It was 4:00 am and I was already awake before the alarm went off at 4:15. I had set the alarm to get ready to participate in the BMO 8km run at a 6:30 am start. Waking up this early reminded me of my youth growing up on the hobby farm. I often had to get up at an early hour before school to help feed the ponies. By getting up the same time as the roosters did helped prepared me to do my training runs at an early hour if need be.
While I laid in bed thinking about this whilst trying to wake up, I gazed up at the ceiling and I also thought about how good I will feel after the run. I wasn’t in the best racing shape, but my goal was to do my best. Besides, the weather reported it was going to be a sunny day, and running in this event would be fun. Indeed, it turned out to be the best running weather since 1972.
I usually don’t sleep well the night before any race. I often get pre-race jitters which I have not shaken even after I have been running for about 15 years. The feeling of nervousness or anixety disappears once the gun goes off and I am once settled into the race.
Even though I got up early, I started my morning off the ground, and literally running, to make it to the run on time. I headed into the kitchen to pour some coffee. After a couple of sips of java I felt more awake. I followed it up by a having a cup of water and then some yogurt. At the press conference I had asked now four time BMO Vancouver marathon winner Thomas Omwenga what he ate before racing. He told me he would have some hot water and honey with some bread including a banana and an apple.
My phone rings early and the taxi cab is already there waiting for me. It is 4:50 am as I hopped into the cab. It is still dark and so quiet, that my mind drifts to the Canucks game that night.
The taxi ride from North Burnaby to downtown was a quick trip because of no traffic. As I got out of the taxi at Cordova and Burrard, I quickly spotted the shuttle bus to take me to the race start in Stanley Park. I was excited and anxious to get there on time that I was actually early. I kept reminding myself I will run strong for Boston.
As I got on the bus I thought about gear check. Little did I know, I couldn’t leave my gear at the start of the race. With my adrenalin kicking in I quickly grabbed the shuttle back to the gear check area. I wasn’t the only one and I therefore felt better. Besides, there was plenty of time still to make it before the run started.
I was pumped to run the race. There was a bit of delay at the start, but I had the chance to do a double warm-up. It was chilly at 6:30, but the weather got warmer towards close to the finish.
With approximately 800 hundred runners lined up there was a minute of silence to honor those affected by the Boston Tragedy. I thought about the people in Boston and was thankful I wasn’t there. I had tied a yellow ribbon in my hair to pay tribute to the cause.
The BMO 8km is a beautiful scenic course as it takes the runners through Stanley Park and then out of the park to the finish line on Pender Street. Well known race announcer Steve King was there annoucing the participants as they made their way to the finish line.
This past week at the BMO Vancouver Media Conference, I had a great interview with running legend Tom Howard, winner of the Vancouver Marathon inaugural 1972, 73 and 74. Tom reminded me of what my former coach told me that racing involves some discomfort, but not pain. This made me change my way of thinking of racing. The word discomfort sounded a little psychologically better than the word pain. Tom ran the half marathon in 1:30 and won his age group (60-64)
I had a great running performance. I age group medalled and had an excellent day running and covering the event.