Race Recap: The Vancouver Sun Run

My first 10k!

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This morning at 5:45 the alarm went off and race day officially began. After months of campaigning to get students & their families to run, the big day finally arrived. This was my first Sun Run and only my second mega race (with a mere 48,000 runners). It was an incredible experience and I am already counting down the days (and planning how I can get more students & parents running) to next year’s race. But before I get ahead of myself, here’s a recap of today’s evnets.

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Race gear all planned out!

Pre Race

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Everything this morning went incredibly smooth! We were out of the house by 6:30 and in the city by 7:30ish. We quickly made our way to our favoirte parking spot and were at the starting line just a little before 8. We had set up an 8:15 meeting time with the kids. As they trickled in we got some great shots for the school’s FB page & Instagram account. Once the shoot was over, everyone headed to their starting groups.

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Our team, along with many runners, showed their love for Boston! There was an amazing amount of love in Vancouver today!

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The Race

After waiting and waiting, the race finally began! And thankfully just as we were crossing the starting line the Sun broke through the clouds. I was seriously beginning to worry that it would rain (remember Birch Bay?). Well, no rain just a perfect day for running. Here’s how our run went down:

1k / 1 Mile: This was one slow mile (11:14). It was a lot of crowd navigating and people dodging. Although not ideal, it made me take it slow and conserve my energy because I definitely did not want to burn out early.

**only Mile 1 was marked. The rest of the race was marked in kilometers. Which I actually loved. It is amazing how fast a kilometer goes by!**

2k – 3k: This was the only part of the race ran in Stanley Park (unlike the SeaWheeze, which is 50% on the Sea Wall). It seemed like just as we entered, we were leaving. After a incredibly slow Mile 1, this is where I really started to get into my groove!

4k – 5k: Kyle and I tried to keep a conservative pace through the first 5 k. Here we left the Park and ran along the water. Then just before the 5k marker we run up a hill and made our way over the Burrard Bridge. Half way there!

First 5k time: 30:50ish

6k – 7k: As we were going over the bridge I needed a little extra motivation, so I started counting the runners I passed:) This kept me distracted as I pushed through the hill. The downhill from the top was the perfect recovery for our final push.

8k – 10k: The final 2k was amazing! I felt great (see it pays to start slow). This is also where the best cheering squad was located (thank you, lululemon)! At the start of kilometer 9, we went up a bridge and then is coasting (well more realisticaly it was sprinting) into the finish!!!

Second 5k: 26ish (yes that is a HUGE negative split)

10k: 56:51!!!

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Mile 1) 11:14 | Mile 2) 9:22 | Mile 3) 9:20

Mile 4) 8:46 | Mile 5) 8:33 | Mile 6) 8:20

I am soooo proud of our splits. Each mile was faster and we finished strong with a 8:20 minute mile! I am also quite shocked by the jump between mile 3 and mile 4! This was great pacing prep for Run for Water.

2013 sun run stats

Post Race

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The finishing chute lead us into the recovery zone, where they were served chocolate milk and water. After walking through the recovery zone, the crowd flowed into BC Place. Inside there was a live band, bagel & fruit station, water, Sun Run merchandise shop and other goodies. This is also were we had our team met up. The kids were so proud of themselves (which they should be because they did amazing!).

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Thank you, volunteers! You guys did a fantastic job feeding & hydrating the thousands of participants! Us runners greatly appreciate your hard work!

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OVerall experience:

I had an amazing race experience! I know some runners try to avoid races of this size but I am definitely not one of them! I LOVE big, huge races! Seriously, the bigger the better. The energy is just incredible.

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Just a fun shot I took while we waited for the gun to go off. Now the boring stuff:)

Things the organizers could improve on:

  • Speaker Placement ~Before the starting gun went off the race organizers had a special presentation to honor the Sun Runners who participated in last week’s Boston Marathon. Unfortunately only the yellow runners could hear it. I know it is a bit unrealistic to think that all 50,000 of us could be in earshot. However, it would be nice if they had speakers turned down the street or speakers lining Georgia street.
  • Water Stations Volunteers~ most stations were great but a few really slowed Kyle & me down. Some volunteers would only hold one cup at a time and became road blocks while they were constantly turning to get more cups. I would suggest asking volunteers to hold more than 1 cup at a time or just leave the cups on the table so runners can just grab and go.
  • Walk Lane / Run Lane ~ I knew going into this race that there would be a lot of walkers, come on it’s a fun run! But just give this runner a moment for some wishful thinking. If there was a way to divide the race into two lanes: runners & walkers. Too idealistic? Haha!

Thoughts for next year as team captain:

  • Run as one color~ Next year, I am going to sign up all team members on the same color group (unless they would like to go yellow). Thankfully, we had some awesome parents that supervised kids in each group!! So there was no worrying on my end today.
  • FVAA food party at the end in BC Place! At the finish we sat in envy as a group of volunteers devoured delicious wraps. Next year, we’ll be the envy of all the other runners.
  • Royal Gear Oh yea, we need to get some awesome FVAA technical shirts!

Well, I am officially exhausted and ready for bed! Vancouver Sun, thank you for an unforgettable event! I’ll be back next year and will hopefully be bringing 100 of my friends:)

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