For my full experience, check out my blog below:
I went to the expo on the Saturday after the 10K race and it wasn’t busy at all. Pickup was a breeze. I like this year’s shirt. Sorry I didn’t take a photo but it is a navy blue Brooks tech shirt with a big bright lime green V on the front and on the back it lists all the neighbourhoods we’ll be passing along the half marathon route. I think that’s pretty cool. I did buy another shirt as a souvenir in addition to the race shirt. They had some neat designs. Beyond the Brooks expo store, there really wasn’t much. Booths for other races, Garmin, Running Room (for all your last minute needs), and thank goodness there was a Nuun booth. I was out of Nuun and they had a show special that’s 2 for $15 and a free water bottle.
It’s a beautiful course, made better with the perfect overcast but cool running weather. The race starts near Coal Harbour and runs through the following neighbourhoods: historic Gastown, East Van, over the Dunsmuir Viaduct, the False Creek seawall, and through the winding roads of Stanley Park before ending on the seawall Devonian Harbour Park. There was always something pleasing to the eye, the Vancouver skyline, landmarks, water views, architecture, and of course the natural beauty of the park. Reds and yellows everywhere… a true autumn race. It’s not the easiest course. There are rolling hills in East Van before it flattens out a bit on the seawall, but once you hit Stanley Park there are more rolling hills including my nemesis, Pipeline Road. It continues to dip down and up until you merge onto the seawall by the Vancouver Rowing Club. It’s definitely not a boring race in more ways than one. If the scenery isn’t enough to distract you, the course was lined with 13 bands, about 1 every mile. I feel that it could’ve been livelier but I appreciated them being out there entertaining us. From what I hear, the 10K still only had 2 bands this year… you guys need to change that!
There was a controversy this year. On both race days there was NO BEER ON SITE (on both days)! WHAT? Yup, apparently they didn’t get their liquor licenses approved on time. Whether this was a Rock n Roll fault or City of Vancouver fault, that’s just unacceptable. They should’ve warned people the day before saying that this could be possible. Lots of people complained on social media about un-redeemed beer. It’s too bad. I don’t know what happened, last year they had beer without problems. Who dropped the beer glass this year? People were re-directed to a pub, Mahony and Sons, to redeem their beer ticket. Unfortunately it was only good for that day and the pub was still another 1.5 – 2 km walk from the finish area.