BMO Vancouver Half Marathon: Race Recap.

It has been a hot minute since I last wrote a race recap, all the way back to the Chicago Marathon in the fall! I focused a lot on strength and staying injury-free over the winter which means my training had been consistent coming into this race, but I wasn’t training for speed or even specifically for running! In case you want the “long story short,” I survived the race, loved running at sea level, and crushed all expectations I had of myself. A pretty stellar day.

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Strangely, the half marathon started earlier than the full, with the half beginning at 7am and the full starting at 8:30am. I wasn’t complaining because I would be done the half before it got super hot and I was pumped about that, but those marathoners running into the warm afternoon? Yikes!

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I actually got a fantastic sleep the night before the race. My alarm woke me at 5:00am! I got ready, had my usual pre-race Clif bar, banana, and water, and made my way to the skytrain station. In a few stops we had arrived at Queen Elizabeth Park and it was about a 15 minute walk to the start. I made a pit stop at the porta-potties and then lined up in the corral.

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The race began at 7:00am and the first 1-2km were DOWNHILL. It felt good to fly and not be breathing hard at all, but I knew it was still tearing up my legs to fly down the hills so I kept it under control. Aside from kilometres 6-9, which somehow felt the hardest and slowest, the race felt pretty good. The second half felt shorter than the first. I even started wondering why I felt so good and like I could run even faster. Usually when I did that I realized we were actually running slightly downhill. The course was hillier than I expected, but it was a nicely shaded and scenic course. I thought we’d be running on the SeaWall but we actually ran on the road just inside from the SeaWall. Weird. I didn’t really drink water along the way because I didn’t feel I needed it and the one time I tried I almost snorted it up my nose. Graceful.

I was pushing myself, but I wasn’t struggling.

I kept my pace actually pretty consistent the whole race, and usually when that happens for me I wind up having an incredible race. One of those races where not once did you think about good places to vomit on the side of the course. No cramps, good music on my iPod, lots of people watching to keep me entertained, and some super hot dudes running the race made for a great event. One super attractive dude cheered me on (before you say, “how do you know he was cheering YOU on?” I know it was me because he made eye contact and I was the only one near him at the time) close to the finish and I flew that last kilometre. Thanks hot guy.

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In both of the hairpin turns on the course, I could see Kaella ahead of me. My goal was to catch up to her but she was looking so strong the entire race. Unfortunately she fell just a few kilometres from the finish and I wound up finding her around 20.5 kms (don’t worry, she’s okay!). We crossed the finish line together which was kind of awesome. 🙂

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My finish time was 1:53:09 (8:38 min/mile). I am super happy with my time and overall really proud of my race. I’m telling you, the key to happiness is low expectations. 😉 I made the very wise decision to buy a lemonade Vitamin water and a container of watermelon and put them in the apartment fridge the day before the race. I always crave watermelon at the end of hot races and it. was. delicious.

Another day, another half marathon.

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Race Stats:

Half Marathon No. 12

Finish Time: 1:53:09

Category Place: 67/468

Gender Place: 576/5061

Fun story: I ran this same race as my first half marathon EVER almost SEVEN years ago. I did two-20 minute training runs to prepare. HAHAHA. I ran it in the pouring rain in a cotton shirt, and then I cried when I showered because the chaffing marks hurt so much. My family missed me at the finish line because I finished faster than anyone expected (see previous sentence regarding my training regime). I told my mom I was retiring from running races. One and done… and now here we are. 🙂

24 Comments

    1. I know right! 12 half and 3 full marathons later apparently I didn’t actually stick to my plan to retire! 😛

  1. Congratulations on your race Kris! That’s so awesome that you were able to finish with Kaella (although less awesome for Kaella about her fall). It sounds like you had an amazing day!

    1. Yes, I can’t believe we had the chance to finish it together, it was really neat, and kind of felt “meant to be” but it sucked it was only because of her fall!

  2. Congratulations on a great run, Kris! Low expectations is a good way to live. I’m definitely stealing your watermelon idea too, BTW.

  3. Congrats on a fantastic race. So great that you and Kaella finished together. I love that!

    Ok serious LOL’s about your first half. If you can run a half with two 20 minute training runs, I could probably do a half with my couple km’s/week training. No excuses.

    1. It was honestly the worst training in the world… I don’t know how I got away with that but it made me realize I could run a half marathon with basically zero training… I just don’t recommend it. 😛

  4. Aw you did amazing! What a great recap and what a great race you ran! I love that you and Kaella ended up finishing together – that brought tears to me eyes (haha!). And the bit about your first experience running this race – HAHAHA Oh man, that is hilarious!! But look how far you’ve come! 😉

  5. Hey Kris.

    Congrats on a spectacular finish to your first 1/2 Marathon of 2016!!

    Proud of you.

    Love, Uncle Dave & Teck

  6. You kicked so much ass. As you (always) do. “I’m telling you, the key to happiness is low expectations” <—- you got it, girl. You seriously have the best attitude when it comes to life & livin'

  7. Awesome time/awesome run. Makes me want to do another! Good placing stats!! Way to go, Kris. So proud of you!

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