Fresh from a PB at Seawheeze, I felt like this race took a while to arrive… the Vancouver Eastside 10K. I had high hopes for this race. I wanted to run a sub-1 hour 10K for the first time ever… unfortunately I got sick. I had a nasty cold last weekend that sidelined me on Sunday and Monday. I forced myself to keep the training going and I felt progressively better, but this nagging cough just wouldn’t let up. It made it harder for me to breathe, not to mention, one tickle in my throat could send me into a painful coughing fit. I was hoping it wouldn’t hinder my performance on race day but I guess it did. But it wasn’t all bad 🙂 By the end of it all, I still beat my previous 10K time at the Vancouver Sun Run by 38 seconds (1:02:18). Even though I felt like crap and didn’t achieve the goal I wanted, I can still consider it a victory 🙂 It was also great to see some familiar faces (Mike and Naveen) from November Project at the starting line, as well as a Twitter friend (@debrakato) at the finish line. The progression seems to be (1) follow local runner on Instagram or Twitter (2) recognize them at a race (3) introduce yourself. It’s very cool. This was also my first rainy race… as miserable as it was, it made me feel better seeing others running out there & getting soaked with me.
View my race on Strava.
This was held the day before race day and for me, it was convenient because it wasn’t too far away from my work (at Queen Elizabeth Theater). Lots of volunteers were available to help out and I got my shirt and bib without problems. Forerunners was there with a New Balance display. Runners also received a $20 coupon for New Balance stuff which we could use right away. I decided to buy a tech shirt (you can’t have too many, right?) for $15 with the discount. I was happy with my purchase that I wore it on race day. There wasn’t much else there. Rock and Roll Marathon had a table there but I was already signed up so I just grabbed a plastic bag with two running magazines in it… well I grabbed it mostly because they didn’t provide bags to take the bib and shirt home in (to reduce waste). They were also collecting non-perishable food items for charity if anyone wished to donate.
I looked up the elevation of the course on Strava and it came up with a low number (my race registered a 68 m elevation gain). That didn’t mean it was flat though. There were rolling hills all throughout the course and some flat sections. The inclines really weren’t too bad but when you’re feeling under the weather, they seemed a lot worse than they were. There were definitely enough downhills and flats to recover from until the next hill. The course scenery wasn’t really the best since we were running through residential streets and a poorer part of town. Gastown was beautiful though. The cobblestones were a bit of a hazard since it was so wet but if you’re careful and alert, you should be ok. I seem to have timed it out well too, I ran by the steam clock as it was chiming. How very Vancouver that was! There were two aid stations available but because the course was laid out as an out and back, you actually hit an aid station 4 times, which is more than enough for a 10K. The start and finish was at the Dunsmuir Viaduct. I didn’t think that viaduct was long going out but heading back with the finish line in sight, it seemed endless. I guess it’s a mental thing. Either way it was a really nice way to start and end the race.
The shirt they gave out is not a tech shirt, but it’s a nice soft cotton round neck t-shirt. I liked it, I wore it later that day and it was so comfortable. I also liked that race organizers asked for feedback from runners to vote for the logo and colour of the shirt. We’re gonna have to wear it so I was really happy they gave us a say in it. They asked people to vote on their Facebook page so if you get their notifications, you had the opportunity to vote. The medal is also awesome. It’s a dog tag style medal. The Eastside 10K logo stayed the same as last year but on the other side, the statue of Gassy Jack was engraved onto the medal. It’s probably one of my favourite medals so far. It also has a slot for an iTab, those customized plates you can insert which has your name and race time engraved on it. I opted for that so I can’t wait to put it on. After the race, volunteers were handing out Powerbars and raincover jackets to runners. Online, I saw a photo of volunteers handing out cookies, which I must’ve missed. That’s probably because I went straight home to dry off. The last thing I wanted was to get even more sick from the cold and rain.
Would I do it again?
Let’s see… The entry fee I paid was $40 less 10% thanks to a discount code from the Scotia Half. I also got the iTab for $11. It’s pretty reasonable for a well-organized and fun race. I would love to do this race again in nicer weather. It was raining cats and dogs the whole time but everyone still had a smile on their face even though they were drenched. The course was challenging but not impossible. The medal is unique and awesome. The race had 2,232 participants, it was timed by Sportstats and it was so close to home. How can I say no for next time? Besides, I have to redeem myself 🙂
I also want to give a shout out to the Great Climate Race team who was also running and cheering! I finally met co-founders of The Great Climate Race: Ben West and Mari McMillan. I am one of the ambassadors for this new race coming to Vancouver on November 8, 2015 so save the date! A blog post on this will be coming soon but for now, if you’d like to learn more about The Great Climate Race and support local solar projects, click on their social media links below: