Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K was my second race in 2 weeks and it was a short one (thank goodness). It was my first big race, big in the sense of number of participants. Over 1,500 runners woke up bright and early to take part in a 5k fun run at Stanley Park, complete with green costumes and funky hats. Leading up to the race, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast. Of course, as luck would have it, there was a rainfall warning on the day of the race.
We woke up and I could see the rain pouring already and I was bracing myself to be drenched pretty much the entire duration of the race and then some. I mentally prepared as much as I could and suddenly the rain stopped. I couldn’t believe it. It was actually a little warm for me to be wearing a jacket by the end of the race.
The course itself was quite nice. A Maserati led the runners through the course, which was pretty cool. There were so many people that I had to pretty much fight for position during the first 10-15 minutes of the race. It was understandable that not everyone was keen on running so I had to maneuver my way through as many people as I could without losing gas. I figured that this would be good practice for the Sun Run… in anticipation of the massive crowd that awaits me on Georgia Street. I finally made it to a spot where I was keeping up the pace that I wanted. The “flat and fast” course they advertised seemed hillier than I originally thought (the seawall was flatter than this). Fortunately, the hills were gradual and I think I was able to keep up my pace throughout the whole thing. The more I race, the more I realize that it’s such a huge mind game, in addition to a physical challenge. If you’re not focused, you can easily give in to fatigue and stop. I can only imagine keeping this focus up for an entire marathon… good thing I’m only training for a half. The last stretch of the run was a hill leading up to the Stanley Park Pavilion. I managed to scrounge up some of my reserves and crossed the finish line strong (leaving a few people behind). I finished the run in 30:57… Not bad for my first official 5k race. I’ll take it 🙂 Enjoy my suffer face below as captured by my #1 fan, Cuski.
At the finish line, we were given beer glasses courtesy Granville Island Brewing. I thought they would be offering a free glass of beer to finishers as well but alas, no recovery drink for me. It was a little disappointing, especially since I’ve seen big races give away a growler with a free fill-up to participants. The food tent was great though: coffee and cookies from Starbucks, yogurt, Granola Girl granola, stew from Urban Fare, mini cupcakes from Cupcakes, and my favourite.. KIND bars. I regret not getting one of each flavour.
Next up, the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k this Sunday, my last race of the month and the week after, I will attempt an 18k long run. Wish me luck and strong legs!
Photos by Carmen Marin