Sunday, April 19, 2009

I survived the Sun Run

Photo by Mark van Manen of the Vancouver Sun

I did it.

I finished the Sun Run. After a weekend of late nights and many an alcoholic beverage, who'd have thunk that I could essentially "wing" the Sun Run and make it to the finish line at 1:00:59?

Out of curiosity, I looked up my past results on the Vancouver Sun's Sun Run Results website.

Year Time
2005 1:09:20
2006 1:08:09
2007 1:04:36
2008 1:01:27

So if I continue at this rate, I might be able to run it in under 1 hour... assuming I don't train, of course. Apparently that technique is particularly useful to me!

In all seriousness, the race was great today. It was cloudy and overcast this morning - relatively cool temperatures. Dressed in my Sun Run corporate team t-shirt and a pair of New Balance running shorts and shoes, I was a little cold at the starting line, but once I started moving it was the perfect condition for running 10km amidst 55,000 people. And of course, the cherry blossoms at the peak of their bloom made the run even more picture perfect.

This was also the first time that I ever wore a watch during the Sun Run, so I could accurately guesstimate my time. I think I was averaging 6-7 minutes a kilometer, but I truly think having my mp3 player helped big time. Usually I don't run with music during the Sun Run as every 2km they have local singers and musicians performing along the way. I also like being able to hear the pitter patter of tens of thousands of feet stampeding the pavement. But having my own music (a blend of LCD Soundsystem, Magnus, Ron Sexsmith, Simian, Squarepusher, and Metric) certainly helped motivate me today. The Ron Sexsmith was perfect for those moments I had a cramp and needed to slow to a geriatric crawl, and Simian's La Breeze? The perfect finale for the 9km mark. I truly believe that if it wasn't for the music, I would have finished with a much slower time.

Reminder to self: for the 2010 Sun Run, bring your own music. Wear a watch. Don't train.

For photos and more information on the 2009 Vancouver Sun Run, check out the Sun's coverage here.


Anonymous said...

Well done you!
Funny how you are getting better without training. Better have louder music next year!

Erik Mondrian said...

Congratulations on doing the Run! :D Sounds like you have a pretty good strategy there.

Would love to try doing this next year... as long as I don't pass out at the start line like one guy I read about: apparently one of the first years they had the Sun Run, a participant's heart stopped while he was doing warm-ups before the race! They managed to revive him and he was okay, though; he even wanted to come right back and race anyway. Now that's what I call perseverance! ^-^

Robyn said...

Rob - I love the idea of louder music! Great technique! Maybe if I'm lucky I can shave off 5 minutes!

Mystican - that story's too hilarious, and strangely enough, I can actually see it happening. There are some pretty hardcore runners around here. You know the type - they run 10km as a warmup before a 10km run. The kind that do a marathon on a whim for fun. Ha!

BTW - you should totally do the Sun Run next year, just for the experience. It's just one of those things you have to do at least once, and you don't even have to run it!

Erik Mondrian said...

Yeah, I definitely know the type. :) Would be nice to be able to do something like that "on a whim"... maybe a few trips up the Grouse Grind should prepare me? ;) That's assuming I don't collapse halfway up and need to be saved by North Shore Rescue.

Hmmm, I wonder if that would actually be a good way to meet guys? It'd be like Vancouver's version of the Southern California cliche of pretending to drown at the beach so you can be saved (and be given mouth-to-mouth...) by the hunky lifeguard. :D

Robyn said...

You know, I think there is actually a specified "singles night" for the Grouse Grind.

That's another thing I haven't actually done, although something tells me I should.

I'll have to resurrect an old story of El Motm, the secretive cabin built on Grouse that one had to get to by climbing a billion stairs and then meander through some dry river bed and then scramble up some cliff before appearing in front of a cabin with paved sidewalks, flush toilet, a waterfall flowing into a pond (where you keep the beer cold), flood lights, and a massive volleyball court. Hidden. Hidden away for 13+ years until park rangers discovered it and demolished it.