This article was published on May 6th, 2013
While the half marathon got off to a bit of a late start, the full marathon gun went off right at 8:00am. The field of elite runners took off and lead the charge, the police motorcade and bike patrol just in front ensuring their safety. The usually warm sun took a toll on the elite runners and no new course records were set.
Thomas Omwenga, of Hamilton, Ontario, was the first place finisher overall with a time of 2:24:08, followed by Calgary, Alberta’s, Benard Onsare, just fractions of a moment behind at 2:24:10.
It wasn’t just the elite competitors that found the course difficult to race in because of the heat, all the marathon runners felt the impact of the soaring temperatures as they struggled to complete the journey along the 42.2km course.
Water stations proved to be popular walk-break spots as runners grabbed multiple cups of water at each station, both to drink and to douse themselves with. Runners were also treated to cold, water-logged sponges, Mr. Freezies, and sprinklers, all in an attempt to keep them cool. Medical crews did an outstanding job to quickly identify and treat participants who appeared to be suffering from dehydration.
The marathon event brings thousands to the streets to cheer on the runners. The course was lined with hand-made motivational signs for friends, family members, and strangers alike, people cheering and shouting words of encouragement, and most importantly, thousands of volunteers ensuring a safe and secure course for participants.
This was the second year for the new course, and vetrans of the inaugural run in 2012 proved to provide great resource for first-timers. From Camosun Hill at kilometer 9, to the Burrard Bridge peaking at the 30km mark, to the sneaky hill at 41k coming off the seawall up to West Georgia, it is a fun, scenic and energy-driving course. The long, flat sections through Spanish Banks and along Vancouver’s famous seawall are anything but boring. The biggest mental challenge of the course is passing the 32km mark; not only are you fighting metal breakdown and emotions, but the seawall is closed to the public and there are only a handful of people to cheer you on, perhaps a blessing while you feel your worst, striving to do your best at the hardest part of the course. But the last kilometer makes it all worth it as you dash down West Georgia and onto Pender Street, into the heart of Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver, with a street filled with thousands of spectators cheering you on and a giant RUN | VAN finish banner hanging proudly overhead.
There is little doubt why the BMO Vancouver Marathon has been rated as one of the top 10 marathons by Forbes magazine. The course is spectacular, the energy is amazing, and the organizers and volunteers have done a hell of a great job in putting together such a fine event!
- Gun Time: 3:46:21
- Chip Time: 3:45:54
- Overall: 773/4,959 (top 14%)
- Gender: 586/2813 (top 21%)
- Male 30-34: 118/426 (top 28%)
- Average Pace: 5:22
- 13.3km: 1:06:41
- 21.1km: 1:45:15
- 30.5km: 2:39:03