After 17 weeks of training, and personal bests in 5km, 10km and half-marathons this spring running season, it all led up to my big moment – the BMO Vancouver Marathon – a brand new 42.2km course which garnered attention from the international running community and Forbes Magazine.
The day started off at a cool 4’c with clear, blue sunny skies as the race started off at 8:00am. Over 5,000 elite and dedicated marathon runners lined up for their big moment, myself included. With the singing of O’Canada by Mark Donnelly, the gun went off and the race for the finish line was on.
The course was fantastic and the energy was amazing. Passing through each neighbourhood there streets were lined with spectators the entire route enthusiastically cheering on the runners and holding signs of encouragement.
Of course the marathon would not have been such a success without the army of volunteers who helped put on the event. From handing out water, Gatorade, gels and bars, to ensuring the course was safely laid out and monitored throughout the morning – it was a job well done. Along the course the cheer stations and music challenges kept the participants motivated and spectators entertained and a great buzz in the atmosphere.
Also new on the course was the increase in water stations – every mile located along the 42km course. For this year the water stations proved to be invaluable as temperatures skyrocketed into the 15’c+ range. Many participants after the race comments how they quickly became dehydrated along the course, impacting their overall time.
The last 2.2km of the course was a gentle uphill slope, but the streets were lined with enthusiastic crowds. It was an emotional feeling of running through the streets of downtown Vancouver and feeling the overwhelming support along the final home stretch. It made the pain disappear and the finish line so much more rewarding.
Overall the new course has been welcomed by the running community and will be looked up as a new challenge and benchmark for the years to come.
Thank you for the encouragement from my online community who supported me on my marathon training journey, friends who endeared another season of my training, and the amazing pace-leaders and clinic members from Denman Running Room. A special thank you to everyone who came out to volunteer, cheer and help put on a fantastic race day.
Most importantaly, an extra big thank you for my race day hero’s, Jay Minter and Billy Hurr, for their outstanding race support. They were amazing – from grabbing my water belt that I forgot at home (which they delivered to me 7km into the race!), and cheering me on at 5 separate locations along the course, to tossing me fresh water bottles, taking photos and keeping everyone informed on social media of my progress along the race.
Although I did not set a new personal best on this run, I really enjoyed the new course and I am looking forward to running it again. Here are my final results:
- Gun Time: 3:50:40
- Chip Time: 3:50: 36
- Place Overall: 1099 / 5000 (top 22%)
- Pace: 5:28 / km
- Male 30-34: 133/325 (top 41%)
- Male Overall: 835/2396 (top 35%)
- First Half: 1:45:48 / Second Half: 2:04:49