We sat down with our co-founder, Dylan Wykes, for a trip down memory lane and a look back on his history racing Vancouver’s First Half. As the former course record holder, and 4 time First Half Champ (not-a-big-deal) we think he knows a thing or two on how to get the best out of yourself come race day!
You’ve done it all at the First Half, former course record holder and winning in 11’, 12’, 15’ and 19’. Was there a particular year that stood out to you over the others?
2019 takes the cake. Time wise, it wasn’t my fastest, but running with Rob, Tony, Kevin, and Trevor was really cool. There’s a pic out there of me Rob and Tony cruising along, that was a really cool moment for the community. Though, we did miss the pre-race team photo that year. I still feel bad about that.
A lot of individuals found running during the pandemic and for many this year’s First Half might be their first foray into road racing. I was wondering if you had any tips for athletes stepping on the line for the first time?
Embrace that nervous energy on the start line. It’s a weird sort of energy that you might try to ignore. But trust me, that energy is worth leaning into.
There’s a couple M2M coaches that will be getting after the event record this weekend. As a former record holder yourself, are there any tips or words of advice for the young bucks?
Get after it! When you are fit and well prepared there is no better distance than the half-marathon, in my opinion.
This year features a new out-and-back course, first, what do you think of the new out and back style, and second, if you had to make a move to win, where would you make it?
The new course looks good. I was never the biggest fan of the part on the old course just after 15km, that went on the gravel path around the lagoon. So taking that out could be good. There will also be good energy when people start crossing paths on the out and back.
I would make a move just after 13km, just before Brockton point. That is a tricky, tight turn and that’s always a stage of the race when people start to doubt that they’ll be able to hold it together. Getting in a little gap on the competition at that point would be good to blow things completely open.
Good luck to everyone toeing the line this weekend! If you’re not racing, we’ll be out in full force with the other local run crews cheering everyone on underneath the Granville St. Bridge on Beach Ave. Hope to see you there!