Sun is Shining

IMG_2510Sometimes the hype of races doesn’t match the actual experience.  This is not the case with the Sun Run 10km.  The event was bigger and better than it had been described to me.  The pure scale of the race – 40,000+ runners, makes it pretty legendary.  I have been in races of this volume with the Chicago and Boston marathons, but at these events the runners are distributed over 4 times the space. After figuring out my race plan, I started  thinking about the logistics of the event: how could the city would be shut down and even more mind blowing, how many porta-potties would be needed!!!, etc.? Envisioning all the planning that is requires is very neat.

I had the privileges for  accompanying Natasha and Lanni to the race festivities kickoff on Friday night, a VIP meet-and-greet, which had an open bar and some tasty appetizers. It was great to catch up with the other runners and hear how their winter training had been as well as some of their race plans. I had never really met Lanni before the race and I gotta tell you, damn she is a straight up cool person!

Having run the course the week before, Steve and I had come up with a plan that would allow me to use the course and my style of racing to their fullest advantage. I took Boston Billy’s approach and just hammered every downhill.  I was lucky enough to run with Wykes, who has run the race many times, placing second more times than he would like to remember 😉

The Race

Like most race days, I sleep in as late as my race day schedule will allow.  I was up at 6:50am to catch a lift from Catherine W.  (thanks, Catherine, that was very kind/helpful of you!) and we were both so happy with the weather.  

The thousands line up and you can feel the excitement as everyone waits for the gun to go off.  I too am usually a little bit nervous, but for some reason this race was different. I was settled in my thinking and was just going to stick to the plan.

1,2,3 BANG (the starters pistol sounds).  The runners take off as if it’s a pretty fast 5k race. Haha it’s funny how fast the first km of a race always is. I think I rolled through the first km in 2:45 and was positioned in around 25th place. I just stuck to the plan and started to move up and pass people as the race went on.  It wasn’t until after the Hornby Hill, 5k into the race, that I started to test myself. I knew I’d be approaching a good cheering section and a long straight away.  I first ran by Dylan and he gave me a go after the guy in Orange – not the guy immediately 100m ahead but the guy 500m in front of me.  I was feeling pretty smooth and now I had a goal! Then I ran by Natasha, she gave out a very quiet cheer 😉 and I quietly yelled right back with a big fist pump to get the fans fired up. From this point on, I knew the wheels weren’t going to fall off; the strongest section of the race was the closing 4km. I crossed the line in 30:13.  

The after-race festivities matched the scale as the event itself. Thousands of us congregated in BC Place (a really neat facility!) where we had some wicked post-race snacks and the awards ceremony. Folks, the food continued!! We were then taken to an awesome buffet brunch – I am a sucker for a good brunch.  And to top it all off, they had an ice cream bar! The organizers put on one heck of a good time. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of such a memorable event.

I think I have mentioned this in past blogs, I am a huge believer in celebrating any PRs.  We are in a sport where it can be years between them. I was speaking with some runners after the race who said, “yeah, I PRed but I know I could run faster. I am kind of bummed.” My response is always the same: appreciate the moment, you never know when or even if it’s going to come again. To the group I joined celebrating their success and to all of you, cheers!

I just have one last race before heading home. I am going to test my hand (and legs) at the BMO Half Marathon here in Vancouver on May 1. But don’t worry, I’m planning to be back out here in August to continue the journey and hopefully get the legs ready for a longer distance race.

I’d like to thank all of you readers for your support, it’s been are great!