This article was published on May 1st, 2013
The 42.2km race course has many challenges, from the long hill early on the race at the 10km mark, the steep decent from UBC to Spanish Banks at the 18km mark, to the grueling flat run around Stanley Park after ‘hitting the wall’ at km 32. This is a course that takes training, skill, determination, and a whole lot of motivation!
For the 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon, I have prepared a detailed race plan. My plan details each kilometer of the course, corresponding to the kilometre marker on the official BMO Vancouver Marathon course map. My plan is to run an average pace of 5 minutes per kilometre, with a 1-minute walk break every 20 minutes. This averages out to approximately 5 minutes and 13 seconds per kilometre. My expected finish time is approximately 3 hours 40 minutes.
Here’s where you come in! This year I’m asking all of my followers to come to the BMO Vancouver Marathon to cheer me on. As a runner, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing my friends along the race route. It provides a burst of energy, especially when fighting the physical and emotional challenges a marathon run can bring.
I have identified key locations along the marathon route I know are exceptionally challenging. The locations are where I really need to see familiar faces to help get me through the race by cheering me on. No, you don’t have to be at the start line for 8:00am, actually, I prefer that you’re not because I’ll be in my pre-race mental preparation mode. The detailed race plan outlines when I expect to pass. As with any race day, plans can change and it’s unpredictable. I would encourage you to be in location 5-10 minutes in advance of the time I’ve indicated (in case I’m having a good run day), and potentially expect to wait up to 15 minutes for me to pass by if I’m behind scheduled (having a bad race day).
As some of my followers know from last year, I finished my run 20 minutes later than expected, which goes to show that no matter how much training that goes in to a race, you cannot predict anything like running a full marathon.
Here are some suggestions to help you be an amazing cheer person along the 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon race route:
- Use twitter! Send a tweet mentioning that you’ve seen me pass by. Please mark where you saw me and what time. Even better, tweet / instagram a photo, along with the time you saw me, and tag me, @br_webb, so others along the course can find out where I am. Please also use the hashtag: #RunVanBrian
- Make a sign. Runners love funny and real signs. Need some ideas? “Run Like You Stole Something”, “Don’t stop because we’re all watching you”, “Stay positive. Stay focused.”, “You Can Do This!”, “Remember Your Race Mantra”, “Worst Parade Ever”, “I heard there’s beer at the finish line. Can you run and find out for me?”, “The Pain is Temporary”, and “Smile at the finish line”.
- Make some noise. Runners love the encouragement and enthusiasm on race day. It’s what fuels us with positive energy, excitement, and drive to keep going. Bring cowbells, horns, whistlers and other noise makers.
- Shout encouragements. Some areas of the course are just plain hard. It’s not easy running up Burrary Street Bridge with 30km behind you, knowing you still have another 12.2km to go. Runners appreciate hearing words of encouragement all along the course. If you see someone taking their walk break, give them a “congratulations”, it goes a long way, especially towards the end of the race.
- See you at the finish line. The most fun for specators is the finish line. Seeing friends and family cross the finish line is often an emotional moment. It’s even more special for the marathon runner. Join in the celebration and run after the marathon is over and enjoy time to celebrate the achievements of the day for the thousands of runners.
Post race will be slightly different for the 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon. Participants will cross the finish line, entering into a corralled finishers zone. This is a corralled area where finishers receive their medals, water, nutrition and even medical attention if required. Let’s face it, after running 42.2km, runners need a moment to catch their breath, collect their thoughts, and to decompress before meeting up with friends and family. This being said, there are opportunities to talk through the barricades for a quick moment, but be patient until they exit through the designated zones.
This year I would like to thank the 2013 Denman Marathon Runners for making this years training so much fun. It’s been a pleasure sharing tips, advice, and spending many days and nights together over the past 17 weeks. I would also like to thank the Running Room and John Stanton for having me as their official Vancouver Marathon blogger, and BMO Vancouver Marathon for having me part of such an exciting race. Just as important are a special thank you to my friends for their patience as I disappear every winter for four months, giving up birthday parties, social events, and meeting up for coffee or drinks – the 3rd Annual Spring Fling is coming – we will see each other soon! And to my followers, thank you all for your wonderful RT’s, comments, shares, and words of encouragement along my journey. I hope that I have been able to inspire you on your own personal journey to achieve your own goals and ambitions.
Looking forward to seeing many of you on race day!