June 24, 2012 was the day of the Scotia Bank Half Marathon & 5k in Vancouver. I was very excited to be here. Last year I had a team of friends and family for the 5k run. It was a very fun day for all of us, many of which were running their very first race ever. I was happy to pace them and help them reach their goals. I knew then that I wanted to be back for the half marathon in the following year.
And here I was ready to do the half. I have been dealing with some injuries over the past 6 weeks and knew that this wouldn’t be a race I wanted to get a new PR in. I was actually more excited to run with my friend Kim (who was doing her very first half marathon) and pace her. She had told me about her Goals A (2:05), B (2:10), and C (2:15) for this race and although she was thinking Goal B the entire time, I was thinking Goal A or better for her.
The race started in an unusual way for us, in something that I had never experienced before. We were running late and to top it off we had to line up at the bathroom because their was no way we could hold it until the 4-5k mark (washrooms). The line up was very long and as we inched our way to the front of the line the horn went off to start the race. We did what we did and as we made our way to the starting corrals their was no other runner in sight. Kim started the race and I said I’d catch up as I was having trouble with my running app on my blackberry.
I finally got it working but it was slow to register and it was slightly off (it ended up saying I ran 20.1km at the end) but I had to get going and catch up to Kim. I didn’t want to run too hard to start and was thinking I’d catch up with her around the 4km mark. Music playing, great weather, and quite surroundings as I started. I was happy to see one of my run clinic participants, Alicia, jogging beside me around the 2-3km mark. We exchanged in some good friendly conversation before I picked up my pace to make some ground on Kim.
Finally at around the 5-6km mark their she was, running in great form and with ease. She was going at a slightly faster pace than I thought she should be at but she said she felt good. We continued along together but I told her that I was planning on taking some walk breaks so I don’t overdo it with my injuries. Periodically I did just that and would have to speed up to catch her again.
Not only were we at a good pace at the split to beat her Goal A but we might even crack 2hrs (which is something she didn’t even plan on doing). As we got closer and closer to the Burrard street bridge I noticed our pace was slowing down a bit and Kim’s knee was starting to bother her. We decided to walk up the bridge and conserve the remaining strength in her knee so that we could finish strong. She was well on her way to beat her Goal B (her original plan) but I really wanted better for her.
Coming up to the last couple of kilometer was a great sight to see the sea of cheering spectator with their signs of encouragement held up high and cheering on complete strangers. This is always my favourite part of races and this was no different. I felt a surge of energy and I could see that Kim had a bit of that too as we marched down towards the finish line. In the last 20meters or so Kim took off on me in a mad dash-full on sprint to the finish and I reacted to that by doing the same. We crossed the finish line together with ear to ear smiles as we had our finishers medals placed around our necks. I later looked at our times and I finished in 2:01:46 and Kim finished in 2:02:26.
Great day, great race, 2nd year in a row at this event where I was pacing someone. It is something that I enjoyed doing and I am very proud of my friend Kim for completing her first half marathon. We even got a photo with Mason Raymond afterwards.
I would definitely want to do this race again next year. A special thanks to Brent for letting me ‘borrow’ his race bib for this one and to Kintec for the tips and trick for running when injured and on pacing. What’s coming up next for me is the Surrey International Marathon on September 30.
Some other random photos during the race…
Thanks for reading my blog! Can anyone guess the number of calories there are in a double -double 1/2lb. burger with cheese and bacon and a side of fries from White Spot is? Its all in celebration after a great run!