The Bank of Montreal (BMO) Vancouver Marathon held May 03 2015 started off really good for me, keeping up with the 4:30 pace group up until Camosun Street, a hill-y incline that will usually throw everyone off before just before the 10K mark.
This time around, the weather was as sunny as it can get, complete 180 from last years’ where we were all drenched from rainfall. So sunny in fact that I can easily blame it for my not-as-expected performance. With a bar set so low during my first marathon in Vegas – LOL is me – this one went even worse, that at the 32K mark, I conceded and just took my time enjoying the sights.
By the time I got to the finish, the BMO crew and volunteer were in is pack up preparation stage. Good thing they still had chips left, something I was craving for probably halfway through the race.
Course: Fantastic views form Queen Elizabeth park onto residential streets leading up to the University of British Columbia where you get a good view of downtown, then onto Kitsilano leading up to Stanley Park, where the wind helps with overheating while getting a good view of the North Shore. (5 out of 5)
Medal: I already had 2 half marathon medals and they looked similar. This time, they were bigger and designed better (5 out of 5)
Gear: The shirt’s material is so bad I could not decide if I should be wearing a compression shirt underneath because of how thin it is (I didn’t in the end), and the charcoal grey color didn’t help either – at least last year’s bright yellow had some sort of a purpose with better visibility. Lots of people didn’t even bother wearing them on race day. (2 out of 5 – only because it gives me a reason to shop, otherwise, 1 out of 5)
Spectators: Lots of them all throughout but also a lot of silence, especially at the North side of Stanley Park, where it is needed more. Felt the Canadian support and they take time to glance at your bib to shout out your name which felt more personal and more motivating. (4 out 5)
Course Entertainment: Not a lot, if BMO hired them. Mostly folksy tunes and a couple of cover artists. There was a clown dancing to latin tunes who I saw at multiple points of the race and those they need more of (3 out of 5)
Expo: They said it was bigger. I thought it had the same stuff, just spread out. (3 out of 5)
Total distance: 42.2K
Official time: 5:29 (well, at least it was less than 5:30)
Next up: the Rock and Roll Portland Half Marathon on May 17 2015