It was raining the day before and I already resigned to the fact that it will be another raining and cold race. However, I woke up race day with clear skies outside my hotel room window. Woohoo! I had a quick shower, breakfast and walked my way to the race venue.
At the starting line, I positioned myself behind the 2:00 hr pace bunny hoping to improve my PR. At the 3km mark, I started to slow down. My ankle started to hurt a bit so I had to stop and do some stretching. The 2:15 pace bunny eventually caught with me near the 10th km. I know that I was running faster than 2:15. I also overheard a runner saying that the pace bunny was doing 2:10. Weird.
I thought that this would be a flat course but to my surprise there is a long uphill waiting for us on Stanley Park after the 12 km mark. We are 200 ft at the highest point. And then it came to my mind, the pace bunny was running faster so we could make up for the time on the uphill.
It was downhill after that and I was running more comfortably. I was passing by more runners and counting the remaining kilometers – 6, 5, 4 ,3 2… and at the last kilometer, I heard someone shout “Mabuhay”. I turned around and saw this runner waving and smiling back at me. The “Come Visit the Philippines” shirt (great job Aljo!) did its charm. In the short introduction I learned that Trixie is a PAL attendant and is also running together with another attendant. I stayed with her until the finish line and met up with her other friends for some photo op. I finished with a time of 2:15 according to Garmin.
Running BMO Vancouver Marathon was truly an awesome experience – nice weather, well-organized, scenic route, huge and very encouraging crowd and I love the bib and medal.
As I head back to my apartment, I stopped by the finish line in time to see the full marathoners coming in. I saw different emotions as each runner crosses the finish line. In a few weeks time, I will be completing my first full marathon.
Pictures on the next post. 🙂