Race report: 2010 Scotiabank Vancouver Half MarathonPosted: 28 June 2010
I make a habit of underestimating myself. Last Sunday, during the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, was an excellent example.
This is the first time I’m running both the BMO and Scotia in the same year, and I was uncertain about training for the latter. A couple of factors came into play: my mid-May trip to California and Oregon that ate up a week, and the complications related to the transition to two new pair of shoes. With the second factor, blisters gave way to a sore foot that I’m still feeling.
With all that in mind, I went into this event to run it, but not race it. In other words, I wasn’t thinking about breaking the PR I set a few weeks earlier at the BMO, let alone achieving my pre-set goal for the year of 2:05.
I set off from UBC, therefore, with no pressure. It was great running weather: cloudy, cool, and slightly drizzly at the start. This was a great change from the last time I ran the Scotia, in 2007, when I ran in a downpour for 2/3 of the race.
The race course mainly follows the waterfront roads from UBC to Spanish Banks, through Kitsilano, over the Burrard Bridge, and then west to the finish line in Stanley Park. The field is also smaller than that of the BMO, which means the crowd thins out after only a couple kilometres. Even at the start, it was moving at a good pace, which contributed greatly to my sub-6:00/km pace that I maintained from start to finish.
There were times as the run went through Kits that I thought I was going to slow down, considering the pace I had been doing. But I did not let up, even on the final uphill on the Burrard Bridge. There were moments in the final 2 km where my left knee was starting to twinge, but still I pushed on toward Stanley Park, where I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 2:03:07. I beat my previous PR, set just eight weeks ago at the BMO, by more than four minutes. Just as importantly, I achieved the goal I set at the beginning of the year to run a half marathon at or better than 2:05.
One goal made means another should be set. For me, this now means breaking the 2:00 threshold for the half. I’m likely setting my sights for the BMO Okanagan Half in Kelowna in October. I’m ready for the challenge!
Some numbers: in five weeks of structured training, I ran 149 km, which is actually quite impressive. At 5k splits, I averaged at or under 6:00/km; the fastest segment included the long downhill on NW Marine from UBC to Spanish Banks. My pace in the final 6.1 km shows I can pull off a good finish.