- 5 miles/8K, 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
- Road Race
This was my third year running the Vancouver Marathon. Last year was a disaster. It didn't go well at all and I ended up running close to 30 minutes slower than the year before that! This year, I was determined to make a comeback.
Registration was easy, as it always is and can be done online in just a few minutes. It's a pricey event, at more than $100, but I had a decent discount because I ran it the year before. This price does include a really good quality Brooks running shirt and the most awesome running gloves I've ever owned. Seriously, they're these cheap crappy cotton promotional gloves, but I run in them ALL YEAR ROUND. I always grab several pairs at the expo.
Speaking of which, the expo for the Vancouver Marathon is great. It's held at the Vancouver Convention Centre and is packed with running exhibitors offering awesome deals and plenty of freebies.
Parking for the marathon is not the best, so I usually get dropped off by a shuttle or a friend. You get a free bus ticket at the expo, so that definitely helps you get home afterwards.
There are literally thousands of runners waiting at the start and in past years, the toilet situation hasn't been all that great. Long line-ups and not enough time made it difficult. I don't know about you, but I always need to go several times in the leadup to the race. This year though, the organizers nailed it, so kudos to them. There were a lot more porta-potties and they were arranged in a configuration that made much more sense.
The race itself was great. I can't say enough about the supporters that line many of the streets along the way. It's just fantastic. If you start to feel tired and slow down, there'll be another bunch of spectators around the next corner to cheer you on and lift your spirits.
I was much stronger this year and ran a new PB of 3:24:00. I was hoping for closer to 3:10:00, but that would have been the dream outcome. As long as I was under 3:30:00, I was happy.
The finish area was great, as usual. A huge crowd on the finishing straight brought me home. They make you feel like you're the one that's about to win. I suppose in our own ways, we really are all winners!
It was a nice medal this year, which is typical and there was a decent amount of food and drink to chow down on while we cooled down. There's also some street entertainment if you're so inclined, but to be honest, that was the last thing on my mind after running hard for three and a half hours.
If you are thinking about running this race for the first time, please do so. You won't regret it! This is one of the best marathon experiences out there and I can't wait to see how many toilets they have at the start in 2016!