Alrighty, let’s talk about the BMO Vancouver Marathon course. First things first, show up early and keep race day morning as stress-free as possible. The marathon is hard enough already, don’t do anything silly to make it harder on yourself.

We’ll start @ Queen Elizabeth park, the gun goes and we climb a little bit to get out of the park, then we turn left onto Cambie. The 1st km is a net uphill, and it is the 1st KM of 42, do not worry about what your watch says, just get off the line and get the body ready to go.

We’ll turn right on 49th @ about 2.5km, then there is a nice long straight shot for over 6km. Use this time to find your flow and settle in. This section has a really nice gentle downhill from 4km to 9km. It is awesome, don’t force anything here, just relax and roll.

Photos from a day of carnage at the 2018 BMO Vancouver Marathon in Vancouver, BC on May 5, 2018. Courtesy of Jody Bailey.

At 9km we take that dreaded right turn on to Camosun. The bad news is that this hill is a tough, challenging 1200m climb. The good news is that it is early in the race. The hill will sting, but I promise you that you will recover and be fine once you hit the peak. Focus on maintaining effort on the hill, do not worry about pace.

After you get to the top of Camosun, it is pretty much smooth sailing. Just kidding. We’ll roll around UBC which is nice because the roads up there are wide and smooth, re-establish your rhythm and continue to focus. Take your gels and hit the water stations when you can.

Nearing half-way now

At 19km we hit a long ass downhill coming out of UBC and onto Spanish Banks. Do not try to hammer this hill to make up any lost time, that is a recipe for disaster as you risk destroying your quads. Float down the hill maintaining effort and trying to run smooth.

At the bottom of the hill we hit ½ way. Your legs will feel funny for a km or two, do not panic, that is normal. Focus on staying relaxed and continue to flow through the beaches.

There is a tricky little climb coming out of Jericho, but it is only 300m long and it’s followed by a nice gradual downhill.

We’ll roll through Kits down Point Grey road and Cornwall, the crowds here are great, so use them to fire ya up.

We gotta run across Burrard Street Bridge at 29km. Yeah, that will suck but there are great crowds on the Bridge and this is the last hard climb of the day. Get over that bridge and then there is a nice downhill onto the seawall. The good thing about this course is that many uphills are followed by nice downhills after to allow for recovery.

We’ll get on the Seawall at about 31km, and from then on it’s all flat and boring. Maintain focus, remain positive and finish that sucker strong. Easy peasy right? Have a great one!

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