Race Report: Vancouver Sun Run 2016


The 32nd annual Vancouver Sun Run is was held the morning of Sunday, April 17. It is Canada’s largest 10K road race and this year had over 42,000 registrants. This was my second time running the Sun Run and I have lucked out with amazingly sunny weather both years.

The race costs between $51.45 and $58.80 (adult, 10k) depending on how early you register. Many companies set up corporate teams and cover entry fees for their employees. While waiting for the race to start I heard that about 50% of the registrants are part of a corporate team.

Training

The race was two weeks after my 100k so I didn’t really train for this event, per se. It was just a recovery fun run for me! It’s a hard event to race anyway (unless you are an elite and start first) due to the number of participants. Most runners who try to PR usually end up frustrated.

Package Pickup & Swag

The package pickup was located inside the huge BC Place stadium. It was open on Friday and Saturday. Since we work about a 10 minute walk away, Gary and I decided to go at lunch to beat the rush.

We got our bibs first, checked that the chip was working, walked through the shop area with booths from many running brands, picked up our shirts, and then we were done. There wasn’t much for lineups and we made our way through it quickly. On the way out, we grabbed a few samples including a full box of pasta, a small glass of low-carb orange juice (which I thought was odd to market to runners and a couple juice boxes, little PowerBar bites, and of course, free coffee from the McDonalds truck. There were Cheese Strings being given out too, but I politely declined.

This was the first year that the Sun Run decided to forgo their traditional white cotton t-shirts and instead opted for blue technical shirts. My husband was strangely disappointed by this until he saw the new shirts and approved. The sizes were unisex and actually fit fairly slim. I got a medium and expected to be swimming in it but the fit wasn’t too bad. I saw some people at the expo trying to swap for larger sizes.

Course & Aid Stations

The race starts on Georgia Street and the corrals span 5 short city blocks. The route heads west towards Stanley Park and then back east along English Bay, south over the Burred Street Bridge, and continues further east until heading north over the Cambie Street Bridge and around BC Place where the finish line is located. Although technically it is a point-to-point course, it is still only a 10-15 minute walk back to the start.

There were ample water stations along the route and one station specifically for red bibs (walkers, strollers) that had some snacks.  However, I wore a small hydration pack so I didn’t need to stop at any. There are rumours that during a previous hot year that the water was in short supply. The two years that I ran it there seemed to be enough for everyone.

Post-Race

Since I had been to the package pickup expo, I waited outside in the nice weather while my friends battled the crowds inside BC Place. They came back frustrated that they couldn’t see or get around to everything and eventually had given up. I’m not sure what was inside but I suspect the same shops/booths for the various running brands, snacks, and races.

My Experience

Chris had signed me up through his work and as a joke made my custom bib say “Gina.” It started a while back when Dayna decided that my sarcastic demeanour reminded her of Gina from Brooklyn Nine Nine. Since then, we have identified Brooklyn Nine Nine alter egos for our whole running group.

Chris, Jesse, and I all carpooled to the SkyTrain and transited in from there. We got off at the Granville Street station and stopped at Pacific Centre to use the washrooms (along with everyone else) before making our way in to the corrals.

I wore my new Sun Run shirt, Nike shorts, red Nike compression socks along with my hydration pack containing one soft flask of water, my GoPro, iPhone, some snacks, and a light jacket. Since my knee had been bothering me a bit, I wore a light knee brace as well in the hopes that it would help.

There were six of us that ran together: Jesse, Chris, Willa, Willa’s son, Willa’s friend Greg, and me. We had to start way at the back since Willa was pushing her son in a stroller, despite her being able to do this faster than many people without one. After waiting over an hour from the start time to when we actually crossed the start line, we had to weave around the many walkers who started in the same corral as us.

Before the start of the race, the announcer periodically told slow people to keep right but it was completely ignored. Despite this, we actually made better than than I had thought we would. There was a really slow part as the road narrowed not far into the race but it widened up again soon after. Willa did a great job of weaving around people and staying calm when runners darted right in front of her stroller. The rest of us followed along.

We all crossed the finish line with a time of 1:09 which is not bad considering all the maneuvering through the crowds! Willa and Greg had to head home but Chris, Jesse, and I hit up a nearby pub called the Back 40 for lunch and then SkyTrained back to our car in Surrey.

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Brie

Brie

I started running about three years ago. Until this time i had never considered myself a runner and actually hated running. I'm not sure what changed but i'm glad it did! I enjoy sharing my thoughts, training, and experiences through my blog and encouraging and supporting others in their running journeys. Since becoming a runner, I have completed a handful of half marathons, three full marathons, and four ultra marathons. However, my biggest accomplishments have been running the Rim2Rim2Rim in the Grand Canyon and completing a seven-day, 250km stage race in the Alps. These were adventures of a lifetime and something I had never imagined that I would do even in my wildest dreams!

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