Race Report Contributor: Andrew Costello (via RunK2J Race Report Form)
Event Name/Date/Location : BMO Vancouver Half Marathon / May 1, 2022 / Vancouver BC
Synopsis: I was fortunate enough to be a pace bunny for this race!
My Race Experience: I had not originally planned to run this race, but I saw an advertisement for really cheap flights to Vancouver so I decided to go. I flew with Flair Airlines and my round trip ticket was $142 (including all fees and taxes). I stayed with my aunt.
I was fortunate enough to be a pace bunny for the race. My target time was 2hrs 15min and I used the Running Room run/walk intervals (10 min run + 1 min walk).
The most interesting part of the race occurred even before the race started. We waited at the start line in our corrals for approximately 60mins. The race was delayed because the Police Bomb Squad has to assess and eliminate a ‘suspicious packge’ that was left along the route (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-bmo-vancouver-marathon-delayed-more-than-one-hour-by-police-incident/).
The course itself is not very difficult. There is a small hill at the start as well as two longer climbs in Chinatown and Stanley Park. Most of the rest of the course is pretty flat.
Normally when I pace a race using the run/walk intervals there are a lot of people who follow me. I guess that people in Vancouver are not really used to that because at first nobody was following me. It was only later in the race when people started to get tired that they warmed up to the idea of talking scheduled walk breaks.
My run pace was a comfortable 06:10 min/km with a walk pace of 10:00 min/km.
The scenery is so beautiful in Vancouver. It’s impossible to get bored during the race. I found myself marveling at the mountains, trees and water. It was truly a Zen run.
I finished the race with a time of 02:14:55 – 5 seconds under my pace time. I was very happy with that.
Finally, I want to issue a disclaimer. There is really no proof (apart from Strava) that I actually ran the race. My race Bib malfunctioned and there were no photos taken of me. Weird stuff!
Would you do this event again? Why? : I would definitely do this race again. It is a well organized race, all the organizers, volunteers and participants are nice and the course is beautiful. This is an ideal destination race.
Closing thoughts. Any hints for others planning to do this race? Where to stay? Things to bring? What to wear? : Vancouver is notorious for unpredictable weather – be prepared for almost anything. Flying to Vancouver can be expensive but there are some great deals out there.
BMO Vancouver Half Marathon Info Stats
Overall Venue Rating: : 5 – Monumentally Awesome
Rate the course: 5 – Excellent
Rate the aid stations: 3 – Good
What was provided at the aid stations?: Most stations had water and Nuun. I really miss Gatorade….
How was the weather? : The weather was ideal for running. It was partly cloudy with a temperature of 8 degrees C at the start of the race. Winds were light.