Anybody of you runners that follow marathons would probably know that last Sunday, May 6, 2007, was the 36th running of the Vancouver International Marathon. No, I didn’t run it this year. My longest run of recent is 15 km – not quite enough of a base to push though the 42 km needed to complete the marathon. But living so close to where the marathon takes place, I get caught up in all the hype and excitement as I usually have many friends that are running in our home-based marathon.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t even attend this year, so I asked a good friend of mine – Diane, a marathon runner herself, to give me a review of how she felt it went. A bit about Di – if she is a friend of yours and you were in the marathon – she is just about the best support person you could have cheering you on. Di didn’t run the marathon this year, but last Sunday she completed a full marathon (and more) just finding her friends and running with them in support. Here is what she had to say about last Sunday’s marathon.
“Yes, I was out there on the marathon course..not quite as early as the marathoners who started at 7:30am. (The half marathon started at 07:00). I was awake at 05:30 thinking about my friends who were running the race. Darin and Betty had a great race and finished strong. Darin had a PB 3:15 and even qualified for Boston! It was a very emotional finish for him as Boston has been one of his dreams. Betty finished in 3:33 (4th woman in 45-49 age group). I alternated between running with Darin and Betty in Stanley Park, along Cornwall, and back to Burrard Bridge. We agreed that weather conditions were almost perfect for race participants. Just an Irish mist — no downpour, not too hot and not too cold.
I think the marathon went well. Of course there are always a few glitches like the new BMW lead vehicle with timing clock that wouldn’t start at the START. Runners went around the car and found the finish! Overall I think the Directors of the marathon were pleased with how the race went. There were ~2,000 volunteers involved with this event. Apparently total numbers registered were down from last year and it didn’t seem that there were as many spectators, but then again I usually stay on the course and away from the start/finish because it’s so crowded there. When I know my friends have made it to the 1 mile to go marker after the crest of Burrard Bridge, I know they can feel the energy from people along the street and definitely smell the barn at this point.
This year everyone had their first name stamped on their bib # ; this was an excellent idea. I could cheer to a racer by name and tell the person way to go; you could see people smile and feel encouraged along the 42km when you called their name. Beach, Pacific, and Burrard Bridge are popular spots for marathon spectators.
You know me – I was happy to be outside and I appreciate what it takes for participants to train and commit to running the marathon. Every marathon has it’s challenges and is a bit of a mystery. You never really know how you’re going to feel on race day. It’s a huge accomplishment when you reach the finish and something to celebrate.
Of course Stephen King was the announcer and was there bright & early. He did an excellent job of announcing race details and runners who reached the finish line. Stephen has such a history with running and triathlon races and knows so many people by name that he really adds a personal touch.”