- 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
This was my second time doing the BMO Vancouver Marathon. This year was even better than last year since the weather decided to cooperate! It was a beautiful warm, sunny day which meant a better running experience and more spectators along the course. It is a very well-organized race - they pretty well have it down to a science!
I picked up my race package the first evening that the expo was open. I got their early and only had to wait in a few small lineups for my package plus packages for three of my friends. It was a bit exhausting carrying around four bags, picking up four t-shirts, four transit passes, four pairs of gloves, and checking four bib chips to make sure they are working on the way out. Each one of these steps required going to a different locations and opening up each bag one at a time which was cumbersome. It would have been easier if these things were just in the race package to begin with, although most people probably aren't picking up for so many friends!
I walked around the rest of the expo. They had some really nice Run Van t-shirts and other running gear for sale and some great vendors including local running stores. I bought some HoneyStinger chews.
The race itself is amazing, especially on a clear day when you get the really good views of the ocean and mountains. The start is quick and efficient at getting the 5,000 runners going. There are lots of the portable washrooms, although still lines. They say there is no parking to get people to take transit (which I recommend) but there is on street parking in the area.
During the race, there are many water stations, a few gel stations, and a banana station (my fav). The city really embraces the event and there are lots of spectators cheering everyone on. The course is mainly flat or downhill. There are a couple hills including the infamous Camosen hill and the Burrard Street Bridge.
I couldn't believe how many photographers and cameras were throughout the route! Some cameras were just set up on tripods automatically taking a shot every second or so.
The finish line was amazing. People lined the entire chute and John Stanton, founder of the Running Room, gave me my medal, which was even bigger and better than last year!
The only negative feedback I've heard is that there are one (or two?) intersections along the route that runners can get stopped at to let traffic through. I've been stopped both years, for about 20 seconds, which does get deducted off your chip time using strategically placed timing mats.
I definitely recommend this race to local and travelers. It is a great way to see the city!
Read my full race recap here: http://briehemingway.com/blog/2015/05/race-recap-bmo-vancouver-marathon-2015/