Here it is… my fourth and last half marathon of the year, the Fall Classic Half. I decided to sign up for this on a whim as well, knowing that it was only a week and a half after coming back from vacation. Let’s just say, training went down the drain for this and I was hoping that whatever workout I did beforehand carried over to race day. It was not as pleasant as I thought lol! Read on and find out what made it so difficult for me.
Check out my race results on Strava.
The Fall Classic is organized by the Vancouver International Marathon Society, the same wonderful people who pull off the BMO Vancouver Marathon events and the Granville Island Turkey Trot. If you signed up for all three races (the RUNVAN Hat Trick), you get a special gift. Unfortunately, I had to work on the day of the Turkey Trot so I couldn’t get the bonus shirt. The Fall Classic is the “last great run of the year” and they had distances for everyone. Runners can sign up for the 5k, 10k, or half marathon and the course is located within UBC.
Forerunners, one of the sponsors of the event, held package pickup at their 4th Avenue store. As soon as I entered the door, I was greeted by one of the friendly staff and directed to the board to find out what my bib number is. I then went to the back of the store to collect my bib, black RUNVAN gloves and a $20 Forerunners coupon for any New Balance item. I was impressed with the bib, the paper was higher quality than any other bib I’ve had. I liked the RUNVAN gloves, they also had special fibers on the fingertips so you can still use touchscreen devices while wearing them. They’re also thicker & better quality than the gloves I got from the BMO Half.
The half marathon course is a double loop of the 10k course. It takes you out of the main campus, going south along old Marine Drive, doubling back on NW Marine Drive, then you run a good chunk of Main Mall, pass the School of Engineering’s E and then head back to the start line/finish line at East Mall… times 2! I found the course quite hilly actually. They weren’t short hills either. You’d be treated to a long downhill, then a good chunk of uphill, then another nice long downhill, and before you know it, you’re climbing back up Marine Drive. Getting into the campus was practically another hill until it flattens out a bit at Main Mall… but that didn’t mean it was easy. The Main Mall drag was, well… a drag. I didn’t go to UBC, which meant that I’m not that familiar with the campus. As a result, everything seemed much further than it actually was. I probably should have done a recon run but oh well. I was also worried that a double loop was not a good thing but it turned out to be awesome. By the second loop, I already knew what to expect from the course so I was able to plan where I would attack and where I would ease up. I was very happy to see the aid stations throughout the course and the fact that they had porta-potties were such a big help.
After the race, I was so cold, all I wanted to do was stay inside. I got my medal from a volunteer and grabbed a banana. They were also giving out chips and water but I didn’t take any. We managed to get into the rec centre and exchanged my food voucher for two thick slices of pizza. I was very happy about this, I was expecting only one slice. If pizza wasn’t your thing, you could’ve exchanged it for a bowl of chili or sushi. Great choices for food, I think. The Beer challenge games were outside, I decided not to take part because, like I said, I was just too cold and also kinda beat. I didn’t want to wait in line and try my luck. The toques they were giving away looked pretty cute though.
How Did I Do?
Oh man… terrible lol. However, it was not my worst performance. I finished it in 2:22:51, a good 3 minutes ahead of the Scotiabank Half Marathon. The Scotiabank was held on one of the hottest days of the year, the Fall Classic was on one of the coldest so far. It certainly didn’t help that I forgot my gloves on the kitchen counter that morning. I was feeling good during the first half. My 10k time was normal but once I hit the first significant hill in the second lap of the course, I cracked and it all went downhill from there, figuratively speaking. I was mentally and physically exhausted. I had to walk quite a few times. Debra Kato and her awesome tutu passed me, and I heard “are you ok?” and all I could say was “ugh no.” And off she went and I just trudged along. So much for PR-ing. UBC is not my kind of course… I seem to have bad luck with it lol
Would I Do It Again?
Yes! I need to redeem myself. Luckily we had some sunshine and UBC really is beautiful in the fall… but I need to conquer this so I’ll most likely be back next year.