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Friday, May 30, 2014

BMO Vancouver Marathon - 4 May 2014 - 8K

Out of the five races I've entered this year, only two had non-repeating (read: no U-turn) courses.  And in both of them, the rain poured.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some (like a dry head of hair and socks that don't squelch with every step.)

Now, this BMO Vancouver Marathon 8K course was fantastic.  As you can see from the map, runners start at the edge of the famed Stanley Park, head over to the magnificent Lions Gate Bridge, hug the coastline the rest of the way till the last kilometre where they head inland towards the finish line. 

I had originally signed up for the half marathon - it was also a non U-turn course - but chickened out less than a day before the race.  Good thing too, as I don't think I could have slogged through the rain (having done that once in Cebu was bad enough,) but to be fair, the precipitation slowed to a drizzle and then fizzled to an extremely moist breeze for most of the run. 

The temperature was slightly above freezing (around 5 degrees Celsius or thereabouts) but not bone-chillingly so.  Being the Pacific Northwest, the landscape was incredibly verdant, and all flowers were seemingly in full bloom.  Also, the cooler climes meant that the cherry blossoms were still very much in abundance - a fantastic sight throughout the course (and I'd been missing for most of my Tokyo run last month.)

And the other fantastic aspect about this race?  Getting to run/walk it for the very first time with my baby brother Victor, a marathon newbie.  That was worth all the jet-lag, aches and rain trickling down my neck just to share that experience with him.

This was the scene at the start of our 8k race.  More than 16,000 runners from 50 countries took part in the full, half, 8k, relay and kids' categories.  It was a super musical affair too, with more than 30 bands and music groups entertaining us runners throughout the courses.

Between the 2k and 3k markers.  Yes, I was definitely "working my ass" throughout the race, but it's always helpful to have signs reminding you to do so.

One of the many photos we stopped to take of the Lions Gate Bridge, the 1,823-metre suspension bridge that links the City of Vancouver with the North Shore municipalities of the District of North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and West Vancouver.

Passing the marina at the edge of Stanley Park at around the 6.8 K mark.

Such a welcoming cheery sign with an equally cheery message to spur Vic and me on our last steps to the finish line.

I have seriously never seen THIS MANY BANANAS in my life.  And this is only one teeny portion of what they were offering to the runners at the post-race street festival.

Vic and me with our medals.  My poor brother was seriously limping by then. (If I TOLD him once, I TOLD him a million times to stretch pre-race, but would he listen to his big sister? Of course not.)

Flashback to two hours before our start time - check out the miserable soggy weather we woke up to, and our hearty carb-heavy breakfast to fortify our senses.  #HowWeGansRoll

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