Monday, June 20, 2011

Vancouver USA Half Marathon

I ran the Vancouver USA Half Marathon on Sunday... let me say I have almost entirely all positive reviews for this event. The organization of this was awesome. I was really impressed with it, especially considering it was their inaugural event. Someone obviously had some event planning experience somewhere...

Thanks to Heather & her Garmin for this route map!
The course was mapped out along the Columbia River. The marathoners got to see a bit more of the river than us half marathoners, but still it was a pretty nice route. We went through Fort Vancouver, around Pearson Airfield and through several parks and along a few trails right next to the waterfront. They had a good number of runners (my SIL says she thinks she heard in the 3,000's). Big enough to have a good vibe to the race, but not so huge as to be constantly bumping into people and having to dart in and around traffic. They had their porta-potties and hydration/first-aid stations positioned about every two miles, so there was never really any need to panic about making it to the next stop for whatever need you had. They also had LOTS of volunteers and cheerleaders throughout the entire race, as well as some bands at various points along the race. It made for a very fun & festive atmosphere. Then, at the end they had lots of munchies and drinks for all the finishers... Heather & I weren't really hungry, but we both walked away from the race with liquid-filled sloshing tummies. LOL!

Personally, I was really excited. After last month's Hippie Chick, I needed some personal redemption. Yesterday, I felt really good through about the first 9 miles of this run... okay, the huge hill at mile 6 kind of sucked, but then huge hills always suck for me and the fact that it was a long (nearly a mile) huge hill didn't exactly help matters. Still, I felt mostly okay through miles 9 and 10 and it was only about mile 11 that I started feeling like total crud. I dropped my fuel belt water bottle twice along miles 11 and 12 and almost died to have to bend over and pick it back up. My pace was a little slower than I would have liked, but not bad considering I took two bathroom breaks along the course. Unfortunately, my official time isn't showing up on the results board (did I block my timing chip w/ my fuel belt??? I don't know what happened), but my unofficial time is 2:48+ which is about 15 minutes less than what I did at Hippie Chick. For me, this is huge. I feel vindicated and I now have a better idea of where I'm really at and what to shoot for come the Girlfriends' Half in October.

To make the day even better, Heather finally broke her personal goal of running a Half in less than 2:30. Let me tell you, she actually smashed that goal. Her final time was 2:22:38. Yea Heather! Congratulations!!!

My only two complaints for the entire day were (relatively) minor. First, my brother had originally signed up to run this race. Unfortunately, due to an injury he wasn't able to run yesterday, but they wouldn't let him transfer his registration fee to next year's run or to anyone else for this year, so basically, it was a lost fee for him. I know that some of the larger events are starting to allow transfer of your registration to the following year if you are unable to attend the current event. I think that VUM should seriously consider this in the future. My second complaint is pretty nit-picky... it is that for the registration fee you only were given a t-shirt, not a tech shirt and Heather said they would not allow her to change out sizes once she picked everyone's stuff up at the Expo. The t-shirts are way oversized and since they couldn't be changed out, probably won't get much use... and certainly not the kind of use they would have gotten had they been tech shirts...  There were tech shirts available for this event, but they were available for purchase only. Not a huge deal, but still, it would have been nice.
My SIL (center) along with my niece and brother who came along to support our race efforts. Thanks guys!

Anyway, if any of you are looking for an event to do next June, I would definitely recommend this run. I look forward to doing it again next year and I think Heather is planning on shooting for the full marathon! You go girl!

Yesterday's Run
13.1 Miles
4.7 mph


Heather said...

Woohoo! We finally had a fabulous race! Well deserved for both of us. Full I come!!!!!!!!! I have a year to train for it. (Yikes)

I look lumpy in that picture. lol My Fuel Belt is hiding under my jacket. I bet people thought I had some sort of problem under there....

Jo said...

I guess I forgot to notice! LOL! So many people were looking similarly lumpy yesterday morning... it seemed like an almost "normal" look!

farmboy said...

Congrats, JODY. many years ago when Melanie and Fr.Alban were young, I ran my first marathon in San Francisco. I thought I would die. It ended in Golden Gate Park and the last 1/2 mile Fr.Alban(who was 8 years old at the time) ran with me and fed me sugared pressed popcorn to give me enough energy to finish 4 hrs 30 min. It is a long story, I'll have to share it with you some time. I thought then I'll never run another if it is that much agony. But I trained and on my 40th birthday, I ran Nike-OTC marathon in Eugene in 3hr and 22 min (my best time) When I was 49, I ran the NY marathon in 3 hrs 36 minutes. So keep up the good work. It makes me want to start training again!! Don West