- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 9 miles/15K, 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
Chilly Chase was a nice way to start the year and show off part of Vancouver to a visiting family member. The online registration process was quick and easy and the entry fee was reasonable for a 10k race. My brother was able to sign up from the UK and I was able to collect his race package, a week before the race, on his behalf.
Package pickup was part of the Gluten Free Expo, which really didn't interest me. There were very few exhibits there that I would call 'running exhibits', so my overall expo experience was a little disappointing. I would prefer to visit a running store to collect my package, rather than have to go through the trouble of getting to Canada Place, paying for parking, lining up for an expo I'm not interested in...
Anyway, the exhibit was okay. I picked up my package, which included a pair of socks, race bib, some leaflets etc. and was all set for the race!
The event began at the Olympic Village in Vancouver. It's fairly easy to park there without paying, if you arrive early enough. We didn't, so we had to park a few streets away and walk in. No big deal!
We weren't quite sure what was happening when we got to the starting area. There was a big warmup thing going on and it wasn't immediately obvious which race distances started in which order and when. I'm sure there was probably an announcement, but we didn't hear it. Suddenly, one of the races started, but we weren't sure whether that was our distance or not. Turns out, it was the half marathoners. We had to wait a bit longer for the 10k.
Once we got away, it was a decent race. I ran a personal best, even though it was a little slower than my target. I noticed along the way that there wasn't a great deal of marshalling on the course. The route was fairly self-explanatory, but there wasn't anybody posted at the turnaround points. These were marked, fairly clearly, but if you were chatting away to somebody, they would have been easy to miss. There should have been somebody standing there yelling "10k turnaround!", or words to that effect! My 10 year old son was running his own race and I wasn't sure he'd understand that he had to turn around at 5k. It never occurred to me that there wouldn't be more assistance at these points.
We all made it back safely though and I didn't have to run the half-marathon course looking for him! The race package comes with a medal, which is always nice to receive. It wasn't the nicest of medals, but my son was really proud to receive it at the finish line.
The snacks at the end were pretty poor. There were some bagels and bananas, plus granola bars (apparently). I didn't see those, but my son got one. There wasn't much of anything else and again, there was nobody there to man the station.
But, having said all that and sounding like a real whiner, I would do the race again. I'm not a whiner, but I've done a lot of races and have come to expect a certain level of organization and race day offerings. Did this race meet expectations? Not really, but usually events like this improve a bit more each year, so hopefully this race will be one of those.
Check out my blog for more on this race! http://hills4thrills.com/blog/activities/race-report/2016-chilly-chase-race-report-10k/