Thursday, October 29, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll Vancouver weekend report: day 3, half marathon

I was a little worried that I might be gimpy after the previous day's less-than-prudent 10K (not that it was fast, but...) .... but my legs actually felt pretty loose. We got to the start just before 7:30. At Rock 'n' Roll Vancouver the last corral starts first -- giving the slower runners more time to complete the course. I had asked Suz what time they would be starting, and she said she thought the race started at 8:15. But as we stood there, I thought I heard the announcer say "this is for the runners who will take more than 3:30" ... and then we both heard a countdown. We looked at each other and Suz said, "I think my corral is starting!" A quick hug for luck, and Suz hustled down the road to the start.

**I just checked; last year the early start was 15 minutes ... in 2015 it was 45!!!**

Suz told me afterward that they had already put the rope down, but a race acquaintance spotted her and held it up so she could scoot under it.

That left me with 45 minutes to cool my heels. I bumped into a former coworker, which was fun -- always nice ro run into an old friend!

One very awesome thing: the announcer said that there were two very special people running with us, and reminded those who were there that last year a man collapsed during the race and a doctor who was running near him saw it, stopped, and performed CPR. The man survived and the two of them were both running the race together. Awesome.

Eventually the corrals filled up, we heard another pretty rendition of O Canada, and the elites set off.
Non running aside: I think I have often confessed that The Star-Spangled Banner" makes me tear up EVERY TIME. Ever since I learned about the history of the song -- Francis Scott Key was actually in enemy hands, watching the British bomb the fort -- I get really choked up when the "Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave?" line comes. Every. Single. Time.

Well, oddly enough, there's something about O Canada that also makes me weepy. Not sure why. Must be the swelling music, somehow?

Anyways, soon is was our turn, and I found myself rather awkwardly at the front of my corral. How does this happen???

We set off down the road -- and I remember little else. And I took NO PHOTOS. Again. No idea why not; I guess I just wanted to keep pressing on. 

Half marathon course took us all around downtown, including through Gastown and the International District, through some more industrial areas, and then in what appears to be a loop that I didn't even notice. Ha. At some point we passed a rapper freestyling about running, marathons, and Rock 'n' Roll. Cool.

I caught up with Suz, running strong and steadily, somewhere just after mile 6... we chatted briefly, but then I lost her in the chaos of a water stop. I figured we'd both be better off if we just kept moving forward.

Eventually we approached Stanley Park, where I was a little sad not to be able to just run along the seawall again (so pretty!). I had been trying to discipline myself to run 100 breaths, walk 25... but when the rolling hills started up in the park, I dropped to 100:33 ... and on the longer inclines, I just walked.

As I neared the end, I passed Elvis again, though this time he was singing "I Believe" -- at least, um, I believe he was... Regardless, it was "Proud Mary", and no high-fives were exchanged. Suz reported that he was singing "Sweet Caroline" when she passed him. A travesty!!!

As I entered the last stretch, I was happy to see that this year they roped off the spectators, so there was plenty of room to run -- I even managed to pick it up a bit and finished in 2:23:12 ... much faster than I expected.

I picked up my "World Rocker" and "Rock Remix" medals, and started out of the park. I hadn't planned on going into the beer garden... but I knew I had a bit of time, sooo...

more bling, more beer...
Had a nice chat with a gentleman who was waiting for his ladyfriend to finish; turns out she's also a Half Fanatic and a Marathon Maniac who completes all the challenges like a crazy woman. Also turns out that they live in Ballard less than a mile from our house. :) AND that Suz met her last year at a race. Small world, innit?

Then back to the hotel to get cleaned up, and then out for some well-deserved brunch. With boozy drinks. Frozen slushy boozy drinks. With plastic animals.

you see the pink animals, too, right???

It was fun to go away for the weekend, and the races and courses were great -- and, of course, there was LOTS OF BLING!

why, yes, I do it for the bling...

1 comment:

  1. Sparkly Orca! I checked the online race guide upon returning home, reading it very carefully, and there is NO mention that corral 16 would be starting early. I thought it was interesting that you caught up with me at pretty much the same spot as last year.

    I wish I could have slushy, boozy drinks at work.