Better late than never! I had plans for writing this post last week, but being away on vacation had me tied up relaxing and enjoying special moments with family… So now here I am finally writing my race review over a week later, not to worry I jotted down some notes to help me remember. The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, my 4th half marathon but the first for my boyfriend, which of course made it a special run.
Getting up at the crack of dawn is never easy, so I always make sure to have my gear ready to go the night before. We decided to take advantage of the extra public transit offered so we could come home straight afterwards, skipping the shuttling back to UBC. We made it to the 99B at Broadway and Cambie by 6:15am with time to hit the bathroom before the bus arrived. The bus ended up being rerouted, the driver wasn’t informed, so we didn’t make it to UBC until about 7:10 which didn’t leave us much time to get settled. As always line-up for the bathrooms were ridiculous, but I managed to find a spot before race start. Bag check was pretty simple but it did cost $2 (donation), after this we wished each other good luck and made our way to our appropriate corrals.
It was hot for 7:30am and it became apparent early on that I wasn’t going to be able to manage anything faster than my regular pace. The first part of this race is a little loop, I had heard after that there would be a lot of downhill! Thank you to the Peak Crew for cheering us on around the 5km marker, and having a spray bottle to cool us off. I remember some uneven pavement to navigate between 6-7km, as you start to leave the university grounds. Thank you to the houses on the 13-17Km portion of the route that had their sprinklers on, I obviously took full advantage of this and ran through them. Special mention to the women around the 17km marker for the sign with a bull-eye that instructed to slap for power, I think it helped. 😉
There was an incline up onto Cornwall St. but it wasn’t too bad, then there was the hill leading up and over the Burrard St. Bridge which I disliked, but I knew I was close to the finish so I pushed through. Coming off the bridge was the home stretch with 2km to go! There were lots of spectators lining Beach Ave which helped because running the last kilometers are always the hardest! I was slightly disappointed that the finish line was a slight bend that went uphill with a 21km banner to the right, and the finish line just beyond that. I prefer the long stretch of the BMO finish line allowing you to see your time well in advance. Plus, when I was nearing the end a spectator ran onto the course to bring another runner a flag to wear across the finish line. I completely understand the excitement and love the enthusiasm, but personally after running for 2 hours, the only thing I wanted to focus on was crossing the finish line, not dodging spectators.
I finished in 2:03:32 slightly slower than my personal best, but I am happy with my time. The best moment was watching my boyfriend cross the finish line of his first half marathon. He finished with a time of 2:16:09, which is excellent for someone that claims not to be a runner. After the race, we enjoyed some snacks, stretched, and made our way home to start our beach vacation.
If I had a suggestion to improve the event, it would be to keep the 5km route separate from the half marathon to reduce congestion, plus I would gate off the finish line area similar to the BMO. I really enjoyed this cool info graph they sent out after the race.
Overall I give this race a 4 out of 5, and would do it again, hopefully in cooler temperatures. If you did participate in this event, let me know what you thought of it below. If you have any questions about the race, feel free to comment and I’ll get back to you.