Sunday, May 2, 2010

2010 Vancouver BMO Marathon - Race Report

The quick read:

Overall: 36
Male: 33/1870
M 25-29: 7/224

Gun Time: 2:53:51
Chip Time: 2:53:45
Average Pace: 4:08

Average HR: 171 bpm
Max HR: 184 bpm
rTSS: 356.5 (which means I'll be out for a couple of days)
IF: 1.041

5 km 20:27
10 km 40:33
15 km 1:01:17
Halfway 1:26:09
30 km 2:03:14
35 km 2:24:05
42.2 km 2:53:51

Hells ya. So, if you hadn't talked to me in the past couple of months about my marathon, the basic plan was this. Most of my workouts were done at a pace that would push a 2:45 completion time (about 3:55 min/km) with my goal of racing the marathon to 2:55 (my previous PR being 2:58:59 set several years ago).

My basic strategy was to run an even race - 4:09 min/km would finish at 2:55 evenly. Knowing my strengths (a strong finish) and my weaknesses (racing waaaay too early, ie. in the first km) I knew this day would be a bit of a challenge.

Luckily, I had some great assistance along the way. First was simple math - using some online marathon pace calculators I figured out my 5 km, 10 km, 21.1 km, 28 km and 33 km splits. (These times were rounded off, and were to be used more as time checks that strict pacing tools - as long as I was +/- 30 seconds I knew I'd be fine)

Also helping was my Garmin 310xt. I'd set the main screen to display my current pace, current HR, and the elapsed time for the race (so that I would actually know my split times (above))

PS. If you plan on using a Garmin on your next running marathon, please don't set it to beep when you're under/over your goal pace or HR - it's really annoying!

Unlike any other race I've done, I also had the luxury of a great runner to run this "nice and easy Sunday run beside." In the weeks leading up to the event, Jeff Seeley and I knew that we were running for pretty much the same finish time, and so it really just made sense to work together after we passed through the crowds in the first couple of kms. Jeff finished with an amazing 2:55:29.

My race went nice and smooth through Stanley Park, over the Burrard Street bridge (I knew the 28km time split there would be a key one to grab), running through Kits (where the best spectators always are - thanks to everyone who braved the rain!!!)

At the final turn around at 33 km, there were 4 of us in a small group who had decided to work our best to get to the finish line fast. My initial race plan had me running steady until this turn around point, then trying to pull out a sub-40 10 km pace to the finish. Seeing as I was 1 minute up on the overall pace, I thought it a little smarter to just keep my average kilometer pace just above 4:00. I downed my last Gu Roctane (perfect for race day) and tried to hold on.

Back over the Burrard Street Bridge and down for the final 2 km, this is the time on the course where you think "okay, you're allowed to let it hurt, because you can probably hold on to the end." I heard Steve King announcing the finishers ahead of me crossing the line, saw the Finishing Clock ticking up past 2:53:45 ... 46 ... 47, and just put my head down to finish it.

So beat my goal time by a minute and 9 seconds; beat my PB by over 5 minutes; and finally figured out how to pace a marathon.

What did you do Sunday morning?

~ liquid


  1. What did I do? I stood in the rain!
    Congrats on an awesome race. Sorry I missed you.

  2. Well-run race, Doug....and fantastic result! Congrats!!