You never been on a ride like this befo’
Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon.
Well that was a roller coaster of a course! The first half is mainly downhill which gave us (Eric Gillis, Kip Kangogo and myself) a 29:25 10km split. After that the race flattened out and the paced calmed down, but it probably slowed more than it should have. Maybe we were all anticipating the big hill at 18km?
After 15km I started pushing the pace which resulted in Kip falling off of Eric and I. I kept the pace honest on a nice downhill section and 500m or so later I found myself running alone. And then we hit the dreaded Burrard Street Bridge hill, which is quite the nasty stretch. I thought my lead was substantial enough to chill on the uphill. However, Kip was mounting an attack behind me. When I looked back he was much closer than I wanted so I had to pick up the pace again, which pleasantly came easier than I thought.
I kept the pressure on through 21km and then realized the win was locked up. As I came around the corner I saw 1:03:06 on the finish line clock and knew that I wasn’t going to get there in under four seconds to break the course record and collect an extra $1000.00, oh well. I walked away with a good effort and felt very strong over the final few kilometres of the race. Mission accomplished.
I recommend giving the SVHM a go. The course is a lot of fun and, as always, Alan Brookes and the CRS team put on a great event. The big downhill wasn’t as steep as I thought it was going to be but still steep enough to pound some fatigue into my legs, which is good preparation for a marathon… say, in seven weeks time.
For only being in Vancouver for 48 hours I felt I maximized my trip. I got in some quality time with Rob Watson and my sister and briefly caught up with many West Coast friends I haven’t seen in a while, Dave Milne, Shaun Kingerlee, Jerry Ziak and Kristina & Ollie (with their sleeping baby in tow). Plus, I got my hands on many different flavours of Monkey Butter Peanut Butter (thanks Gillian!). Also a shout-out to Steve (Westdale alumni I may add) for the airport shuttles and rides to/from the course.
I’m writing this blog on the flight home to Toronto where I’m sitting with Krista Duchene (female winner from the weekend) and Eric GIllis. We’ve been asking Krista how she juggles training while raising three children and working part-time, it’s quite amazing. I think Gillis is happy he only has one kid and I’m happy to be flying solo. Josephat Ongeri is a couple rows in front of us. I’ll be driving him back to Hamilton with me. Hopefully he lets me play the radio, sometimes he likes to play his iPhone for everyone to hear. Maybe if he grew up in Canada he would have been a dj? DJ Jazzy Josephat. Eric is not happy that he has to sit with us common folk after he somehow got upgraded to business class on the way to Vancouver. I was only one row behind him on that flight so he kept passing me back food, he’s a true Robin Hood ladies and gentlemen.
On Saturday I was in Whole Foods and this lady came up to the counter with a six pack of cookies in her hand and informed an employee that there must be a mistake on the price tag of these cookies because they say $1.29. I told the lady “at that price I’m going to grab a pack!” She was not impressed with me, perhaps even disgusted. I told Darren Lee, who was with us, and we went over and sure enough we found a few packs for $1.29 interspersed with the same packs which were priced at $5.99. I grabbed a pack of the store baked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies before an employee came and snatched up the whole tray. Rob #beernandcookies Watson was afraid to buy them because he was worried he couldn’t hold back before the race. I justified my lucky opportunity with the fact I also bought a container of chicken salad and a container of pasta. Whole Foods was still profiting from my purchase.
This is about the point where I felt Kip was getting too close.