May 3, 2022

Half Marathon at BMO Vancouver Marathon 2022

It has been three years since the last time I ran. I did virtual runs but it's really not the same as an in-person event. Finishing a half marathon has been one of my goals and I was planning to do my first last year (21k on 2021!). Because of the pandemic, last year's event was virtual but I still did the virtual half marathon to see if I would be able to do it. I was praying things will be better for 2022, which is the 50th anniversary of the Vancouver Marathon.

Before the Event

The Vancouver Marathon is scheduled on May 1, 2022. As soon as the registration opened, I immediately registered for an in-person run. I opted for a combo run (In-Person Half Marathon + Virtual 8KM + Virtual 5KM) which costs a few more bucks but includes a "free" singlet.

To prepare myself for the half marathon, I ran a few times a month. I also searched for leg exercises to strengthen them for the long run. As I also plan to use a wireless earbuds on the run, I was experimenting on the playlists to listen to. I went to the Race Expo on Friday to pickup my bib, tech shirt, and a transit pass. The next day, I just rested and slept early.

Event Day

On the race day, I woke up early so I can have breakfast and some coffee. It has been raining the fast few days and the weather forecast for the day is cloudy. I walked to the train station and used the free transit ticket to go to King Edward Station. From there, I walked to the end of the line towards the Pink Corral, the last corral. I didn't have anything with me that will need to be checked in at the Gear Check as I don't want the extra hassle of getting them back after the run. My wife is meeting me near the finish line so I asked her to bring for me some stuff I might need later.

There were enough hydration station and an energy bar station along the route. I was drinking a cup of the electrolyte drink and most of the time, another cup of water. I hate seeing all those cups on the road. Even if the volunteers will be cleaning them up later, it is still not a good idea for me. I had to hold on to my cups until I can throw them to a trash bin. Fortunately, some of the hydration stations have trash bins a few meters from them so runners can dispose their cups properly.

The run was delayed because of a police incident but as we were in the back, I didn't really know what's happening. Maybe they announced something but it wasn't heard by everyone at the back. When it was our turn to start, I turned on the Strava app and started running. It was my first time to run on most of the route and I was enjoying the nice view while running.

Around the 19km mark, I started to feel tired and the legs are starting to ache. I was running slowly and walking. When I saw the Finish line, I was hoping I could run faster to finish strong. I was unable to do so. While others were sprinting to the Finish Line, I was almost walking towards it. I was so happy to finish my first half marathon. The official time was 2:27:11. I felt I was too slow but it was faster than when I tried the virtual version last year (which was at 2:45:26). Maybe it was because of the drinks at the hydration stations, cheers on the route (and by my wife's text messages), or the music on my ears.

Finisher Certificate for Half Marathon at BMO Vancouver Marathon 2022

After the Run

After the run, I received my finisher medal. I also got some snacks and drinks then walked towards the exit to meet my wife. There were some runners blocking the exit. I was left wondering why they chose to stop and chat there, instead of continuing to walk and doing their business elsewhere.

There is a Street Festival near the Finish line for runners and their friends and family. We were planning to spend time there to eat food from the food trucks and look around at the different vendors/booths. However, we had to rush back home as FedEx left a very expensive package (that's supposed to require signature and is scheduled to be delivered next day) in an unsecure area in front of the apartment building. We'll definitely try the Street Festival next year.

From my Strava activity, I ran a total of 21.64 km in 2:26:32. I also had a few accomplishments such as longest run and best 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k, and half-marathon.

It was a great first half marathon for me. I am hoping I can run another half marathon at the Vancouver Marathon next year. The volunteers were friendly and nice. There were cheerers on the road although there were areas where there are none. I think there would have been more if there was no pandemic.

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