Here we are, day before race day! There are a few things to consider before heading for the race venue!
Do you know exactly where you are going?
Yes, the race website has a map but sometimes, it’s not the greatest map. Are you taking transit or driving? Some people cycle there, too. The race is on a Sunday, are you sure you can get there in time if you go by transit? If you are going to drive, how will you get back to your car after the race? There are free shuttles from the finish line back to UBC but not guaranteed…
If you are not familiar with the area, it’s sometimes good to check out the race course map. Is it a hilly course? Do you know when to expect water or energy drinks or gels?
If you are doing the 5K race, you start in Stanley Park Fish House, NOT UBC.
What is in your race kit?
Here in Vancouver, you may not know what you will be wearing until the morning of the race! Even with constant checking of the weather forecast, you may be surprised. A lot of Vancouver runners set out their race stuff and take a picture of it! Here’s my flat Debra photo for my last race, the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon. It lets you see exactly what you will need for race morning. You don’t want to me anxiously looking for safety pins for your race bib! Sunscreen? Energy gels?
I find that most newbies tend to overdress. They are all bundled up and then you see them shortly after, tying their jacket around their waist. It’s a pain. Bring some warm up jacket, sweater or shirt that you won’t mind taking off and leaving along the race.
A lot of races will donate the discarded warm up gear to charity. Or even wear a garbage bag. This is a photo of clothing left by runners after the start of the BMO Marathon this year. Volunteers pack it up and then they are donated to charity.
Gear Check-just do it!
Make sure and come early enough so that you can check a bag! Bring a twonie so that you can check a bag. All proceeds will go to charity. Don’t be the person who decides to run with their backpack! Trust me, you’ll regret it soon after you start running! At the last race I did, I saw so many runners running with bulky backpacks! One tiny runner I saw, had a hiking back pack that was almost as large as she was! I have no idea what she was packing that she thought that she’d need during the race but I hope it was worth it!
What will you have in your bag? Dry clothes! You can change into the #ScotiaHalf race shirt after you cross that finish line! Warm jacket? I also pack flip flops. Sometimes, I just want to take off those running shoes and socks! You could even bring a towel or something to sit on.
Don’t forget to thank the volunteers! When you see the volunteer showing you where to park or taking your bag, remember that they’ve been here way earlier to help you! Along the course, remember to smile and thank those volunteers who are cheering for you or handing you a cup of water, or sweeping up the gel pack wrappers, cycling course marshalls or at the medic tents just to name a few! After the race, thank the volunteer who puts the medal around your neck, or who hands you some post race refreshments!
We couldn’t run this race without those volunteers! Be grateful!
Have a Great Race!
So this is the time to put all that training to good use! Enjoy some of the best race scenery offered! Smile! Have fun! Congratulate yourself as you cross that finish line! You did it!
What’s your post race plan?
Are your friends and family meeting you at the finish line or did you agree on somewhere less crowded? Did you race with your phone? I don’t usually carry my phone with me so if I need to contact somebody I have to find the gear check area and get my bag.
Post Race Festivities
Congratulations! You’ve completed your race! You got your medal! You raised money for some worthy charities! Enjoy yourselves with the post race festivities! Hope to see you in 2017!!