Lululemon sure knows how to throw a great event!
Pre-race activities are recapped here.
Since we were staying at one of our friend's Mom's house in Maple Ridge, we had a super early wake up call on race day- 3:30am. That's definitely the earliest I have ever woken up to run! We quickly got ready, ate breakfast and hit the road into downtown Vancouver.
We arrived with plenty of time to park, hit the port-a-potties a few times, take a bunch of pictures and head to our race corrals.
|This place is stunning!|
|Walking towards the start- the backs of our shirts|
Most of us seeded ourselves between the 2:20-2:30 pace beavers (still can't get used to that term).
|They did not run with those signs...|
|They did run with the beaver headband and tail|
(orange & yellow)
|Lynn & I before the start|
I ate an apple about an hour before I started since it had been so long since breakfast.
|My amazing clinic instructor|
I found pacing very difficult for the first half of the race. I made the mistake of not properly setting my virtual partner on my Garmin- I set her at a faster pace so I never really knew what my pace was as I was always behind. Dumb mistake- I should have known better.
Since there were so many people, I felt like I did a lot of weaving. Many people didn't have good race etiquette and were walking in the middle of the path and walking without warning those around them. For someone not used to running with this many people so close together it was pretty frustrating.
|Running under the Granville Island Bridge|
While I wouldn't consider this race hilly, there were definitely some hills in the first half. The worst of it was around 9-10K, the Burrard Street bridge. This was the first spot that you started to see the faster runners since it was part of an out and back. The steepest part of the bridge was on the return portion so I was getting quite nervous while running down it thinking about how I had to run back up it! In the end, I didn't actually find it that bad. The anticipation was far worse!
|They had the best signs!|
While I started out the race with about 4 or 5 of my running friends, by 3-4K I was running by myself, as in I knew no one else around me. I was faster than one group of friends and slower than another group. I tried to hang on to my clinic instructor's pace but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep it up the entire race so I hung back while she cruised on. I did play 'cat and mouse' with one of the girls in our group but our walk breaks were off so she would catch up to me and then it would be walk break time for her.
The 2nd half of the race is along the Sea Wall which is amazingly scenic and flat!! I loved this portion of the run, even if it was congested. Some of the aid stations were tight to get through, especially if you were trying to run past them. Very few people carried water/nutrition so the aid stations were so busy.
|Running along the sea wall|
|selfie by the paddle boarding cheer section|
While running along the Sea Wall, I could see my friend Carol up ahead of me. I made it my goal to try to catch up to her, even though she was quite far away. I was thankful for our shirts since there is no way I would have been able to spot her otherwise!
Finally around, 18K I caught up to her. It was nice to have someone to run with for the remaining 3K. We chatted for a bit and encouraged each other to keep going as we were both fading. The crowds started to get bigger as we got closer to the finish line.
I couldn't quite remember the remaining portion of the course so I kept hoping that the finish line was "right around the corner" but we still had a few more turns. I so wanted to be done!
Soon the finish line was in sight! Sweet relief!
I finished in 2:32:18- slightly behind my goal but that's ok!
Carol and I got our medals, our finisher's swag and hobbled over to our meeting spot. We were sore!
|Race bag, wrist band, medal, Saje aromatherapy, Skull Candy Ear buds|
|In front of the Olympic Torch|
I was a bit disappointed that we weren't going to participate in the post-race yoga and Sunset Festival but it made sense for us to skip it. We didn't want to wait around for 4-5 hours for it to start, without showering. Since we were staying a distance away from downtown, no one wanted to drive back and forth again.
If we were staying downtown I would have gone to the Festival in a heartbeat so maybe I'll do that next time I do this race. I heard it was lots of fun, with great music.
After we showered, relaxed and napped, we went to White Rock for dinner- best fish and chips in the world!
|Post dinner walk- because we didn't get enough exercise that day!|
|Moby Dick makes the best fish and chips ever!|
|This place is gorgeous|
|White Rock- hence the town's name!|
Overall it was an amazing race and one of my best running experiences. I would do this race again in a heart beat. I've been a faithful Lululemon-lover forever so I am biased but they definitely put on a fantastic event.
We started the trek back home the next day, stopping overnight in Sicamous to stay at a friend's cabin. The way back was far less eventful than the way there which is good!
That being said, I hope to avoid the drive from Calgary to Vancouver for at least a few more years. I'll fly next time!!