This past weekend I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Vancouver for the first time to race the Sun Run 10km to kick off my spring season. When I arrived in Vancouver on Friday, I learned that a phenomenal field of elite women had been assembled and I felt excited (but also a little intimidated) for the opportunity to run in such a deep, competitive field.
After arriving in Vancouver, my roommate (Victoria Coates) and I went on a shake out run and took in the beautiful mountain scenery along the sea wall to Stanley Park. On Friday evening we went to a reception with the race sponsors and organizers, which was a great way to start off the weekend and meet everyone. Victoria and I had both flown in from Toronto on Friday and we were feeling the time change and long day of travel by the end of the evening, so we went to bed early and slept in on Saturday morning to wake up feeling rested.
On Saturday we had a relaxing day, continued to adjust to the time change, went on a course tour, met a few more athletes, and enjoyed the hospitality of Coordinator Maurice Wilson and Host Olivia. After going for an early dinner, we returned to the hotel to rest and prepare for race day.
On race morning, we woke up to cloudy skies but no rain, a light wind and a temperature of 9C, good conditions. Victoria and I jogged an easy warm up, crossed our fingers that the rain would hold off, and got ready to race. It was a fast, downhill start and I got caught up in the excitement and went out in 3:10 for the first km (whoops!) with a strong pack. I had no business going out that fast, but it happened. I fell back a bit to my goal pace of 3:35 for the next couple of km, and then had trouble maintaining my turnover. At this point, I slipped back into more of my marathon tempo for the next 6k, while trying to tell my legs to “wake up, this is a 10K, not a marathon, get going!” before finally regaining some speed for a stronger last km up and over the last bridge and downhill to the finish.
Despite falling off my goal pace, I managed to run a 3 second PB of 37:20. Although I was aiming for much faster, it was a transition to the 10K distance coming back from Around the Bay 30K and I can look forward to more speedwork in the next little while to help with the turnover. I enjoyed the course and the race atmosphere and the opportunity to run in an amazing field. Overall, I’m grateful for the experience and learned a lot for the next one! I’m also grateful to Maurice and Olivia for hosting us and putting on a phenomenal, enjoyable event that I hope to race again in the future. Over the weekend, I quite enjoyed spending time with and getting to know Victoria, who recently competed at World XC in Uganda.
Congratulations to everyone who raced the Sun Run, it was an honour to meet so many inspiring athletes!
Photographs courtesy of Marathon Photos.