Sunday, May 12, 2013

Reliving the Vancouver Marathon with my official photos...

Running a marathon truly is a great way to see a city from a totally different perspective and on reflection that's why I enjoyed the Vancouver Marathon so much, despite the heat.

Running the final miles of the Stanley Park Seawall
Running Stanley Park Seawall Vancouver Marathon
Having run Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu it was such a refreshing change to run such a scenic course (without palm trees).
Running Vancouver Marathon 2013
Usually I find myself running through lots of commercial, industrial areas or city streets, so it was such a pleasant change to be surrounded by so much beautiful nature.

View from Burrard Bridge in Vancouver
Burrard Bridge view Vancouver
I've been to Vancouver in British Columbia several times before for city breaks and stayed mainly downtown, so it was nice to discover the joys of Queen Elizabeth Park (where the race started) and run through areas like Kitsilano and its beaches where I've not ventured before.
Vancouver Marathon runner 2013
This was my first Vancouver Marathon, but my sixth in total (plus five half marathons) and I have to say that I've never heard so many people cheer for me by name along the course, they were such a friendly and encouraging group of spectators.

Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park
There were also a few neighbours with a handy hose pipe to water us all down, which was much needed on that hot day. The sun really was beating down on us out of the shade. I'd rather run in rain that heat, I always worry about over-heating, over-hydrating and sunstroke.

Final miles around Stanley Park
Final miles Stanley Park Vancouver Marathon
My favourite part of the race, aside from being the last few miles, was running around Stanley Park's seawall.

Stanley Park raccoon
Stanley Park raccoon
The beaches, snow-capped mountains in the distance, seaplanes taking off and local sights really helped to distract my mind in those final minds when your legs are aching and the Finish Line seems so close, yet so far away.

Girl in Wetsuit sculpture Stanley Park
Girl in Wetsuit sculpture Stanley Park
It's always easier to look back on a race with fondness, especially looking at the official photos, but there are a few things I think the organisers need to address next year.
Vancouver Marathon 2013 final miles
Firstly as it was so hot they need to rethink starting the full marathon earlier, 8am was far too late for the temperature, and secondly a few more photographers spread out along the course and not just bunched towards the end (where you're often feeling your worst).
Vancouver Marathon 2013 runner
Aside from that, the water and nutrition along the course was great, everyone was so well behaved at the start with the corrals and no one was pushing to the front and the public transport to the park in the morning was spot on (even if the walk to the start line was further than I expected).

Final dash for the Finish Line
Final dash Finish Line Vancouver marathon
Apparently I'm classed as a 'Destination Runner', someone who travels to a marathon for the course or location and so it was funny to hear my name and West Hollywood home called out as I crossed the Finish Line.

My official marathon time was 3:50:26
Vancouver Marathon Finisher 2013
Overall I was pleased with my time. I think if the temperature has been slighter cooler I may have been even faster, but sub-4 is never too shabby.

Vancouver Marathon 2013 medal and shirt
Vancouver Marathon 2013 medal shirt
Unlike some of my marathon races, I eager to return for another Vancouver Marathon, so if not next year then hopefully I'll return to run another day.

Until then I'm enjoying the break from training, although that race day itch is starting to stir...

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