While working at the BMO International Vancouver Marathon last weekend I was witness to the crowning of Canada’s new Marathon Princess. The indescribable, but so recognizable, emotion of relief and euphoria swept across young Kim Doerkson’s face as she stepped across the BMO Finish line at an outstanding time of 2:43:04. I was lucky enough to be working with the elite awards team over the weekend and was right there to see Kim cross the finish line. Just as she strived to be she was right up with the boys, man she was flying on Sunday!
Not only did Kim burst onto the scene she did it in style under some awful conditions. Being in May the BMO is usually a warm(ish) typical Vancouver springtime race. Last year I actually burnt my legs while cheering on runners along the Kit’s beach corridor. This year I wore a polar fleece, under armour top and mittens as I huddled under my BMO rain jacket (Saucony provided team captains with gear this year and I must say that rain jacket is fabulous! I will be keeping my eye out to pick up another one because the cut allows movement while keeping you dry and warm.) . Needless to say at my 6am call time downtown I was oh so thankful that I was Volunteering on that particular day and not running 43 soaking soppy Km (although beautiful).
All of the elites were the most humble, warm and genuine group of athletes I have ever met. Not one ego stood to as a thorn and all the athletes shared what appeared to be a sense of camaraderie. Each athlete competing obviously with each other but more so with themselves, all working towards doing the very best they can do on that day instead of focusing on specifically beating someone else. That’s something you definitely don’t see in all sports. Legendary UCLA Basketball coach John Wooden would have been proud of the elites competing at this year’s BMO. Wooden has said multiple times that he always tried to teach his athlete’s that success is determined against yourself, doing the best you can do and being the best you can be. Wooden also felt that when the game was over he shouldn’t be able to tell which players had won or lost from their body language because each person should feel proud for doing the best they could do. Last Sunday each athlete won, each athlete that crossed that finish line and struggled through the natural elements for 43 gruelling kilometres is a winner in my eyes. Whether it took them 2 hours and change or 5 hours and pain I am proud of them and proud of this city I call home for supporting them.