Sunday, May 4, 2014

Beaten by a wet and windy 2014 Vancouver Marathon...

Following a disappointing result in the hottest L.A. Marathon for over a decade this year, plus a heatwave during 2013's Vancouver Marathon, this year's race weather flipped in the opposite direction to wetter and windier conditions and robbed me of my chance to beat my time from last year.

Have poncho, will run rainy marathons
Vancouver Marathon 2014 running poncho
Running amongst a field of only 5,000 marathon runners I achieved a time of 3:53:03, three minutes slower than last year, but I felt waterlogged for most of the 42.2 km race and kept trying to wring my shirt out as it was dragging me down and my soggy running shoes felt like I was running with lead weights attached.
Vancouver Marathon 2014 Good Luck runners banner
It's still sub-4, which I wanted to get back to after my 4:03:25 time at the L.A. Marathon in March, but I can't say I'm not a little disappointed.

Trying to stay dry in my starting corral before the race
Vancouver Marathon 2014 starting corral
The weather was wet from the start, although I think the 10,000 half marathon participants that headed off at 7am may have had an even wetter time, although only for 13.1 miles. I started with my wave of damp runners just after 8:30am.

Rain, rain, go away, we're all getting rather wet
Wet Vancouver Marathon 2014 start line
The course seemed slightly less scenic this time around, the mountains shrouded in clouds and I was keeping my head down to avoid the driving rain, plus even though I'd remembered many of the hills and inclines along the 26.2 miles route, I was still surprised by how up and down the Vancouver course is (I won't make that mistake again).

Final stretch of the Vancouver Marathon
Final stretch Vancouver Marathon 2014
As ever it was the support of the locals along the course which helped lift my spirits, they really are a friendly bunch, especially being out in this rain to cheer along all us strangers. It's so cool to have your name printed on your running bib, as when you here some random person shouting encouragement it really means the world of difference and keeps you going during difficult times.

I distinctly remember the salty tang in the air as I ran around Stanley Park's Seawall during the last six miles, but my word that last stretch seemed to be never-ending this year in the drizzle and wet.

My heavy legs just wouldn't go any faster in the last dash to the Finish Line
Race for Finish Line Vancouver Marathon 2014
By the time I was almost at the Finish Line along Pender Street in Downtown Vancouver I spotted my husband on the sidelines, my biggest cheerleader in all these events, but by that time I knew I'd missed my goal of beating 3:50:26.

This race certainly brought back memories of a very rainy 2011 L.A. Marathon and was probably good training for the colder climate of the New York Marathon later this year at the start of November.

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that there are a few good dramatic shots from this year's marathon to console myself with...

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