As Clara mentioned yesterday last weekend was one of the largest 10k road races in North America – The Vancouver Sun Run. It’s an intimate little affair – just you and 50,000 of your bestest friends running and walking through the streets of Vancouver!
This is my third time taking part – the first time back in 2006 when I was a tourist from England and it just happened to be when the run was on! All these years later and I now call Canada my home and the Vancouver Sun Run has still got to be one of my favourite big races ever!
Crowds aren’t for everyone, but I like to make exception for the Sun Run! The city is crazy busy with people – runners everywhere! On the day it seems everyone is even more friendly than usual – you end up in the elevator at the hotel with a fellow runner and you start chatting and trading tips (mine is to not sweat the 9am start time – due to the tens of thousands of people it takes over an hour for the later corrals to get going so if you’re a few minutes late you won’t get left behind, and since it’s chip timed your time won’t count till YOU cross the start mat – it was good for me to remember this especially when I needed that last minute pit stop!!).
Following the race the city is swarming with runners. The race t-shirts can be seen everywhere, and many people still have their race bibs attached as they head straight out for lunch post-race. You smile and nod and chat to random people in restaurants because today you have this wonderful connection with so many fellow human beings – I love the sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship and everywhere you turn there’s a happy smiling face. I think I might actually feel sorry for those tourists that picked today to visit Vancouver and didn’t take part – they look a little bewildered and lost amongst us all!!
Large races are truly a unique experience in themselves. If you haven’t tried one then I wholeheartedly recommend you do. It’s so very different from the smaller races; they both have their pros and cons. But at the same time I almost wouldn’t want to pitch them against each other as it’s a different vibe altogether! I know I can feel that BUZZ and that sense of being alive as I’m jostled along a 10km course for 50+ minutes with 50,000 others through one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The Sun Run isn’t about a getting a super-duper result (although I was pretty darn pleased with my performance) – for me it’s about a weekend away in the city, spending time with friends, and experiencing the atmosphere that IS the Vancouver Sun Run.
Biased?! – heck yes! But try it for yourself if you haven’t already!