Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rain, rain, please stay away for the Vancouver Marathon 2014...

Following a few weeks of fretting whether we'd be able to make it to Vancouver this weekend for the marathon (due to the fact we were waiting for some essential travel documents), the gods of fate smiled kindly on us and everything fell into place at the last minute.

Cloudy skies ahead of the 2014 Vancouver Marathon
Harry Jerome statue Stanley Park Vancouver
So I'm back to run my second Vancouver Marathon and hopefully beat my time from last year of 3:50:26 and redeem myself from this year's L.A. Marathon in which I achieved my slowest time to date (thanks to some soaring temperatures), well that's the goal at least.

Race no. pick-up at the Vancouver Marathon Expo
Vancouver Marathon 2014 Expo race packet pick-up
We arrived in Canada on Friday and headed to the Marathon Expo at the Convention Center to pick up my race bib no. and t-shirt, and a running cap (the one thing I forgot to pack) to keep all that forecast rain out of my eyes.

Finding my name on the runners wall
Vancouver Marathon 2014 Expo runners wall
One of the benefits of this marathon also being on the West Coast is that there's no time difference or jet-lag to deal with.

Last year the weather for the 2013 Vancouver Marathon was beautifully clear skies but really high temperatures, which made for a hard race.

Feeling like an Olympian at Vancouver's Olympic Cauldron
Olympic Cauldron Vancouver
This year it looks like I'll get my wish for a cooler climate, but the downside of that may be some rain.

I don't mind running in wet weather that much if it's not too heavy and I find it keeps me cool over the 26.2 mile course, but the roads can also be slippery and have debris on them, so you have to be more mindful where you run, otherwise you can twist your ankle like I did the week before this year's L.A. Marathon.

Checking out the course for Sunday
Mile 1 Stanley Park Seawall Vancouver
This will be my eighth marathon and my first ever 42.2 km race was the L.A. Marathon 2011 in torrential weather conditions, so I'm well prepared and excited for a cooler marathon, especially as this year starts another half hour later at 8:30am in Queen Elizabeth Park.

View of Vancouver from Stanley Park in the final miles
Stanley Park Coal Harbour Vancouver
What I remember of the race from last year was it was much hillier than I thought in the first half, but well worth it for the scenic route and I especially love how the final six miles are around beautiful Stanley Park's Seawall and then that final dash up Pender Street to the Finish Line in Downtown Vancouver.

Stanley Park's Seawall is closed for the race, open for runners
Vancouver Marathon seawall closed sign
There's something about finishing on that last scenic leg that keeps you so motivated and having run the route several times when I've visited Vancouver, it always reminds me of good times.

Let's hope tomorrow's race will be another good time to remember...

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