It has been a busy couple of weeks. From the Chicago Marathon to Toronto, and everything in between, our community has shown up again and again in a big way. We are so proud of all the M2M athletes racing around the globe, and those who have yet to race this fall.

Chicago Marathon

Sarah Whyte 5:05:28 First Marathon
Gary Sidhu 2:59:55 PB
Jon Minkarious 2:41:26 PB
Simon Poulin 2:25:21 PB and 2nd Canadian
Linda Quinteros 4:35:14
Fergus Kung 2:51:37 PB and auto NYC qualifier
Lissa Zimmer 2:46:13
Fraser Clift 2:51:37 PB
Ellis Gray 2:58:23
Melissa Raven 3:24:06 PB
Sarah Morris 4:23:49 PB
Andrea Chambers 3:31:11 PB
Jess Lam 3:33:07
Max Faille 3:56:55
First Marathon, that’s a PB!
Jill Emery 3:26:19 PB
Fiona Jackson 3:30:52
Sandra Sukstorf 3:52:15
Faine Martin 3:21:21 PB
Dayna Gerson 4:37:00
Kailey Buchanan 3:59:00 PB
Robyn Smith 4:37:00 PB
Michelle Mcguire 4:35:05
Mark Dawson 3:05:27 PB
Kara Naish 4:01:43

 

Victoria Marathon Race Weekend

Felix Yu Marathon 3:25:22 PB
Carla Kramer Half Marathon 1:31:22 PB
Dan Bewley Marathon 2:54:35 PB
Carlos Lesser Half Marathon 1:12:12 PB and 7th OA
Tod Pelly Half Marathon 1:26:42 PB
Mark Nelson Half Marathon 1:29:48 PB
Kim Bennett Half Marathon 1:25:55 PB
Julie Hathaway Half Marathon 1:43:41
Jenn Wurster Half Marathon 1:31:05 PB
Angela Law Marathon 3:50:29 PB
Kim Lanki Marathon 4:26:52 PB
Caroline Stean Half Marathon 1:45:26 7 min PB!!
David Gvozdanovich Half Marathon 1:29:33 PB
Harrison Glotman Marathon 3:32:09
Brent Webb Marathon 3:18:54
Pam Campbell Half Marathon 1:31:57 PB and 2nd AG
Andrew Geiger Half Marathon 1:13:39 PB
Russ Esau Half Marathon 1:15:13 2nd AG
Todd Nickel Half Marathon 1:28:04 PB

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Mark Kerr Marathon 3:28:33
Darren Gilmour Marathon 3:07:22
Kelsey Hunter Marathon 3:23:13
Kendal Paul Marathon 2:59:21
Marta Fenollosa Marathon 2:56:03
Ranga Thangarajah Marathon 4:08:24 PB
Ian Joiner Marathon 3:22:52
Kate Gustafson Marathon 2:48:56
Dylan Wykes Marathon 2:22:50
Tim Ducros Marathon 2:54:48 PB
Mike Milne Marathon 2:55:24
Dante Luciani Marathon 3:02:12 PB
Caitlin Wood Marathon 3:28:00 PB
Richard Brittin Marathon 2:55:47 7+’ PB and 3rd in AG
Matt Diederich Marathon 3:15:31 PB
Penny Page-Brittin Marathon 3:43:19
Sean Patterson Half Marathon 1:21:47 PB
Emily Rudow Half Marathon 1:30:45
Lisa Hoffart Half Marathon 1:27:29
Arthur Oskan Half Marathon 1:32:59
Colin McLeod Half Marathon 1:27:34 PB
Rachel Burdick Half Marathon 1:34:26 PB
Darren Lee Half Marathon 1:14:42
Kerri Andreas Half Marathon 1:30:43
Taylor Maxwell Half Marathon 1:28:56
Kevin Smith Half Marathon 1:22:37
Dania Spillett Half Marathon 1:28:06 PB
Anice Wong Half Marathon 1:53:30 PB
Dan MacDonald 5km 16:58
Jeff Archer Half Marathon 1:06:05 PB & 3rd OA
Lauren Prufer 5km 0:19:02

Okanagan Marathon

Marc Dowdell Okanagan Half 1:55:10
Rhys Spencer Okanagan Full 3:23:03
Morris Kopola Okanagan Full 2:49:51
Brett Barnes Okanagan Full 1:28:35 PB
Kim Nguyen Okanagan Half 2:02:37

 

P’tit Train Du Nord

Stephen Andersen P’tit Train Du Nord Marathon 2:54:23
Dan Steeves P’tit Train Du Nord Marathon 3:17:39
Kelley Heyes-Voros P’tit Train Du Nord Marathon 3:49:03
Ainsley Heyes P’tit Train Du Nord Marathon 3:24:14
Anthony Clark P’tit Train Du Nord Marathon 3:30:59
Jackie Benn P’tit Train du Nord Marathon 3:43:31

9 Run Run

Joelle Sabourin 9 Run Run Half 1:56:44 PB
Andy Wilson 9 Run Run Half 1:34:13 PB
Neil McCallum 9 Run Run Half 1:27:12 PB
Simon Warren 9 Run Run Half 1:27:42
Nat Vice 9 Run Run 10k 0:37:03
Emily Alexander 9 Run Run 10k 0:42:10
Chad Evren 9 Run Run 10k 0:43:57

 

We can’t forget about these races too

Allie Peterson Winnipeg 1/2 Race Got Cancelled, solo time trialed a 1:30:53!
Michelle Tan Denver Half Marathon 2:13:57
Darren Lee Oakville Half 1:20:27
Jim Novotny Reno Run 9k 0:44:48
Kelly Ogilvie The County Half 2:04:07
Colton Higgins Granville Island Turkey Trot 35:30.0 PB
Ryan Hobson Granville Island Turkey Trot 39:34:00 PB
Taylor Maxwell Granville Island Turkey Trot 40:11:00 PB
Nadine Robinson Granville Island Turkey Trot 40:32:00
Kyli Shorter Granville Island Turkey Trot 0:47:05
Emelyn Ticong Granville Island Turkey Trot 0:50:41 PB
Julie MacDonald TO Women’s Run 5k 0:20:25 PB

 

M2M Elite Results

Rachel Cliff IAAF World Champs 5000m 15:41.27 No
Justin Kent Victoria Marathon 8km 23:14:00 PB and new course record
Luc Bruchet Denka Challenge 13:47.70
Evan Esselink STWM Full 2:18:38 Debut, 20th OA
Kevin Coffey STWM Full 2:20:23 24th OA
Dylan Wykes STWM Full 2:22:50 30th OA
Kate Gustafson STWM Full 2:48:56 25th female OA
Theo Hunt STWM Half 1:06:20 Debut, 4th OA

 

Note: We’ve got a lot of athletes racing, as such, we’re human and sometimes things get missed. It’s never intentional and always an accident. If for whatever reason you don’t see a result you were looking for here, please let us know and we will fix it.

Tired, sore, feeling like marathon training is taking over your life… yes, folks, we are reaching the peak weeks of fall marathon training. With big stops on the racing calendar in Berlin, Chicago, Toronto and NYC just weeks away, I tried to reflect on what has gotten me through the toughest weeks of training in the past. That’s right, we’re talking about finding your mental edge.

Over the past few weeks and months, we’ve shared our thoughts on recovery and nutrition, two key components no matter where you are your training. But when you’re deep in the trenches of marathon training, because yes, it can feel like that, I’m turning to my mental process and approach at this time of year — what I am doing to motivate myself to get out the door, to stay focused, and to enjoy the process. The one thing I keep coming back to is visualization, specifically race day. Whether I’m grinding through a tough patch in a long run or plodding along on an easy recovery run, I often find my mind wandering back to race day.

Running has become so much more than training your body, with so many in the running community talking about how they gain a mental edge. Heck, the world marathon record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, countlessly refers to his mental game and approach when asked about his success, yet he rarely talks about the actual running.

When your mind sees you accomplish a task, it begins creating the neural pathways to have it come to fruition. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy at its finest. The more you visualise, and the more senses you add to the experience, the more convinced your subconscious will be that you can accomplish a difficult task.” 

— Deena Kastor

 

So, how exactly do I practice visualization?

Start by setting aside a few minutes in your day to visualize both race situations, and carry these scenarios into your training sessions. Whether you’re pushing up the hills in Vancouver or battling the heat and humidity of the East Coast, all of these scenarios playing out in training offer the perfect opportunity to flex your mental strength to successfully run through anything on race day.

Be realistic — There is no guarantee as to how you are going to feel on race day. Visualize yourself both pushing through the suffering and having a great day. What do you need to tell yourself to get out of that deep, dark hole? Or better yet, what will help you find that extra gear if you’re having a good day?

Visualize the course — look over course maps, and create routes in training that mimic the terrain you will experience on race day. Overcoming these obstacles in practice will help prevent any panic on race day and allow you to focus on other more important variables.

Relax — When sitting down to visualize, give yourself the best shot of making them realistic by creating the space you need to get in the zone. Whether that’s sitting in a quiet room, or heading out for a recovery run, do what you need to get into a calm space (breath deeply, calm your mind, think positively).

“Learning to take control of your thoughts begins with paying attention. Then, ask yourself if your mindset is serving you in the best way possible and begin playing with your words and tone.” — Deena Kastor

We’ve sprinkled in some quotes from one of running’s greatest, Deena Kastor. If you’re looking for a read to get you in the zone come race day, her book Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory is a great place to start.

Some other books we love are Grit by Angela Duckworth and The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremo. While these are resources we love, what works for you is going to be very personal. We highly encourage you to take some time to explore what’s out there for yourself and develop your own practice for finding your mental edge.

 

When programming the Long Run for our athletes, it can often be met with fear and trepidation. Like it or not, the long run is the key ingredient in a marathon training plan. To help work back some of that fear, and help you master the art of the long run, we’re shedding some light on key components of this workout:

  • the purpose;
  • different approaches;
  • and some key considerations

The Purpose

There are a ton of physiological benefits and adaptations that your body will make during and after a long run that are hard to mimic otherwise. One of the most important purposes of the long run is teaching your body to burn fat and spare those oh so precious glycogen stores. You’ll also achieve increases in mitochondrial volume and capillaries inside your muscle fibers and a few other fancy scientific things. It also gives you the best opportunity to work on your running economy at or near marathon race pace. And then there’s the mind – the long run will test your mental strength, focus, and determination like nothing else. All of these components are attempts to prepare you for battle during the final 10-12k of the marathon, when both our body and mind start saying “No. Please, No.”

So, what’s the best way to achieve all of these wondrous effects and outcomes of running long?

There is so much information out there and so many types of long runs people are doing, it can be hard to figure out which are most effective for you. We see two main types of long runs as being important in everyone’s marathon training plan:

  1. The Long ‘Easy’ Run
  2. The Marathon Pace Long Run

The Long ‘Easy’ Run

The main purpose of this long run is spending time on your feet and your goals are to teach the body to burn fat efficiently and callus your legs and mind to running on tired legs.

For the long easy run, you should run aim to maintain about the same pace the entire run. That pace should be in the ‘easy’ or aerobic zone.

These runs will be your longest of the training cycle, and depending on your experience and ability level can build up to be as far as 40k. Yes, you’ll be out there for a while, so grab some friends or some good tunes and get ready to roll.

There’s nothing easy about the long run at a consistent, but easy pace. You should be well prepared for these runs and the test they will put on you mentally and physically. But remember all of those fancy scientific adaptations you’re going to be making while out there and how they’ll benefit you at the end of the day.

The long easy run should be done at most every other week. On the weeks in between, we recommend the Marathon Pace long run or some variation of it.

The Marathon Pace Long Run

You heard us correctly, this one is all about running at or near to marathon race effort for long sustained durations of time.

Don’t worry, you won’t go nearly as long at marathon pace as you will during your long easy run. We recommend tapping out at 90minutes or 25k of running at marathon effort. Any longer than that and you risk injury. When you tack on a 15-30min warmup and cooldown, you’ll still end up with a big day of work on these type of runs.

The goals of these runs are to teach your body to manage fuel and run economically. When running at this faster pace, your muscles are going to be eating up your glycogen stores at much faster rates than when you’re running long easy. These workouts, especially the final 30minutes of them, most closely mimic how your body will react in the later stages of the marathon. What better opportunity to practice your race-day fueling strategy than on these runs.

Before you lace up and hit the roads, there are a few more things to consider that will set you up for success.

  1. Recovery – if the best workout to conquer the marathon is the long run, why not run long every damn day? Besides probably not having enough time in your day to do so, the long run also takes time to recover from. We often say that a long run ‘stays in the legs’ for 7-10 days. But, that doesn’t mean you should take every day between the long run off or very easy, which leads us to the next point….

  2. The big picture – although we’re talking up the long run as the most important type of run during marathon training, it’s far less effective if it’s the ONLY run you do. Our point is that the long run is most effective when part of a well-rounded training plan, that includes an adequate amount of weekly running volume and to a lesser extent intensity. We often see people sacrificing training runs throughout the week in order to ‘rest up’ or ‘save their legs’ for the long run. But this common practice can often hinder the effectiveness of the long run. The long run is most effective when approached on tired legs, or at least legs that aren’t fresh as a daisy.

  3. Fuelling – You’ve heard of hitting the wall, right?  Sure, the science tells us that the human body only stores enough glycogen to get through ~2hrs of aerobic activity. But through a combination of your training and practicing taking on fuel (to replace the stored glycogen), you can break through the wall. All long runs should be viewed as an important opportunity to practice fuelling.

The track is where most of the M2M coaches first fell in love with the sport, and it was vital to their development as athletes. Many folks who get into the sport later in life mainly use the track as a training venue and have never had the opportunity to throw down in a proper track race. We started Chase the Pace to give our crew the opportunity to have a full-on 5,000m race effort on the track.

What is Chase the Pace?

Chase The Pace (CTP) is not your standard track meet. Most track meets are rather stale and quite honestly, somewhat boring. We try to do things differently with CTP. We want people to have a good time out there, so we have music, food, beer, and other cool stuff to help promote a fun environment.

The main thing about CTP, however, is the actual running. We want people to run their guts out and hopefully set a PB in the process. We help facilitate this in a few ways. First off, the event has the previously mentioned kick-ass vibe. We put people in heats with other runners of similar ability, because running with a group is always easier than having at it solo.

Pacers are the secret sauce

Racing is hard, you have a lot to think about, we don’t need you worrying about splits or pacing – that’s why we have pacers. They will take care of all of that for you. We have sections for all levels, from sub 16:00 to 27:30, no matter your ability, we will have a pace for you.

The track is the place to test your fitness

To be the best runner you can be you have to cover all your bases. There are the easy aerobic runs, tempo runs, long runs and speed work to be crushed. We often choose track as our surface of choice for speed work. The surface is flat, the distance is accurate and it is the most controlled environment we can get which makes it the perfect place for all-out efforts. The track is the place to find out exactly how fit you are.

The 5,000m is a great distance to test yourself

5,000m is a tricky distance – if you go out too fast you suffer. If you’re struggling at 2km, that’s a problem, but if you’re struggling at 3km you can usually stick it out. It’s all about staying strong and being focused and gauging your effort well. That’s why we have our pacers there to help.

Approaching the track as a first timer

Pacing for a first timer is a bit of trial and error. You can’t just step on a track and know what effort you can sustain for a prolonged period of time. Err on the side of caution if it is your first time. Go slow and keep the effort manageable. Now let’s apply this to a track workout, for example, 10x400m. Start at a pace that you know you can sustain, for example, 2minutes per lap. If you handle this well then you know that next time you can go harder, but if you go out too hard and only get in a few efforts before slowing down you don’t really know where you are at. The more time you spend on the track the better you will get at judging efforts. This will translate not only to your ability to pace track workouts, but also your judge of pace in general for all types of training.

Using racing to inform training paces

An all-out 5,000m effort such as CTP can be a big help to help set paces for future track sessions as it will give you a clear picture as to where your fitness currently is.

Getting ready to race

Before each M2M track session, we do a 2-3km warm-up, followed by a series of drills and strides. Warming up pre-race should look very similar to this. No need to change from what you are used to. Keep it consistent and familiar.

Make sure to cool-down after the race! This is a full-on effort, you are going to accumulate a lot of lactate in the muscles, even a slow 2km jog afterward will help to flush some of that junk and allow for quicker recovery. Then go have a beer.

Using racing on the track as a training tool

Racing can be an awesome training tool because in a race you can dig deeper, push harder and suffer harder than you can during a workout. And as a result, you will get both physically stronger, and mentally tougher.

Even if you are training for a marathon, a 5,000m has its benefits. It will increase your speed, bump your V02max, increase pain tolerance and help your running economy.

It is also short enough that it can fit seamlessly into your training plan- the recovery is often much quicker than other race distances, so you can get right back to normal training after a couple easy days. It is basically a hard ass speed work day.

Holy moly. What. A. Weekend! That was so much fun. Thank you all for being so awesome and for being part of this team. We had an army out there rolling all across North America. There were many great results, and also some not so great results. But no matter the case, we are so proud of all of you. This is a special group…Now check out what you and your teammates got up to yesterday!
#BetterTogether

Thanks Taylor Maxwell for the photos, many more to come!

First 1/2 Half Marathon:

Coach Dylan Wykes 1:06:00 1st Overall!
Colton Higgins 1:20:44 PB!
Matt Murdoch 1:23:37
Carla Parsons 1:30:35
Mark Nelson 1:30:48 PB!
Kyle Bryce 1:31:23 PB!
Marcus Vander Leek 1:31:27 PB!
Cody Green 1:31:56 PB!
Fainne Martin 1:36:08
Kim Pomponio 1:38:00
Jay Zhu 1:39:44 PB!
Andrea Cain 1:44:16 PB!
Chris Atkinson 1:46:07 PB!
Hope Moir 1:50:05 PB!
Genevieve Martin 1:52:13 PB!
Sandra Sukstorf 1:56:38
Will Cascone 1:37:35 PB!
Richard Brittin 1:27:43 PB!
Coach Rob Watson 1:06:41
Lisa Stanley 1:50:59
Lei-Lani Harmon 1:49:27 PB!
Alex Denysiuk 1:29:18 PB!
Gary Franco 1:47:43 PB!
Jacob Sears 1:15:17 PB
Nadine Robinson 1:29:06 PB!
Pam Campbell 1:35:59
Andrew Geiger 1:15:44 PB!
Luke Li 1:34:55 PB
Aaron Carveth 1:33:32
Matt Zielinski 1:38:17
Brandon Hillis 1:34:03
Coach Tony Tomsich 1:06:47
Ryan Hobson 1:28:32 PB!
Ellis Gray 1:24:32 PB!
Shirley Wood 1:44:59 PB!
Chad Clark 1:26:58 PB!
Andrew McQueen 1:28:35
Justin Yan 1:39:16
Craig Fowler 1:14:45 PB!
Kathryn Williamson 1:30:50 PB!
Coach Kim Doerksen 1:25:10
Dante Luciani 1:27:39
Harrison Glotman 1:20:27 PB!
John Roberts 1:28:52
Tommy Cheng 1:33:14 PB!
Pat Swadden 1:25:41 PB!
Morris Koopla 1:23:41
Brent Webb 1:30:37 PB!
David Lau 1:31:43
Kim Bennett 1:29:02 PB!
Coach Kevin Coffey 1:07:43
Lisa Strueby 1:36:16
Rebecca Hartshorn 1:31:43
Linda Wong 1:37:47
Johanna Hudson 1:31:48
Melissa Raven 1:39:40
Craig Roy 1:27:02 PB!
Jim Novotny 1:44:46
Lauren Berkman 1:58:29 PB!
Kerry Coates 1:58:21
Dana Henson 1:33:44 PB!
Sarb Kaler 1:40:35
Mariah Marshall 1:39:12 PB!
Karen Thibodeau 1:23:44
Jenn Wurster 1:34:39 PB!
Katie Bowyer 1:31:01 PB!
Kim Doerksen 1:25:10
Julie Hathaway 1:32:35 PB!
Hollie Holden 1:39:34 PB!
Lee Kennett 1:22:36
Fergus Kung 1:24:36 PB!
Andrea Wilk 1:41:04
Tony Skuce 1:20:42
Lissa Zimmer 1:21:48
Tristan Sandhu 1:17:41 PB!
Kim Lanki 2:10:28
Thais Mori 1:53:05
Tammi Kwan 1:40:08
Mark Soo 1:46:39
Ali Gill 1:27:57 PB!
Megan Brown 1:29:24 PB!
Shira Daltrop 1:42:36
Alicia Armstrong 1:42:39
Colin Brander 1:33:07

Twosome 5k:
Mark Kerr 20:10
Annie Riel 21:57 PB!
Tammy Coghlan Pigion – 23:27

Marugame Half Marathon:
Tadashi Yamaura 1:22:10

Ehime Marathon Japan:
Tadashi Yamaura 2:56:21

Phoenix Half Marathon:
Julie Pelly 1:35:19

Panther Half Marathon:
Natasha Merrick 1:46:39

Palm Desert Half Marathon:
Chantelle Groenewoud 1:24:17  3rd Place!
Gemma Slaughter 1:28:04 5th Place!

Refridgee 8miler
Kevin Smith 50:48 3rd Master!

Chicago Marathon
Kate Gustafson 2:40:06 PB, 19th OA!
Eoin Craigie 2:50:36
Kerri Andres 2:55:24 PB
Kat Mylvaganam 2:58:54 PB!
Dana Henson 3:18:42 PB!
Alanna Goobie 3:43:11
Tammy Pigion 3:44:38
Marc Dowdell 4:23:35
Erica Kim 4:40:00 PB!
Victoria Half Marathon
Meg Lewis-Schneider 1:15:31 PB, 3rd OA!
Bri Hungerford 1:20:01 PB
Karen Thibodeau 1:20:43 PB!
Liam Baird 1:21:31 PB!
Lee Kennett 1:21:35
Anthony Buonassisi 1:24:12 PB!
Kat Moore 1:24:17
Steph McGregor 1:25:34 PB
Kash Bogart 1:26:48 PB!
Walter Downey 1:27:07 PB!
Thom Green 1:30:18 PB!
Aaron Carveth 1:32:05 PB
Gemma Slaughter 1:34:25
Shannon Banal 1:35:32 PB
Kim Bennett 1:40:04
Mark Soo 1:52:34
Chris Atkinson 1:52:53 PB!
Rose Cass 1:55:28
Allison Ribaux 2:06:19
Sandra Sukstrof 2:11

Victoria Marathon
Adam Buzinsky 2:36:12 PB!
Colin Kerr 2:40:09
Andrea Lee 2:48, 3rd OA!
Farid Muttalib 2:50:47 PB!
Tadashi Yamaura 2:56:08
Asita Perera 3:02:23 Debut/PB!
Ellis Gray 3:02:38 PB!
Graham Colby 3:06:59
Mark Dawson 3:09:07
Brent Webb 3:11:35 PB!
Ami Yamaura 3:22:10
Johanna Hudson 3:23:33 PB!
Lisa Dinh 3:24:56
Eileen McPherson 4:07:22

Victoria 8k
Josh Potvin 24:59 2nd OA!
Neasa Coll 29:31
Phil Finlayson 31:17

Okanagan Marathon
Shannon Dale 3:13:11
Brandon Hillis 3:40:50
Gary Franco 3:54:28 PB!
Lei-Lani 4:05:56 PB!

Okanagan Half Marathon
Megan Brown 1:27:58 PB, 2nd OA!

Granville Island Turkey Trot
Fergus Kung 38:55
Colton Higgins 39:42
Colin Brander 41:02
Katie Bowyer 41:31
Mark Topacio 43:12
Mat Zielinski 44:36
Shirley Wood 49:11 PB!

World’s Toughest Mudder Sonoma
Michelle Ford 3rd OA!!

MEC Belcarra Trail Race
Jill Delane 1:06:25
Jenna Nutting 1:17:34

Depending on the weather, adjust your warmup routines accordingly. I ran in cold and rainy weather so my focus was staying dry and warm. I maybe did 1k warmup with 3-4 strides and that’s it. Just enough to move my body, not feel stiff, and calm the nerves.

 

The race, like people have experienced in some of the marathon specific workouts start with a little climb. Nothing crazy by those who run like a bat out of hell should probably try not to. I remember my first 5k were fast. You have that downhill portion that has to be controlled. I remember my coach yelling at me for being quick – I felt good, smooth, and was letting gravity help me (that and I was also trying to run sub-2:35 pace as long as my body would let me).

 

Camosun Hill, I can honestly say didn’t feel like a grind to me. There are usually lots of people lining the street to keep the motivation levels high. Sticking with a group is key. I had 7 men with me and while I focused solely on one, it was enough for me to get pushed along. The Ogopogo road to 16th is one of my favourites so it was more fun than worrisome. Just watch out for the speed bumps in front of St. Georges Schooll!

 

Turning left onto 16th has a Hill.  Play to effort not pace. The out and back on Blanca St is a great way to gauge you spacing between competitors. From the turnaround point, however long it takes for you to see the next runner, double that and you have your cushion. I ran scared for the first half of that race, but the turnaround math helped me to relax.

 

While people talk about not hammering down to Spanish  Banks, it’s also important not to hammer down past the UBC Track. Essentially this course can hammer your quads if you let it. A quick rise up to the Chan Centre puts you back in stride before gravity pulls you down to Spanish Banks. Remain relaxed and fluid while letting yourself go just a touch; just stay controlled. No crazy windmill arms flying down that hill!

 

The little blip up to W4th past Spanish Banks, I don’t remember hurting but I also knew there were people at the top cheering for me. It’s amazing how out of sync with pain you can be sometimes. But from other people’s race recaps they found that Hill tough. So head down and grind it out.

 

Ensure something is saved for Point Grey road. The little undulations will start to take a toll same with the wee climb over Burrard Bridge. You get a nice slow downhill from the peak of Burrard all the way to the park. At the downtown side of Burrard, my Dad was standing there and with his minimal words nodded his head and said “the race starts now”. I believe this rings true to everyone.

 

At Second Beach pool I lost track of my splits (the beauty / downfall of running with a Timex versus a Garmin). I knew the distance remaining and made a note in my head to put my head down. For me, and all Vancouver athletes, the sea wall is as familiar as the back of my hand. It was a time that I had to put my head down, ignore the German man that kept yelling at me to go faster (no, I didn’t know him) and shift my focus inwards. There aren’t many people cheering along the wall so it’s a time that mental toughness is crucial. It’s a long 10k to the finish line when you’re alone. But the beauty is that it’s flat until the little Hill to Georgia, although it felt like a mountain.

 

When turning onto Pender for the final stretch, it’s not a flat road. There’s a slight incline, which you feel with 800m to go. But the crowds start to grow the throughout the day, use their energy to give you that last push. I remember feeling lonely with 800m to go, but by 400m those cheers will forever be a goosebumps inducing memory. It’s a fantastic finish line and I hope people soak in their city cheering them in.