Vancouver Fall Classic Half Marathon

November 25, 2015 in Events, Outdoor Activity, Reviews, Running

Vancouver Fall Classic Half Marathon 2015 Finisher’s Medal

I recently ran the Vancouver Fall Classic Half Marathon put on by the Vancouver International Marathon Society earlier this month and this is my race review. It’s a Pros and Cons list format based entirely on my personal experience and preferences. Here it goes.

Pros

  • Having the option of a race-day package pick up was nice to have
  • Package pick up was quick and easy
  • You could hang out inside the UBC buildings prior to start of the race and can keep warm instead of waiting outside in the cold
  • Lots of washrooms/toilets
  • Variety of race distances, 5k, 10k, 21.1k to choose from
  • Great atmosphere
  • Plenty of volunteers to help direct you to where you needed to go or answer any questions about the event
  • Free coffee (McDonald’s had a coffee truck giving out regular and specialty coffees)
  • Quiet route
  • Scenic route, in parts
  • Finisher medals
  • RunVan gloves included with registration
  • Water stations and electrolyte drinks along the route
  • Chip-timed
  • Plenty of food and refreshments at the finish including juice, chips, bananas, and other snacks
  • Food voucher for your choice of 2 big slices of pizza, sushi, or chilli from the food court at the UBC Nest after the race
  • Free beer at Mahony and Sons
  • Lots of places to sit inside the Nest
  • Lots of room to warm up outside before the race
  • Race Expo
  • Parking was very close to race start line


Cons

  • Pay parking at UBC, unless you take public transit but there is no Skytrain option so you’re stuck with taking the bus
  • Not much in terms of swag given away in the race package (this could be a pro or con)
  • The gloves we got with our race package are supposed to be touchscreen friendly but I find they don’t work very well with my touchscreen devices

So as you can see, the Pros heavily outweigh the Cons and overall it was a wonderful experience at the Fall Classic. It’s a race that I would definitely consider doing again and would recommend to others. Kudos to the race organizers, volunteers, sponsors, winners, and everyone that participated.

Highlights

  1. This event was held on the same weekend that the terrorist attacks happened in Paris, France so the big Canadian flags that usually wave high and free at UBC were raised at half-mast as a symbol of respect and mourning for the tragedies that had befallen on France. I wouldn’t really say that this was a ‘highlight’ but I am certain that everybody who ran this race had a thought for Paris that day. It makes you realize how lucky we are to be where we are and to have the freedoms that we have. It made me want to run harder for peace.
  2. After the race I had a chance to sit down and have my pizza in the company of John Garratt who finished 2nd place in the Men’s 60-69 age category. We had a nice conversation about our race experiences that day and I was both impressed and inspired by John’s stories of his other running conquests this past year which included qualifying for and running in the Boston Marathon and a few other long distance races including the Whistler 50. I sure hope that I’m still running when I get to be his age. He was definitely an inspiration.
  3. I didn’t have the best race ever or beat any PRs but I was proud to finish. I struggled quite a bit during the first ten kilometers and it wasn’t so much physical as it was mental. I was proud mostly that I was able to silence the self-doubt in my mind that often creeps up to tell me that I can’t do something or that I’m not gonna make it. I love defeating that doubt.

#RUNVAN