Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll Vancouver weekend report: day 2, the 10K

How civilized to start a 10K at 9:30a.m.! We could have walked half a mile to catch a shuttle to the start, but Google Maps assured us that it was only .9 miles to the start from our hotel anyway. (It was.)

We stopped in at Whole Foods, where I picked up a miserably dry, crumbly, joyless, and essentially cheeseless "cheese scone". I made a mental note to go to a Safeway later and pick up a decent bagel for the next morning. 

We got to the start nearly an hour early, probably because neither of us were 100% sure we were really so close to the start. Sorry, Google Maps, that we doubted you! But the morning was pleasant, the sun was out, and we had a great view. 

ready to run!
Did I mention that I was wearing purple?!?! I love these capris. 

Eventually we got into our "corrals" -- which were really just some numbers on sticks, and no one really looked at th anyway. But I did have the chance to chat with a few ladies and show off my NYC Adrenaline GTS 16s. 

Ooh, flashy!
I LOVED this woman, who had accidentally put on two different GTS... one 14, and one 15!

The starting chute felt pretty crowded, but they sent us out in small waves, so it actually wasn't bad at all. 

When it was our turn, we all headed out with a little whoop. I didn't have a plan -- at all -- for this race, except perhaps to save my legs for Sunday. 

The course (marked in blue, above) was simple: just follow the seawall around the edge of Stanley Park. Not really knowing the route, I kept underestimating -- then overestimating -- how long was left. But boy oh boy do I like a 10K. By the time I really relaxed and got into a rhythm, the race was halfway over, and I never felt tired. And, yes, I know, that means I could have run faster. Whatevs. 

I didn't take ANY PICTURES, even though the day and the course were gorgeous. I just kept running. I loved running past the big rock formations, running under the soaring Lions Gate Bridge, and passing the lighthouse. It amused me to have a running path without guardrails, even if I had a little scare when I was moving to pass some on on the sea-side of the path, at quite a high point, and he swung out slightly. I inadvertently gasped and backed off, he said, "Oh! sorry!", and I said "No worries -- it just put me on edge."  We then both said "Literally!" at the same time. Someone behind me said "well, that'll get your adrenaline pumping!"  Indeed. 

Later on, not far from the finish, we were approaching an Elvis impersonator (tribute artist?) who was singing a high-powered version of "Proud Mary". I honestly cannot hear "Proud Mary" without busting out Tina Turner dance moves. Seriously. So imagine me, doing the "arm chugging" and "diving" and general shimmying. While running. Towards an Elvis impersonator. Who starts doing some of the dance back at me. As I passed him, he held up his hand for a respectful high-five. His orange, self-tanner stained hand. But did I high-five him? Oh yes, Gentle Reader. I did. With gusto. 

photo courtesy
I crossed the finish line in 1:05 and change; better than I expected, really. I picked up my handsome medal and a few snacks, then made my way to the beer tent.

big, honkin' 10K medal!
There was a HUGE LINE outside, but then I realized that there was someone waving anyone past who had a wristband already. RESULT! (Life lesson: spend the 3 minutes at the expo getting the wristband. Really.)

Being in Canada, this race featured LOCAL BEER, not the Ultra stuff they usually offer. Stanley Park Brewing was pouring three different beers, including their new Winter ale. I'm not a big beer drinker, and clearly no connoisseur, but it was really tasty. 

bling AND beer
I chatted with some of my fellow runners, including a student from Mexico who couldn't believe I was running the half the next day ("one day is enough for me!") and a couple who are RNR junkies. I half expect the see Oscar (??) **Suz is correct, it's Albert!** come through the expo in Philly, since he needs one more race to get his "7th Heaven" medal...

Suz arrived, more beer was consumed, and then it was time to head back to the hotel. We took it easy the rest of the day, doing a little shopping (candy, Lush, crisps, and a bagel for the next day), having lunch at Red Robin, dinner at Cactus Club, and getting weirdly sucked into the The Voice, a show neither of us had ever actually seen.

Then to bed... We had a half marathon to run in the morning!

P.S.: I really enjoyed this race -- it wasn't too big, and the wave start meant I never felt too crowded. The weather was perfect, the course was spectacular, and did I mention the tasty beer at the finish line? I really recommend this race to anyone, whether they are running the half or not.