Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2013 Vancouver Sun Run Race report

Hello Readers and Runners,

Another year of training is symbolized by another very exciting Vancouver Sun Run.  As the second largest 10km road race in the world and the largest in North America, it's quite an honour and a thrill to be a part of the front lines.  I used to not like the event as it was very stressful and challenging due to the depth of the talent that shows up every year.  This year I knew my training was going well with very few hiccups to get in my way.  Physically I felt strong coming into this event but I wasn't as mentally focused as I have been in some of my better races.  I realized I had been getting myself down mentally a couple of days before this event and made a conscious decision to change that.  I worked a long hard week right up to the Saturday.  I had been so caught up in work and trying to be positive and found myself home at just after 8pm.  I had forgotten to pick up my race packet!  As I frantically emailed Maurice and called Thelma,  I started to panic.  Thelma returned my call quickly and assured me that all was well.  Sincere thanks to Maurice, Thelma and Jenn for their outstanding job in Keeping us all organized and well taken care of.

Race morning came and the weather looked and felt calm.  I woke up early and started my coffee machine.  Rode my bike to the Hyatt to pick up my race packet at the elite hospitality suite.  Jenn was there with big smiles on and I also bumped into Erin Burrett who's energy was high.  Back home for fuel and race prep and it was game time!  I enjoyed being able to go for a light spin on the bike, it made my legs feel loose and the fresh air is great.  I left the house a little later than planned. (As per usual) It was the first year I have ever been close enough to run to the start line from home.  I live on the one mile mark of this course.  The roads were already closed to traffic when I set off and for the first time ever I got to run down Denman and up Georgia.  It was beautiful getting to warm up on the empty course in safety.  Climbing to the start I could see the masses.  I entered the warm up area already warm.  I love the start line of this race as it's like a giant running party!  Everyone has the best energy and emotion and there are superstars everywhere!  The anxious countdown and we are off.  Helicopter over head and people swarming all around as we jockey for position.  The start is always risky as it is downhill and the fast competition can lead to an overdone first mile.  I was feeling very relaxed and strong and starting to file in amongst runners who I hoped to be near.  The first two kilometres were very comfortable and I wanted to push more as I knew I had to in order to reach my goal.  My team mate Nic Browne came past me at this point at a crispy pace.  I was glad to see that as it gave me the boost I needed to push through.  for the next two kms I tried hard to keep Nic and Craig Odermatt right in front of me as they are both in great shape and could very well pull me to my needed quick time.
It was the next 500-600 meters where they put a gap between me and I was unable to respond.

Final push to the finish across Cambie Bridge
I knew that Burrard bridge has made me suffer dearly in years passed so I let them continue and kept my effort.  We climbed the hill and bridge and I gained a couple positions.  My coach yelled my 5k split which was 16:00 even.  I was on point for a successful race if I could keep this up.  I have run the bridge a lot recently as well as this side of it, so I was feeling strong still as we crested and started the descent.  I knew I couldn't relax as those long leggers I had passed on the way up would be opening up their stride to chase me down.  As we cleared the 7km mark, I was hot on the heels of Ed McCarthy.  He had beaten me here last year and at the BMO Vancouver Marathon.  I had to get him.  I was very closely chased by Mark Wilkie from the Point Grey Track Club.  I had taken him on the bridge and he was back for vengeance.  I tagged onto Mark as he came by me and we turned onto the Cambie Street bridge.  We passed Ed and battled each other until the top of the bridge. (Which is actually the end of the bridge too) the downhill was not kind to me and I could not match the kick of Mark's "track kick".  I was running scared at this point because I knew I was running on fumes and there were sprints and battles going on just behind me.  I dare not look as I had my tunnel vision locked onto the finish line. My coach yelled my time and I knew I was slow but very close to a best.  I had one last ounce of energy which I poured on until I could hear announcer Steve King announce that Natasha Fraser was seconds from the line.  I had one last boost of fear which got me across the in 32:31 a 4 second personal best.

I had put it all out there and the confidence booster I needed was there.  I wanted to be up with Nick but my fitness was just not up to his standard.  I feel as though for the next marathon I train for I will incorporate more mileage to be more solid. To do so this time I have felt a bit stressed for time and energy in single workouts and may adopt a dual workout day to spread out the workload.

After the race we gathered for the awards in BC Place which is always a grand spectacle with the live band and big screen in the huge open space of the stadium.  Usually we look down upon the playing field but in this instance we were on the field and able to watch the remaining masses cross the line.  We were chauffeured from the stadium to the hotel in the coach bus and arrived to a massive feast.  I cannot say how well Hyatt puts on a brunch buffet in words. My taste buds and ferocious desire might be able to explain how good it was if it weren't for the fact that my eyes are bigger than my belly.  I'd love to eat a bit of everything, but my body just wont allow at this one.            
Post race celebrations with 2nd place Canadian Rejean Chaisson

1 comment:

  1. Dude! A new personal best! That's awesome! I came down around the 8.5 km mark to film the elites and see the sights. I noticed when you passed by that you were absolutely focused and working on catching some people. Great news!