The Vancouver Sun Run is a long-standing tradition in the Lower Mainland. It has been held for over 30 years and is Canada’s largest 10k road race. I remember hearing about the event back in elementary school when one of my teachers participated in it.
I had registered for it about five years ago with high hopes of becoming a runner. I didn’t train nearly enough so I wasn’t too disappointed when I ended up being sick that week. This, by the way, is the only race I’ve registered for that I haven’t done.
This year the Sun Run fell during my marathon taper. I figured this was a great time to finally do it so I joined a friend’s corporate team, which basically means I got a t-shirt with their logo on the back. Also, I got to be in their pre-race group selfie!
— AME BC (@AME_BC) April 19, 2015
The 10 km race starts in the middle of downtown, heads west to paths edge of Stanley Park, around English Bay, over the Burrard Street bridge, along False Creek, and then back over the Cambie Bridge to the finish line at BC Place.
I joined about 40,000 other people in the corrals at around 9am, just in time to catch the elite start count down. About 40 minutes passed before I finally crossed the start line. I had indicated at registration that my time would be just under an hour, which put me in the green corral.
Finally I was off weaving through a sea of people as we were funneled down streets and around sharp corners. I decided that I didn’t mind looking like a loser and taking photos while I was running so I snapped some shots, careful not to run into anyone in the process. A brave soul had opted to wear a fuzzy snowman suit which must have been stiflingly warm on that sunny day. I was already cursing my cotton t-shirt – I can only imagine how he felt.
I didn’t have any expectations going into this event. Past participants had warned me of the crowds and walls of people that make it difficult to actually race. After a couple kilometres, I realized that it wasn’t so bad. I could still get a decent time of under an hour if I dodged and weaved so I tucked my phone back into my FlipBelt and kicked it up a notch.
As I approached the finish line, another runner made a break for it through the crowd and I followed behind him. I crossed the finish line with a chip time of just over 58 minutes. Success! The finish chute was full of people so I wiggled my way into BC Place, after taking a quick shot from above of the finish in all it’s glory.
The “after party” in BC Place was crazy busy. First of all, I had to line up to get into it … and then everything inside of it had lineups too. Luckily the food (bagels, bananas, and juice) was easily accessible. I never found the end of the McDonald’s free coffee truck line up but I figured it had to have been at least an hour wait.
Totally willing to pay $2 for a coffee and avoid the line, I hurried out of the zoo and to a quiet Starbucks back near the start. A couple people asked me how the race went as I sipped my usual post-run coffee, an extra-hot flat white with soy, still wearing my Sun Run t-shirt and bib number. They congratulated me on finishing and thanked them politely. I withheld the urge to tell them that I’m actually a bad-ass marathoner!
Unable to get a hold of the rest of my team, I headed back home. It was about noon at this point so I was ready to call it a day and go relax. Once I got back to our place, Jesse and I went down to the gym where I did some good stretching and then enjoyed a nice dip in the hot tub!