BMO Vancouver Marathon

BMO Vancouver Marathon

BMO Vancouver Marathon

( 22 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Vancouver,
  • May
  • 5 miles/8K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
  • Road Race
  • Event Website


Agassiz, Canada
14 9
"BMO Vancouver Marathon 2016"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Willa 's thoughts:

BMO Vancouver Marathon wrap up! Wow what a day! After transitioning from road to trail racing two years ago, I never thought I would run this again.

Then following the passing of a dear little girl, I decided to sign up and run to raise money for Canuck Place Children's Hospice.

So I signed up just before Christmas and began fundraising and carried on with my trail running and occasionally some road runs with Toby in the stroller.

Fundraising was slower than what I have achieved in the past (I blame this on my being ridiculously busy with nursing school), and training was definitely a challenge with my schedule.

Last week I had a huge outpour of support and funds for the cause! Can I just say I have amazing friends and family?!? Thank you so so much for your continued thoughtfulness and generosity!

My training schedule called for a taper and I ignored it big time! Instead I ran 60 km of the Sunshine Coast Trail last weekend and about 10-15 km almost every day this week! Oops!

I went into this race today with no expectations other than to enjoy it as much as possible and cross the finish line. I feared my old and busted shoes would fail me and just disintegrate on the route, but alas they are magic shoes and they have lived to race another race!

My good friend Chris Hardy came to see us off at the start (thanks so much for that by the way). I ran with my friend Joel Krentz (this was his first marathon) for about 15 km before he started to get ahead of me. I managed a sub 2 hour half marathon and then met up with him again. He was doing great but had slowed down to save his legs for the second half.

I forgot how much I love the city of Vancouver on a nice sunny day! What a gorgeous race route- with over half of it along the water! Thank you race directors and the city of Vancouver for allowing this route to be given to us runners today!

I cruised along between 5-6 minute kilometers for pretty much the entire race. I thought for sure I would slow to 7-8 mins by the last 10 km but somehow my race nutrition and hydration and pace worked in my favor and I started feeling really good around the 32 km mark. This is the first time I looked at my watch and really considered my possible finish time. This was also the point where I was greeted by signs from Canuck Place filled with quotes about overcoming pain and hardship and living in the moment and being grateful for what we have experienced. I had a huge wave of emotion rush over me and took in the weight of those words and thought about the amazing things that Hospice facilities and workers so everyday for patients and families. This made me think about my parents and all they have done for so many. I had a good cry and was filled with a new found motivation.

My friends Brie Hemingway and Kyle Conway were manning an aid station along the seawall so I got some hugs and more energy from them! Thanks guys!

I realized that a sub 4:20 finish was within my reach, so I fought through the hip and lower back pains that I always get on road and just kept moving along. It was so tempting to stop and walk but I just figured I would have been pretty pissed if I slacked so close to the finish and messed up my time. Also, walking would be more painful anyway and would take longer!

Can I just point out the first half of this marathon is awesome (hilly, tougher than the second half) but the second half feels harder because it has lots of long flat sections (10 km around the seawall) followed by one long gradual uphill to the finish (where you can see the arch from forever away). Honestly that hill up to the finish just won't end! I wanted so badly to walk it, but I didn't. I really dug deep and kept increasing the speed until the end. The photographers definitely got my pain face and nothing else haha!

I also got to see my dear friend Shawn Smith complete his first marathon! So proud of him and Joel!

This finish is a huge accomplishment for me for many reasons. Many of you know I was having some health concerns over the last year and I was diagnosed with two chronic illnesses: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis. This, combined with an extremely stressful semester at school and multiple deaths within a short time frame, rendered me pretty exhausted and unmotivated. I did not know if I could finish this run today, let alone some of the bigger ultra races I wanted to tackle this season. A postpartum PR was completely off the radar and such a gift.

I am feeling so grateful not only to have had such a good race, but also to have raised over $500 for Canuck Place. I am so happy I am crying again!

Thanks to all of you who make my life that much more radiant! Xoxoxo

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Latest reviews

Loading Reviews...