Scotiabank Half Marathon 2018

Posted: July 22, 2018 in My Story, Race Reports
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Scotiabank Half MarathonLife gets away from you sometimes. We’ve had a lot of things going on both at home and at work, some good and some bad. I’ve still been running but I was reminded today that I have been slacking when it comes to my blog. Which is 100% true. Plus, I means, it’s summer. After spending most of my days in an office in front of computer, it can be challenging to get myself to sit down and just get typing. But today I’m getting it done!

It’s been nearly a month since the Scotiabank Half Marathon. The memories and impressions are still vivid, but a few of the details may have slipped my mind…so bear with me as I tell you about my 39th half marathon…

After seeing a post on Facebook, my honey told me he thought the Scotiabank medals were cool. That’s what prompted me to register again this year. And who could resist the discount deal of signing up for both the Scotiabank Half Marathon and the Eastside 10K? Honey registered for the Scotiabank 5k, and we were good to go.

Package Pickup

The race expo was held at the old Vancouver Convention Centre, which is just a couple of blocks fromt he office. My coworker joined me and we wandered over to grab my bib. Unlike in previous years, where the expo took over a large ballroom on the ground floor, this year’s expo was in a smaller ballroom upstairs. I was surprised how small the whole things was, with far fewer vendors and booths than usual. I’m curious to know whether this was a cost-saving measure, or if some other factors were at play.

Scotiabank Half Marathon

Reliably, Debra was volunteering at bib pickup, so I got both mine and honey’s within a few minutes.

Then the t-shirt. Oh, Scotiabank and your t-shirts. The only one I’ve liked was the one from 2013. Since then, the men’s small have become progressively larger (see my 2015 race report), and this year was no exception. The shirt was gigantic. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of the skinny runners turned theirs down. In addition, while the logo was cute, the colour (or lack thereof) was a disappointing white. What did you think of this year’s Scotiabank Half Marathon t-shirt??

Scotiabank Half Marathon

Anyway, I wrapped things up quickly and left with bib and oversized shirt in hand.

Race Day

The Scotiabank Half Marathon is a point-to-point course, starting way out at UBC. I took my old reliable transport option – car2go – and picked up Debra on the way. We zipped to the university, and got ready for our big race!

Scotiabank Half Marathon Scotiabank Half Marathon

Coach Tony had helped me prep for the race – not only with his focused schedule over the past several months, but also with some solid race day advice. Also, Coach Dylan shared some Scotiabank wisdom, which I found really valuable. I completed my pre-race warmup and headed to the start line.

Best moment of the race! Standing in my corral, the guy next to me says: “Are you Bradley on the Run?” When I answered in the affirmative, he told me that he was running his first ever half marathon. And while he had been nervous, reading my race report and getting a feel for the course helped calm his fears. He was excited to get started. I was so delighted to hear this, and (with his permission) snapped his photo:

Scotiabank Half Marathon

(Spoiler alert: this guy completed his first half with a sub-2 hour time. Awesome job!!)

The Course

I blogged about the Scotiabank Half Marathon route many times before, so I won’t bore you with the details. I will, however, provide a few of my strategies, highlights and takeaways from the day:

The UBC Part

Everyone talks about the ‘net downhill’ nature of the Scotia Half, and emphasizes the big downhill at Jericho. So it’s easy to forget that the first third of the race is at UBC, and that it is not entirely flat. There are some gradual but challenging uphill bits. You think the downhill is just around the corner, but it’s not yet!

 

Pro Tip: Keep it steady, don’t go out too hard, find a solid rhythm and stick to it. You don’t want to burn yourself out at this point.

The Downhill

The big chance to make up some time! Kick it into high gear! Blaze down that hill!

Pro Tip: Control yourself! I wrecked my ankle a few years ago but doing this too fast. Remember – it’s still the first half of the race, don’t overdo it. But sure, enjoy the ride! Plus, it’s still shady.

The Flat Bit

The next few kilometres are mostly flat, pretty fully exposed to the sun, and draining. I made an effort to just keep it steady, knowing that there was an uphill not far off…

The Kitsilano Challenge

The hill from Jericho Beach up to 4th Avenue is a killer. I did my best to go at it with a consistent effort, not trying to maintain the pace I’d held on the flat. Get to the top of that hill completely tuckered out and the next 8km will be pure suffering!

I always find the Kits part of the race the most difficult. I’m always tired. My legs always feel like jelly.

Pro Tip: They’re often handing out gels soon after you turn onto 4th and heading downhill. This year they had Endurance Tap on offer. Be ready! I wasn’t really paying attention and missed my chance to grab a gel. Darn.

Then I did what Coach Tony had told me to do:  pick a spot in the race to just give ‘er. Commit to picking up the effort. The moment the Starbucks on Cornwall came into view, I took charge. The next five kilometres would be mine!

Burrard Bridge to the Finish

Although it was my slowest kilometre during the race, it was my third best time ever crossing Burrard Bridge. I was focused and steady – I owned that bridge!

Scotiabank Half Marathon

Pro Tip: After Burrard Bridge, you still have two kilometres to go, and the last bit has a slight incline. Save a bit of energy for this final push, and you’ll cross the finish line in style!!

Post-Race

I was completely beat and totally drenched when I received my medal.

Scotiabank Half Marathon

I sucked back some water, and then rushed to the 5k start line to see my honey heading out…and I missed him! I wasn’t there soon enough! I missed him at the finish line, too – my eyesight just sucks. Finally tracked him down post-race, and we enjoyed our new medals!

Scotiabank Half Marathon

There were lots of post-race options – bananas, bagels, cookies and vendors with other food and wears to hawk.

Final Results

Somehow, I had convinced myself that I’d never completed the Scotiabank Half Marathon in under 1:50, so breaking that was my goal. I was pleased with my results until I realized that I ran 1:47:11 back in 2016. Never mind! I’m still pretty happy with what I achieved!

Chip time: 1:47:47
Average pace:  5:06 min/km
Overall place: 664/4155
Place in age category: 54/230

Click here for complete race results


Scotiabank Half Marathon 2018 – Quick Review

What I liked:
– Well-organized
– Great aid stations, solid volunteer support
– Charitable component – I helped fundraise for the BC Cancer Foundation again this year
– Awesome medals!
– Good variety of post-race stuff

What needs improvement:
– The t-shirts were just awful in terms of size and colour – I was really disappointed
– Maybe the organizers should do a post-race survey?

Would I run it again?
I’ve often struggled with this question because it’s usually so hot the weekend of the Scotia Half. This year was no exception, although it wasn’t as bad. It’s a great race, though, so I have no doubt I’ve been running the course again!

Scotiabank Half Marathon

Comments
  1. Jonathan C Peacock says:

    Great review Bradley. Sorry I am sure it was me accusing you of “slacking off” today in the race reviews but I like the blog and hearing other perspectives.

    I like this race, don’t mind the white shirt after last year’s black ones but the images look like South Park drawings. It is always hot and despite the net downhill I can’t get a pb on this course. Still I keep coming back.

    Great to be part of your team this past weekend!

    • bjcjapan says:

      You were 100% right about me slacking off!! I just needed a wee kick in the pants!

      See, I didn’t run last year, but I thought the shirts were cool. South Park lol!! And yes, the PB is elusive in the Scotia Half!!

  2. Kevin M says:

    It was awesome seeing you kill it going over the Burrard Bridge!

    Totally agree that the section through Kits is super tough, I underestimate that hill up to 4th every time!

    I’ve actually been a fan of the shirt, I like that it’s a little minimalistic and even though the white is a little plain, I think the material gives it a nice texture. I also like that the design isn’t so running related that I feel like I’m trying to tell everyone that I’m a runner when I wear it.

    The sizes are definitely weird and I was certainly confused when they handed me my shirt and I thought no way thats a small. It’s bigger than I would like for running, but I’ve worn it around town on a bunch on hot days cause its loose and so breathable.

    Great report and a great finish!

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