Sunday, June 22, 2008

2008 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon race report

7am, Vancouver, BC
Temperature: 55F-57F, Cloudy
Humidity: 72%

I rated my experience with this race last year as one of my best of the races I've run. Consequently, my decision to run this again was not difficult to make. In addition my cousin was going to join me from AZ - this was to be a goal race for him. Even though my recovery from Newport was pretty slow I had to run this one.

We stayed at the host hotel (the Sheraton, Wall St). The view from the 24th floor was pretty neat but it also gave us a perspective on how unplanned the city's high rises were. On the race day morning we were able to avoid driving by taking the hotel shuttle to and from the race. I spent the time to the start taking snaps from the window of the bus.

The toilets at the start were in the UBC student center. The age old adage of not blindly following the flock proved to be true. There were huge lines on the ground floor but the toilets in the second floor were empty! This race requires a CAN$ 2 donation to check in bags (I had to get a couple of loonies for US $ at the hotel lobby - it sucked that my US $ was now worth less than the CAN $).

There was no corralling at the start so I had to wait on the pavement to jump in ...
mile 1: 7:13 (183)
I spent the first couple of minutes navagating through the crowd. After Newport I had just run 39 miles at a pace of 9:00-10:30. I did not know what pace I would be able to run at or if I would even be able to finish. I had hoped at the very least I would not end up with a PW. Luckily, I seemed to be able to switch into race mode.

mile 2: 6:51 (185)
A downhill mile. I saw the Kenyan leaders pass by on the other side.

mile 3: 7:15 (186)
mile 3.27: 2:02 @ 7:35 - 5k (186)
mile 4.27: 7:42 (185)
Climbing up the incline was not as easy as it should have been. It also sucked that the 5k marker did not sync with my Garmin...

mile 5.27: 7:10 (185)
mile 6.27: 6:58 (181)
mile 6.44: 1:04 @ 6:24 - 10k (180)
These were the down hill miles which included the steepest decline on course. We also passed the music station.

mile 7.44: 7:33 (184)
mile 8:44: 7:32 (186)
mile 9:44: 7:30 (185)
mile 10:44: 7:36 (188)
Last year it was pouring for the latter half of the race but today we had a clear view of the beautiful waterfront (Howe Sound)! There were a few climbs to negotiate too. There were quite a few people cheering as we passed the interesting Kitsilano neighborhood.

mile 11:44: 7:47 (186)
Like last year, I had nothing for the climb over the Burrard Bridge. It was a struggle till I reached the peak. There was an elderly gentleman in front of me who was embarrassing me by throwing in a kick here.

mile 12:44: 7:30 (188)
mile 13:39: 6:58 @ 7:19 (190)

I was glad to see the finish line in Stanley park. Aerobically, I had nothing left. I was left to reflect the fact that I ran Newport at the same pace three weeks back.

Avg HR: 186

Results:

Clock: 1:40:01
Chip: 1:38:48 @ 7:32
AG: 36/194
Male: 251/1516
OA: 313/3584

The medal this year was top class since it was the 10th anniversary of the race.

My cousin ended up with a HUGE eleven minute PR! He was obviously thrilled. After showering up we got in a quick trip to Victoria before returning home. At the race expo, I got a flyer reminding me that 2009 is the 30th anniversary for the Victoria marathon - so that increases the incentive for me to run it :)

I loved this race on both the years I have run it. Hopefully, someday I will be able to do justice to this race by getting in a good run on it.

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