I’m so deep into marathon training that fatigue seemed to have set in. I had no expectations for any of my March races and I was just going to let things happen. I just wanted to participate. My next event was the West Van Run 10K. West Van Run is a 2-day event featuring a 5K on Saturday, a 10K on Sunday as well as a 1K kids race. This is my first time running this event and running in West Van so I was pretty excited.
View my race on Strava.
Pre-Race / Package Pickup
I managed to sign up for this race with a discount code from one of the West Van Run Crew members. The website is very informative, well laid out, and I think they did a great job marketing this race. Package pickup was at Park Royal South at the top of the escalators by Osaka Supermarket. It was pretty straightforward, just look up your bib number and let the volunteers know. I received my bib and an awesome West Van Run water bottle. They did have a bag check available on race day but I didn’t need to use it.
The starting line is just a couple blocks north of Dundarave Park on Marine Drive. The route takes us east through some residential area and around Park Royal. After Park Royal, it’s off to Ambleside Park where we were able to catch some nice views of the Lions Gate Bridge and Stanley Park. There was a double back part through Ambleside for about a kilometre before heading back to Dundarave Park via the seawall. I liked the course, it was fairly flat with very minimal hills. It was a nice mix of city and natural beauty… my favourite part was running along the seawall. It was a gorgeous day for it and we even had a double rainbow at the finish line (nice touch WVR 😉 ). There were only 2 aid stations along the course, with volunteers handing out bottles of water. I thought they could’ve used a third one but that’s just me. Maybe I didn’t hydrate properly beforehand. One thing I didn’t like was the out and back at Ambleside Park. I understand that they probably had to do that to get the full 10k distance, but it just wasn’t my thing. I would definitely recommend this course to first timers, it’s worth the drive. Perhaps next year I’ll tackle the 5k as well.
Dundarave Park had a lively finish area, with a race announcer and lots of spectators cheering. Unfortunately there were no medals (would’ve really loved one for this specific race) but runners were treated to other things. Each runner got a bag of food that included a banana, yogurt, croissant, and muffin (hope I didn’t miss anything). This was a welcome sight. There were other vendors there with booths and lots of people milling around or relaxing at the park. They posted results on the wall as they came too.
How Did I Do?
Like I mentioned earlier, I had no expectations of this race. In fact, I wasn’t even stressed about it. I was more stressed at the fact that I had to run another 20 km after the race to complete my long run day. I was also worried about rain and having to run for more than 3 hours in the rain. Sunday morning arrived and the weather cooperated, it was actually a very nice morning. What went wrong, to the point that I was considering cancelling my run, was my allergies. It got so bad that it really affected my eyes. They were dry, red, and every time I blinked, my contacts would get really blurry and painful. Cuski and I arrived early and decided to grab a coffee while waiting for IGA to open. I figured getting eye drops were my last chance to run. Thank goodness it worked. I was ready to go with about 20 minutes to start time. The excitement was building but I still had no expectations. I decided to go with the flow. Luckily for me, my flow was a very steady pace, an average of 5:51/km. I felt strong and motivated, nothing was holding me back. The course seemed to really agree with me and I was able to maintain my pace.
By the 8 km point, I checked my watch and it looked like I was going to get my sub-1 hour time! I couldn’t give up now. As long as I kept that pace, I was going to make it. I felt better and better as soon as I saw the finish line and just gunned it. I saw Cuski and I waved and he was just yelling at me to go for it. Haha… Well, I’m happy to report that I did it… I finished the race in 58: 56! Just so glad that Cuski was there to support me, especially when I was having such a crummy morning. Seeing him at the finish line was also the icing on the cake. As for my long run afterwards… let’s just say I pushed myself too hard on the race that my left leg started hurting quite a bit… I ended up running (mostly walking) only 15 km after the race that day, which put me 3 km short for the week. I’ll take that over getting injured.
Prior to this race I’ve been working with a coach to improve my form and help me get stronger. Karin Femi of Ready 2 Run Training is also a West Van Run Crew member and was volunteering at the race. I just had to tell her about the great news. I owe part of this milestone to her because I just kept thinking of what she told me while I was running… not to mention all the core and strength workouts I’ve been doing. A blog post on my experience with her is still to come 🙂
Thank you again to West Van Run for putting together such a fun event! Loved it and will be back next year 😀
Did you race West Van Run? How did you do?
Photos by Jeannine Avelino and Carmen Marin