sure he finished before me!)
  • I thought Pipeline Road was the challenging hill, but what are all these hills in Stanley Park? Were these here last year?
  • Catching a glimpse of Caroline around mile 12…trying to catch her, but never quite reaching her…
  • That final stretch to the finish line…cheering spectators on both sides…music and announcements and noise and just trying to reach that goal…

Race Day – Finish Line

I haven’t pushed myself that hard in a race for a while. I earned this medal!

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Finally caught up with Caroline (umm…because she had stopped running) – and despite her pre-race protestations that I ‘always beat her’ in races, she bested me by about 30 seconds!

A voice behind me: “Are you Bradley?” Me: “Yep!” Him: “I read your blog all the time!” Me: “Aw, thanks! Let’s take a selfie!” New running buddy Jonathan and me (taken by his wife, who kindly didn’t steal my iPhone!):

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And Michelle, our Fairmont Waterfront rep and RunVan fan!

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Gathered up my green banana (ewww…), a couple bags of chips, a veggie sandwich (that I would eat much later in the day), and off to watch a few more friends finish their race. One more photo…

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon

And then brunch time!

Not a PB, but a negative split, and Top 3 out of my 24 half marathons to date! Not too shabby!

Runner of a Certain Age Podcast

I’m also very honoured to say that – along with fellow runner, Kaella – I was featured in a guest spot on the Runner of a Certain Age Podcast, hosted by one of my favourite BibRave Pros, Elizabeth! You can visit the page and download the podcast here. You should subscribe, too!!

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Final Results

Chip Time: 1:46:03
Average Pace: 4:59 min/km
Place Overall: 975/8720
Age Category Place: 83/439

BMO Vancouver Half Marathon 2016 – Quick Review

Social Media: BMO/RunVan does a great job of social media – Twitter, Facebook…they pay attention to what’s going on, follow up and connect. Thumbs up!

Packet Pickup: As noted in my report, this year’s Expo was a huge improvement over previous years – new venue, smooth flow of people, quick and efficient. Plus, a bunch of people I knew!! Two thumbs up!

T-Shirt/Swag: I really like this year’s t-shirt. The colour is kind of a blue-green, something I don’t already have. The design is simple but impactful, and the fabric quality is light but not too thin. The medal is similar to that of previous years, clean design, and solid. Nice!

Course: A great spectrum of what Vancouver has to offer! City streets, ocean views, Stanley Park…what more could you ask for? The one complaint I heard is that because we weren’t running the Seawall during the Half, the views of the ocean were not as spectacular. This was not my experience!

Post-Race: The flow of people at the finish line was smooth. Medals, photos, water, juice and bananas – all delivered by awesome volunteers! Other food was piled high, allowing us to grab what we needed as we went by. Baggage pickup was pretty quick. There was a ‘street party’ nearby, but I made a beeline out to meet friends.

Organization: I really thought BMO organizers did a great job this year. The one glitch (that may have been a technical issue at Sportstats) is that results were slow in coming. There were volunteers with iPads near the finish line, but the informed us the website had crashed. Many folks had Facebook/Twitter notifications popping up about them being on the run…hours after they had finished the race. This problem should definitely be addressed! Otherwise, things went off without a hitch!

Would I run it again? Vancouver’s only marathon, along with a half marathon and an 8k…as well as a marathon relay! Chances are pretty good that you’ll see me on the course in the future!

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Modo 8K

I want to start this post with a special announcement! Recently, I had the honour – along with Debra Kato – of being selected as a Digital Champion for the upcoming Scotiabank Half Marathon on June 26! Debra and I, along with a group of talented pacers, will act as ambassadors for this awesome race, which puts great emphasis on raising funds for worthy charitable causes. More to follow! Thanks to Canada Running Series for hosting this event, and providing an entry to this year’s Modo 8K!

Modo 8K

Debra’s hair matched the Modo race shirts!

Officially the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K, this event is sponsored by local carshare Modo, of which I am a long-term member. Like all CRS races, the Modo 8K is always well-organized with great swag and awesome door prizes. Another bonus:  if you run all three CRS West races in 2016, you get the fabulous ‘three-peat’ medal. So, if you ran the Modo 8K and you like your bling – make sure you register for the Scotiabank Half (or 5K) and the Eastside 10K!

Modo 8K

Race Day

This year’s Modo 8K happened to coincide with my guy’s birthday – and partly because I got to run the Laughlin Half Marathon on my birthday in December, I encouraged him to sign up. Despite having returned from a two-week trip to Japan just days before, he gamely ventured out on the morning of March 20!

Modo 8K

Debra picked us up in the green monster – and fortunately the race didn’t start until 10am so we didn’t have to drag ourselves out of bed too ridiculously early. It was still raining lightly and a bit chilly when we arrived at Stanley Park. An internal debate raged – should I continue wearing a long-sleeved shirt, or could I manage with just a t-shirt? Standing inside the Stanley Park Pavilion, it was easy to convince myself that it was warm enough, so I stood outside in the rain for a few minutes and decided I could handle it in short sleeves.

Got a few pre-race photos in…

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Then we milled about and socialized with some local celebrities, including Gord Kurenoff – Vancouver Sun blogger extraordinaire. If you’d like to read a more professional review of the race than mine, see Gord’s article here.

My chiropractor had recommended that I not ‘race’ this race, to help with a bit of recovery (don’t worry, nothing serious) and prepare for the upcoming Platte River Half Marathon in Colorado on April 10. So I decided to act as a pacer, and keep the birthday boy company in his first race since November’s Fall Classic.

Modo 8K

Start Line selfie

On the Course

In previous years, the Spring Run-Off took us clockwise around Stanley Park – skirting Lost Lagoon, and following the Seawall to Lumberman’s Arch. However, the race always ended with a short but steep uphill and a fairly sharp turn just before the finish line. This year, the course reversed direction, allowing for a smooth and speedy decline at the start. Inevitably, there was still some uphill at the end, but it was straight and (to my mind, at least) not as steep.

Modo 8K

As the gun went off, the rain stopped and we had pretty much ideal race weather – cool, overcast and dry. The views over the ocean were breathtaking, as they tend to be on the Seawall. Lots of cheering and friendly faces on the course. Although we didn’t stop to take advantage of them, there were two well-stocked water stations with particularly enthusiastic volunteers on hand. The course was fast and flat – and then we were done!

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Post-Race

Lots of goodies – cookies, bananas, yoghurt, Oasis juice boxes – and a medal! The rain started to fall soon after we finished, so we headed inside to enjoy live music, socializing, and awards. There were also some pretty substantial door prizes, drawn from boxes into which we had dropped tickets with our bib numbers. And here is my only complaint – when someone didn’t claim their number, rather than drawing a new number they simply chose the closest number. I didn’t feel this was completely fair, but there you go.

We snapped a few more finisher with friends, including the Kirill from West Van Run!.

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Then we went for birthday brunch!

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A huge shout out to the race organizers, volunteers and sponsors who made the Modo 8K a success yet again this year! I have to say that I loved the colour of this year’s race t-shirt, as well as the totem pole medal design!

Modo 8K

You can read about previous Modo 8K races here: 2015 and 2014.

Final Results

Chip Time: 49:05
Average Pace: 6:08 min/km
Place Overall: 494/962
Age Category Place: 28/39

WeeklyWrap

It’s been a few weeks, so I’m glad to link up again with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap!

First Half Half Marathon

I know that it should never come as a surprise to a Vancouver runner when the rain is falling the morning of a race. I checked my weather app the night before – I knew what I was in for. And I know my friends in eastern Canada are suffering in sub-zero temperatures. But last year’s First Half Half Marathon welcomed us with such ideal weather conditions, I couldn’t help but grumble at the Sunday morning wet.

First Half Half Marathon First Half Half Marathon

Although I have typically achieved a pretty decent time at the First Half, I figured the puddle jumping would be yet another hindrance. Compound that with the fact that I slept quite poorly – anxious about the race? – I had no great expectations for my first half marathon of 2016.

It was also my 22nd lifetime half marathon – so you’d think I’d have it down by now. But I still learned a few lessons…

What I did wrong:

  • Shorts instead of tights – I’ve finally accustomed myself to racing with tights and eschewing shorts; for some reason I elected to go with shorts this time, and they ended up water-logged and thigh-slappy. FAIL
  • No pre-run warmup – I simply couldn’t bear the thought of heading out into the rain before I had to, so I just went straight to the corral; my legs suffered for it. FAIL

First Half Half Marathon

What I did right:

  • Hat instead of toque – I figured correctly that I would overheat if I wore more than a cap, and my fluorescent orange one served me well!
  • Dry shoes – for the soggy Ice-breaker 8k I brought along a full change of clothes, but had to put my dry socks into sopping wet shoes. This time, I came prepared, and was dry and comfy once the race was over.
  • No clock watching – I refused to glance at my Garmin for the duration of the race, and being bound by nothing but my laboured breathing and wobbly legs allowed me to run simply torturously by effort rather than time.

As for the race itself…

The start line is just a 10-minute walk from home, so I arrived early enough to check my bag, chat encouragingly with a number of running buddies, and make a couple of trips to the washroom. My sincere sympathies to the female runners who need to line up for the ladies room…I applaud your patience and perseverance!

Within the first kilometre of the race, my shoes were filled to the brim, my feet cold and squishy, as we thundered through puddles and dodged other runners. I allowed myself to go out strong but not too fast, figuring I needed to keep a fair amount in the tank.

[Tweet “Recap of the 2016 First Half Half Marathon in Vancouver! #fhhm16 “]

Curses

Then the curses began. Not my curses, but those of a couple of guys who punctuated their lively conversation with more f-bombs than I am used to hearing, like something out of Trainspotting. Normally, colourful language doesn’t affect me, but I found the banter mentally exhausting so early in the morning. (No, they weren’t cursing at me, like the woman during the Scotiabank Half; I was just being oversensitive.) On the plus side, it gave me motivation to pick up my pace in order to outdistance them, which I soon did.

My own curses came later. Not verbal ones, but the ones in my head. I berated myself for wearing those darn shorts. I mentally shook my fist at the heavens. I felt cold and beaten down.

Hearts

Bright spot #1: my friend, Rachel, cheering from the sidelines at three different spots along the route!

Bright spot #2: my honey braving the rain to photograph me both going and returning – Happy Valentine’s Day! (That’s where the hearts come in!)

First Half Half Marathon

Coming and going!

Because this was my fifth time running the First Half, I know the route pretty well. The muddy loop around Lost Lagoon was probably the most achingly miserable part of the race. However, the familiar last kilometre, with not one but two hills, always feels like a bit of a punishment.

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The final stretch, breathing hard and legs close to giving out, I hear Coach Carey shout: “Go, Bradley! Sprint to the finish!” Then Kristin is there cheering me on!

As I turn the corner, I see the clock and realize that – against all odds – I’m going to make a course PB. And I do, but more than a minute and a half!

Celebration and dry clothes!

And a few of the faces of the First Half Half Marathon:

First Half Half Marathon First Half Half Marathon

Debra (@debrakato) – my dear friend and costumed photographer – always ready with a themed outfit and a camera. I credit her with not only a lot of the photos in this post, but with getting me out to running events that I wouldn’t normally attend (like last week’s Snowshoe Race)!

First Half Half Marathon First Half Half Marathon

Lucy (@candyaficionado) – my Forerunners pace buddy and inspiration. She’s a quick and dedicated runner, and I look forward to sharing more of her story in an upcoming blog post! And Kristin, another one of my Forerunners friends, always there with a positive attitude and a word of encouragement.

First Half Half Marathon

Fiona (@f_burrows) – social media connection turned real-life friend – so glad to run into her post-race for a selfie and a quick chat!

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Rob Watson (@robbiedxc) – my celebrity sighting for the day! Rob was second overall, a Canadian National Champion – and a nice guy to boot!

And to all the other amazing, talented and supportive folks in the Vancouver running community – we did it!

First Half Half Marathon

Final results

Chip time: 1:45:53
Average pace: 5:01 min/km
Place overall: 611/1990
Age category place: 56/120

First Half Half Marathon

Results from 2014 to 2016 – getting faster!

Have you ever had a race that felt like it was going wrong,
but actually went surprisingly right?

Weekly Wrap

Sharing this race report via the Weekly Wrap LinkUp hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin – stop by and read stories from other inspiring bloggers!

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Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Moustache Miler through my involvement with West Van Run! Don’t forget to sign up for the West Van Run 5K or 10K (or both!) on March 5 & 6 – get 15% off with discount code ‘bradley’.

I hadn’t actually heard of the Moustache Miler before this year, but 2015 was actually its third year (based on the info I could find!). You’ve most likely heard of Movember, and the Moustache Miler is most easily described as a ‘fun run’ in support of this worthwhile cause. Although I didn’t personally fundraise (I concentrate on fundraising for the BC Cancer Foundation as part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge), a lot of folks put in a lot of effort to raise awareness of men’s health issues, particularly prostate cancer. If you’re interested in donating, my friend Ed has a Movember fundraising page here, and all donations will be matched by our employer.

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On Friday, I had committed to doing ‘wear testing’ for Mizuno. This involves trying on 3 different pairs of Mizuno shoes, running 3 kilometres in each, and then providing feedback on the experience. Debra, Pat and I participated back in August, and signed up together to do it again. Debra kindly offered to pick up the race packages for most West Van Run team members at the Running Room, and brought mine to Forerunners that evening. This gave me time to go to Pilates, because improving my core strength is key on my goal list right now.

Jeannine happened to arrive early for her wear testing as well, and we had a great time running together and getting to know each other a bit better! I didn’t get home until 9pm, but fortunately the race the next morning didn’t start until 10:30am!

Moustache Miler

Debra picked me up on Saturday morning, and we cruised down to Brockton Oval in Stanley Park. It was frosty and chilly, but with sunny blue skies.

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We gathered with the members of the West Van Run Crew. We’ve all been involved in a lot of races together over the past several months, but this was the first race where everyone was in attendance!

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We had lots of fun mingling and chatting before heading to the start line on the Seawall.

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Karin led us in warmups – still looking in tip-top shape at 4 1/2 months pregnant!

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A quick countdown, and we headed out along the seawall to Brockton Point. As we rounded the lighthouse and hit some shade, the frost on the ground (particularly on the slight downhill) was a bit of a hazard. I won’t blame the slipperiness for affecting my time, but I definitely stepped a bit more gingerly at this point.

Shorter races are funny things. The one miler lasts forever. This was my first 5k in years. I actually thought (and told a bunch of people) that I had only done one 5k before – the 2009 Scotiabank 5k, which wasn’t chip timed, so I have no idea how long it took me. However, I discovered that I had, in fact, done the Longest Day 5k back in 2010. My memories of that race are a bit vague, but I recall it took longer than forever.

Somewhere around Lost Lagoon, we did an out and back, and I cheered for a few members of West Van Run who were keeping pace ahead of me. As we headed back onto the Seawall, I started to wonder how far we had gone – there were no kilometre markings on this route. When my Garmin beeped, I wasn’t even sure if I was at 3k or 4k (it was 4k).

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After nearly getting bowled over by a guy running with a double stroller – I swear there were at least 3 kids and a puppy in that thing – I was on the final dash to the finish. I could see Karin just ahead of me, but she still finished before me. Give her another couple months of pregnancy, and I’m sure I can beat her!

We got our fun Moustache Miler medals, cheered for all the West Van Run team as they crossed the finish line, and then headed back to the Oval to celebrate. There were snack, coffee, and freebies outside – and upstairs in the clubhouse we got cupcakes and (if you wanted to purchase it) beer.

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Kirill, our fearless West Van Run leader, not only won the race – he also had a course record (16:45, to be exact). Yep, he bested me by 7 minutes!!

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The music cranked up and the 80s-themed party started to swing, but it was time to take my moustache and head home.

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The best part of this race – in addition to the costumes and moustaches of all varieties – was the chance to run with my peeps from West Van Run Crew. You guys rock!

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Final Results

Chip Time: 23:47
Average Pace: 4:44/km
Place Overall: 47/279
Age Category Place: 8/29

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RACE REPORT

Packet Pickup
I didn’t go to package pickup, which was on Friday night at the Running Room. One of the members of my running team kindly offered to pick up packages for most of the other folks. We got a fair amount of brochures, a bottle opening/magnet and a fake moustache.

T-Shirt/Swag
No swag to speak of, although we got a cute Moustache Miler medal, which isn’t bad for a 5k! Also got a coupon for free shipping on a RoadID – so now I’ve got one on the way!

Course
Scenic loop around the Brockton Point end of the seawall, including the Stanley Park lighthouse. Then we cut through the park, did a short out-and-back along Lost Lagoon, and then back to where we started. The only real challenge was a bit of frost on the route, but at least it wasn’t raining!

Post-Race
Outside the Brockton Oval clubhouse, several vendors were set up with fruit, water, Starbucks coffee, Vega products, and LIFT Bars – lots of free goodies! It was a fun, festive atmosphere. We then gathered upstairs for awards, draw prizes, costume and moustache judging, and cupcakes.

Would I Run It Again?
I would consider it, for sure! Because most of the #WestVanRun Crew was in attendance, I had a particularly good time! And runs in Stanley Park are never a bad thing!

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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:

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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

This blog post is Part I of a two-part series about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Remix weekend, focusing on the Cunningham Seawall 10K. Visit Part II to read about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Half Marathon!

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Last year, I ran the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Half Marathon because, well, it was new! Rock ‘n’ Roll in Vancouver! An awesome medal! Good fun!

This year, the race organizers took the bold step of making a weekend of the thing – holding the Cunningham Seawall 10K on Saturday, and the half marathon on Sunday. And, along with it, the opportunity to earn a Remix medal on top of the two race medals. How could I resist? A double header, and more bling!

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