Weekend Adventures: My First Ride & Volunteering at the BMO Vancouver Marathon

Friday, April 29

Altra Running had a booth at the BMO Vancouver Marathon expo and I decided to volunteer there Friday after work. I have never worked a booth before but it was a lot of fun! It’s easy when you are promoting a product you use almost every day and love. Not everyone wants to talk to vendors, but quite a few people did – especially those who already know and love Altra! I even met some Twitter friends including Jarod, Corrina, and Chaminda who stopped by to say hi!

If you ever see an Altra booth set up, go and try some on!!! It’s a great chance to find out your size in the various models even if you have no intention of buying new shoes at the time. Altras can sometimes be difficult to find the model/size you want in a local store, if you know your size it’s much easier to order online! But make sure to tell your favourite stores to stock them too.

Saturday, April 30

I finally took the lightly used road bike I bought off a friend last fall to the shop to get tuned up during the week. On Saturday morning, my friends took me for my first ride and showed me the ropes! Obviously, I’ve ridden a bike before although not much over the last few years. It was a little intimidating.

Dayna loaned me a cycling jersey and shorts so I looked like a pro. Everyone one taught me some dos, don’ts, hand signals, and how to ride as a pack. They took me on some less busy roads so I didn’t have to freak out about traffic as much.

I ended up riding about 30 km then heading to the pub with Chris while the others added on more distance. My legs felt pretty good, however, my butt was getting pretty sore and I didn’t want to totally destroy it the first time out.

Sunday, May 1

After running the BMO Vancouver Marathon the last two years, I decided to sit this one out. I still wanted to be a part of the event (especially since the forecast was good) so I volunteered for VanRun’s Hawaiian-themed water station at third beach, approximately 34 km into the course. I dragged Kyle along with me.

In the morning, we took the SkyTrain to Burrard Station and then ran about 4.5 km around the seawall to third beach. The seawall was already closed for the event so it was like having VIP access. It was eerily empty.

We helped set up and then waited excitedly for the first runners to appear in the distance. I somehow managed to be front and centre as the lead runners went by us. One even took the Ultima electrolyte drink from me and went on to win the marathon! That’s kind of exciting for my first water station experience!

Not all water hand-offs were successful and I had at least a few fails …

Kyle and I stayed until the last runners were through. There were definitely some people suffering in the heat and I’m sure more than a few were not going to hit their goal time. But at that point, as long as they kept moving they would finish! I’ve been in that position before and it’s not fun. Not only does your body hurt, but so does your ego.

We grabbed lunch at a nearby pub with my friend Steve. By the time I got home, I was not feeling well. Ironically, don’t think I drank enough while busily handing out water for hours. I ended up with a fever of 105 but was able to cool down to a simmering 101 quickly with Tylenol and a cold shower. I wasn’t able to eat much for about 24 hours and had to take the Monday off work.

The first few hours we had been in the shade luckily, however the last few hours we were in direct sun. I didn’t notice being dehydrated or particularly hot but I have now learned a valuable lesson about how easy it is to get heat exhaustion. I’ll be much more mindful of that in the future!


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