I ran the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon on May 4 (on Star Wars Day). I should have dressed up like Luke Skywalker or an Ewok, but I didn’t.
Pre-race we (me and my friend R) hit the expo Friday and Saturday. Saturday we met up with our buddy John Stanton (Running Room founder) at the 3km Friendship Run after eating a giant breakfast at this amazing Italian place we stumbled across. I’ll just say I didn’t eat oatmeal.
I’ve never raced in the rain and of course Sunday AM I woke up to pouring rain. I put on my giant throw-away hoodie and garbage bag and off we went (I looked kind of homeless). I recall putting on my shoes and not having time to double knot them and thinking, “I’ll do that on the train.”
We ran to the train in the pouring rain and all I could say and think was “why didn’t I wear capris?!” Then after walking 20 minutes in pouring rain we got to the race area and got into a never-ending port-a-potty line. Twenty minutes later I still hadn’t remembered to double knot my shoes.
We were the last 2 people out of the toilet area – I kid you not. I was having a panic attack about not getting to our corral in time and my friend said something wise or smart or funny to me that snapped me out of it. A slap in the face likely would’ve worked too. We made our way over to the start and I naively asked if I could still get up front to my corral – I was told they left 10 minutes ago. We were well behind the 2:30 pace bunny.
Once we finally got going I ran like I stole something for the first 10km and passed thousands (maybe it was just hundreds) of people. By 13km I wasn’t having as much fun as I had been having, but was finding the rain tolerable. I was cold a few times when the wind was coming off the ocean, but otherwise it was okay. By 18km I was feeling the hate I usually feel for the 21.1km distance.
Then I thought about how I forgot to double knot my shoes. Either my thoughts drew the universes attention to this (I do have super powers) or I subconsciously felt my shoelace getting looser. By 20km my shoe lace was whipping around like nobody’s business. I didn’t want to stop in front of the crowds coming up and I didn’t want to trip so I stopped to tie it. I don’t know how many people passed me as I wasn’t counting anymore.
I stopped at the “find out your time booth” on the way out of the race area and was pleasantly surprised at a chip time of 1:38:13. I was expecting a 1:40ish considering my lack of training and the rain. Then I ran 5 blocks to the hotel as I was suddenly frigidly cold.
Okay, now to the best part. This event also hosts a Boston Qualifier marathon. My totally fast second cousin was running the marathon. They start after the half so I had time to get changed and make my way back to the finish line. I checked his split times on-line and saw he was running fast!!
I dragged R back with me in the pouring rain and screamed and cheered at the marathoners (and halfers still coming in). Then I saw him and the clock read just over 3 hours!! I don’t think I have ever screamed so loud in my life! He ran 3:00:36 and qualified for Boston (he had to run under 3:05)!! Fricken Amazing!! I am in awe of his running talent.
We all met up for dinner later and he said he might do Boston. I think I lectured him for about 15 minutes about how he had better do Boston, no maybes, just do it!
Oh yeah, friend R had the idea of counting dog breeds we saw along the race route. I counted 15 and she counted 35. According to the photos, I do run with my eyes closed half the time so that explains that. I also lost track of breeds after the first six dogs.
Do you count things while racing or out running – like beer cans, dogs, people you pass? Do you like racing in the rain? Ever wear a garbage bag to a race? Do you think my fast cousin should sign up for Boston (I only want to hear yes answers)?!