Thanks to Karen & Peter Butler – the fantastic owners of Forerunners Vancouver for 30 years – and Coach Carey Nelson, the Forerunners Social Half Marathon became a reality!
The run was promoted to the local running community – a free supported half marathon to ‘make-up’ for the First Half. It coincided with our usual Saturday training run, so it was a great opportunity for us to see familiar faces, as well as some new ones!
In order to get in my full training distance, I started out by running from home – a 4km training run. As such, I got in a full 25km!
We gathered, as usual, at Forerunners on Fourth Avenue. The store is not used to seeing such huge crowds, so everyone was crammed in prior to the beginning of the run. Fortunately, the owners of Double DD Pizza – next door to Forerunners – opened their space (and bathrooms!) to accommodate the masses of runners!
The course is a familiar one, since many of our training runs take us in the same direction. We ran west along 4th Avenue, before cutting down to Jericho Beach. We ran along the water, taking in the views of the mountains in the distance, and the cloudy skies. The snow and ice which had frustrated our running in the past few weeks was no more – back to the usual Vancouver, a few puddles, and a little bit of rain.
Our first stop was at the 5km water station, set up just as the road started sloping upwards toward UBC. Some Gatorade, and some music to pump up our energy.
Upwards and onwards until we reached UBC – and then proceeded to loop around campus. But not before reaching our second water stop (and bathroom break) at the halfway point. Thanks to Christoph, fighting an injury, for stepping up to support us en route, along with Coach Carey.
We completed the loop back at the top of the hill, and started back downwards. Anyone familiar with the Scotiabank Half Marathon will know this part of the course well! Our first water stop doubled as our third water stop, and we were again greeted by smiling faces and some much needed refreshment!
Retracing our steps, we ended up back where we started…at Forerunners! Special shout-out to our group leaders, Kristin, and to Laurel…who kept me motivated to finish this run!
Post-race refreshments were provided at Double DD – juice boxes, brownies, bananas, and chocolate milk – all thanks to Forerunners! And with that, the Forerunners Social Half Marathon was complete!