I think this marked half marathon #11 for me and at first I thought it might bring me a PR once I saw the map (and hills!) I knew it might not be.
I covered most the weekend in my other post but I will say it again – Lululemon does a race right. This is a must do race! It tops my list with Disney races. Yes, the entry is not cheap at $158 but it more than paid for with the festivities, swag and more.
Race morning we were up just after 5am since it was a 7am start. We arrived at the starting area around 6:30am with the 10,000 other runners and spectators and after a group shot we made our way to the starting line.
Thanks Becky for the photo!
The starting line is self seeded with the pace beavers (as SeaWheeze calls them). We (myself, Chad and friend Heather) decided to stay at the 1:45 pace beaver and hope for the best.
They said the race would start in waves so we figured we might be the second wave so did the initial countdown and were ready to wait but we were off in the first wave!
I am not too familiar with Vancouver so bare with me on the route 😉 We stayed on the streets of downtown for a bit and while there was three lanes blocked off in areas it was still so crowded. I know you cannot expect much else with 10,000 runners but it also frustrates me!
Anyways, I think the first cheer area we say was a spin studio which really got the fun going – one reason I love huge races is for all the spectators and cheer areas along the way!
I have a hard timing remembering race details but around 6km (?) we headed over a bridge (a long and slow uphill) into Kitsilano where we hit 10km and I saw we were at 49 minutes but still behind the 1:45 pace bunny – which was throwing me off.
It was an out in back in Kitsilano then we headed back over the bridge – another hill – urgh 😉 then to the sea wall.
Just before the sea wall there was a digital sign where you could send messages to runners and Ange sent me a message – so awesome and it definitely fueled a fast few kms since we ran the next 5km in 23 minutes!
There was so many water stations which I never used but was very impressed by how many there was. Vega was set up along the race route too! Some other cheer areas, the police, fireman who sprayed their water hose, drag queens and so many other costumes!
I found running along the sea wall a tad tricky, we had some head wind plus it was windy and the sand made my steps feel a tad slippery. We ran the perimeter of Stanley Park on the sea wall before heading into the park at 18km and running up another hill!
That hill killed us for a bit and while I wanted to pick up the pace for the next 3km I just could not and I knew Chad could not either.
At 20km I was ready to spring to the finish line but Chad looked rough so without saying anything I stayed with him 🙂
Just before the finish line!
Photo from Dave Mallari
We crossed the finish line and my watch gave us a time of 1:44:30 BUT the race results are saying 1:46:16 even though my watch was started before I crossed the start line so not sure what is up there.
After crossing the finish line I asked Chad if he was okay and I got “no, I need water” so he quickly sat down but water was a bit further up so he got up, we got our medals and headed for water.
Being that we finished earlier compared to most we had no issues with any lines ups at this point. We walked up towards the convention centre collecting swag along the way, Vega bars, a cold wash cloth, and sunglasses. At the top was brunch boxes of banana bread, overnight chia oats, nectarine and chocolate which was inhaled too fast for any photo.
I also went to grab mini Vega shakes and more water and saw Saje set-up with runner packages for grabbed one and sent Chad back for his. Sadly, I heard they ran out of these which was too bad for sure!
Once Chad recovered we took a post race photo – but he did not have his medal on – oops!
We decided to head back for showers shortly after and that was one long back!
I am super happy with our times, between hills and the congestion I think we really gave it our all and that is all I want in a race and to know I did not leave much on the course.
I have to shout out to all my friends that set PRs, ran their first half marathons and more! You are all so awesome!! Seriously there are too many to name!