Race Recap: Vancouver Sun Run 2017

Race Recap: Vancouver Sun Run 2017

This is my third Vancouver Sun Run. Instead of focusing on a personal best for myself, I wanted to help my friend Diane (@dineoutwithdee) achieve her goal of completing the Sun Run. Finishing was not enough, I made sure she did it in style.

Registration & The Sun Run Fair

I received a Vancouver Sun Run entry through work so I didn’t have to pick up my race package. Our team captain did that and dropped off my bib and t-shirt on my desk. We received a tech shirt once again. I liked it a lot better than last year’s. The colour combination is nicer than last year’s and I love how light and airy it feels, which helped keep me cool during the race. I still went to the Sun Run Fair at BC Place to do a little bit of pre-race shopping (a new Addaday Type C roller). Brands like Asics, Brooks, Hoka One One, On, and others were there as well in case you wanted to try out some new shoes. New local brand RYU was also there to give runners a look at their apparel.

What caught my eye though was the display of OOFOS sandals and the new (not yet released) OOmg shoes. As a BibRave Pro, I will be receiving a pair of the OOFOS OOmg’s to try, but it’s nice to get a first look before I take it for a thorough trial. My first thoughts are that they’re really light, with a wide, flexible toe box, and great support on my arches. I can see why people love this for recovery. I look forward to receiving a pair of my own and I’ll report back.

The Course

The Vancouver Sun Run course hasn’t changed for years. This course takes you through the West End, over the Burrard Bridge, Fairview, and over the Cambie Bridge until BC Place. It’s a nice mix of downhill and uphill. Perhaps the flattest and more boring section is between the two bridges, mostly because you don’t really get a view. The most challenging part might be the surprise hill leading up to Pacific and the Burrard Bridge. It’s a block and a half long, steep, and lots of people stop to walk on it. Not only will you be dodging people, you will also be slogging it up there and then keep going uphill over the bridge, making it quite an ordeal. There is a wave start. We were in the green corral and we finally started at 9:30 (the race began at 9).

How did we do?

Coming into the race, Diane and I had already scoped out the entire route. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to complete. That was her first ever 10k experience. I thought that 1:10 is not a farfetched goal. That’s what we went for. We were actually going at a faster pace than normal so I had to slow down and adjust here and there to make sure I don’t lose her. I always asked her if she needed water and she only took one water break. She powered through the rest of the way. We slowed down on the steep Hornby hill and then took our time on Burrard. We made up ground on the long downhill and kept a decent pace between the bridges.

I looked at my watch at the halfway point and I knew we were on pace to do 1:10. I didn’t say anything, we just kept going. By the time we got to the Cambie Bridge, I could sense that she was fading a little. I can sympathize because the last kilometer can also feel like the longest. She pushed through though. I looked at the watch and I predicted that we’d finish at around 1:07. The goal was met by this point. She just needed to finish. At about 100-200 meters left, I encouraged her to push and guess what… 1:06:47! Pretty amazing for a first 10k race! Thankfully, even after all this and some sore muscles, she’s still talking to me LOL

Cuski, on the other hand, started with us, but he’s speedier so he went ahead. For an avid cyclist who hadn’t trained for running at all, he managed a 55:54. I can only imagine what time he’d get if he pushed. I’m also proud of him for kicking ass on his first official road race. Sorry there’s no medal!

Post-Race

So, normally I don’t go to BC Place after the Sun Run because it’s a bit of a gong show. This year we went in and it was a madhouse. Thousands of people descended towards the centre of BC Place to grab some post-run food like bagels, juice, and bananas… not to mention the free boxes of Catelli pasta. I would LOVE to know how many boxes were given out during the Sun Run weekend. If you don’t like crowds, don’t go, it’s more pleasant to find other brunch options in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

No medals but we got recovery pasta!

Would I do it again?

Yes but not to pursue a personal best. I really enjoyed running this race without huge pressure on myself. It’s a Vancouver tradition and if you haven’t done it yet, you need to experience it at least once, even if you walk it.

Did you run the Vancouver Sun Run? How did you do? Tell me in the comments below.