It has only been hours since I completed my very first Vancouver Sun Run ever and, even though I can hardly move, the “Runners’ High” is still very much in my system. I have been training for the Sun Run for the last few weeks by running the route every week and getting used to the hills, turns, and bumps. It paid off! I was able to develop a running strategy… I knew where to gun it and I knew where to taper. Most importantly, I knew where the hills were so I was able to budget some energy for that! My chip time was 1:02:56 and I am quite happy with that as my first ever Sun Run time. In addition, Strava recorded my fastest 10k at 1:01:17 (wow!) and I PR’d most of the Sun Run segments that exist. And now… here’s how the race went for me…
Cuski and I arrived at the white corral by 8:30am. People were still walking there, the ambience was great, with live bands performing on the sidewalk. We parted ways at about quarter to 9 and Elites were just getting ready to start. I thought, it’s only a matter of time before my corral is called 🙂
Unfortunately the white corral didn’t start until about 9:45… 45 minutes after the official start of the event. I was getting cold and anxious but once we crossed the start line, it was on. My pace for the first km was fast… 5:3ish/km and I thought, crap, I better slow down. Thankfully it bottlenecked along Lagoon Drive so I had no choice but to bring down my pace a bit. Of course, that didn’t stop me from dodging when I needed to. There were a lot of walkers, which leads me to think they weren’t seeded in the right corral… but I guess that’s part of the thrill of the Sun Run. One good thing though… Running the course with 39,000 others made it seem faster-paced than my training runs, but at the same time, I wasn’t really able to enjoy the scenery that this route has to offer (because I was trying not to run into anyone). I had to stay alert the whole time because you never know who was going to cut you off just to get to the other side of the street to high five some half naked hot guys on the sidewalk (true story).
A photo posted by Jeannine Avelino (@vcbride) on
I bought these Powerbar Gel Blasters (see above) and stuffed them in my water bottle pouch so I can pop a few during key points in the race. I got them from the Sun Run Fair on Saturday. I’m glad I had them… I ate a couple before the dreaded Hornby and Burrard Bridge hills and I noticed that I only lost a second from my pace, even though I was working harder than normal. I was so happy to hit the Burrard Bridge and it feels amazing to run right in the middle… it’s so beautiful that people suddenly stop in the middle of the road to take a photo… and I almost ran into one of them. People! Don’t do that when there are thousands of people running towards you! I decided to taper off a bit and enjoy the downhill part of the bridge. Once I got onto 4th Avenue, I knew the end was near 🙂 At this point, it was also getting really hot, with no shade in sight. I really had to focus and stay hydrated because I knew that the Cambie Bridge was coming. I gained some momentum on the downhill portion of 4th/6th/2nd Ave which got me ready for the last climb of the run… the Cambie Bridge, which is not new to me at all so it should be a piece of cake.
It was a piece of cake until I hit the flat portion of the bridge and I got headwind and people who suddenly decided to walk the last 500 meters of the race. Dodging and headwind are not a great combination. I really had to focus here because the end was near and I didn’t want to bonk right before the Finish Line. I felt my second wind and decided to sprint to the finish, while at the same time looking for Cuski in the crowd. I found him on the overpass and decided to strike a pose for him. I love that my default hand signal was the devil horns lol… the rocker in me 😛 It was an awesome run and I was glad I completed it with PB’s galore.
Would I do this next year? Sure, why not? I don’t like how crowded it is and I don’t like that there are no medals or tech shirts given out but the vibe was still pretty amazing. Everyone working towards a Personal Best is very inspirational and kudos to everyone who completed it… 10k is not a walk in the park. Next year though, I’m hoping to break an hour… so let’s see 🙂 And I don’t mean the time it takes to start 😛
Photos by Carmen Marin and @vcbride on Instagram