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.
Apparently it’s time to get serious, and get seriously training! I got a little surprise last week when I received notification that I had been accepted into the Scotiabank Vancouver half marathon Elite Category.
Needless to say I am now so nervous! Having never registereed for a half marathon more than a week ahead of the event before this year I’m hoping having more time to create a training strategy will help me not embarrass myself amongst the group of runners I’ve been placed in. I applied for the elite category after talking with a coworker who handles the elite category in the local marathon. Once I found out that I technically could qualify for the Elite category in this years Scotiabank 1/2 based on my results in the race last year and my times I figured I may as well apply… the big perk was free entry. After going out on a limb and applying, I wasn’t expecting to actually get accepted . When I found out I actually got accepted my initial (and current) thought is ..”Oh My God What Have I Done?!” I’m getting over my initial shock and logging some longer runs 17-20K at least 1-2 times per week mixed in with cross training in the gym and getting my fast twitch fibers ready by doing power and speed work to help my kick on hills. I used to just do the half marathon for personal satisfaction, it was never a “race” for me… until last year’s race package pick up. The worker handed me the bib and said “good luck in the race.” Suddenly my competitive side kicked in and the fun little personal challenge Run Turned Into A Race. I knew I was only racing myself and trying to beat my best time and that’s the mantra I am carrying with me this year… Yes it’s a race but it’s only a race against myself. Beating my personal best is winning to me.
Scotiabank Vancouver 1/2 Marathon: 13.1 Miles June 23rd
CIBC Run for the Cure: 5K Oct. 6th
Night Race Vancouver: 10K Nov. 2nd
Disneyland Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon: 13.1 Miles Jan 20th in LA
Still need to fill a few run spots! Going on the hunt for some fun runs the quirkier the better! The list is always evolving as I didn’t get to participate in a few of the runs that I had planned on doing because it was more important for my work team and I to work throughout the course manning registration, timing, water stations and giving runners encouragement!