Race Day Tips for #ScotiaHalf

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Every year we’re joined by hundreds of new runners at both the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and the 5k. For many people, it’s their first time participating in an event of this size. We’ve taken some tips from the seasoned runners out there and come up with the ABC’s of how to set yourself up for a great race – both before and after the event.

While this guide is primarily aimed at new runners, it’s always good to refresh your memory even if you’ve been racing for decades! Also be sure to check out our Race Etiquette Page.
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Before the Race

A – Know where you need to be and when

This may seem obvious, but it’s so often overlooked. You can save yourself tonnes of stress on Race Day (and the days leading up to it) by knowing where to go and when. This includes knowing where to pick up your race package and bib number in the days leading up to the race, as well as how to get to the start line.

  • Expo – ALL participants must pick up their race package and bib number at Package Pickup before Race Day. Package Pickup is located at the Vancouver Convention Centre East (999 Canada Place, on the second floor) and is open on Friday, June 22 from 11am to 6:30pm, and Saturday, June 23 from 10am to 5pm. More details here.
  • 5k Start Line – the 5k begins on Stanley Park Drive, just west of the old Fish House restaurant. Red corral begins at 9:15am, Blue corral at 9:20am, Green at 9:25am, and Purple at 9:30am (more on corrals further down the page). Make sure you leave plenty of time to get here, as there is NO PARKING near the start line – you will need to either take transit and walk, or park at the Rose Garden lot on the other side of Stanley Park and take our shuttle to the start (leave an extra 45 minutes for this). Details on this, plus maps, are here.
  • Half-Marathon Start Line – the Half begins on East Mall at UBC, near Thunderbird Arena. Race start is 7:30AM SHARP – leave extra time to get here due to road closures. Translink has increased service on the 99 B-Line and 25 bus routes for the morning, but if you are driving we recommend carpooling and parking at Thunderbird Parkade. Full details and maps are here.
    ***Important*** Make sure you leave plenty of time to find and use the washrooms before the run starts, although there are some washrooms available on course. Start Lines will CLOSE 10 minutes after the scheduled start times, meaning you will not be permitted to start after this point! Also note that there are construction closures on SW Marine Drive this year, so please use West 16th Ave, West 10th Ave, or Chancellor Blvd to get to UBC.***

B – Don’t do anything new! We mean it!

A common mistake is to try something new just before or on Race Day. This could be anything from wearing a new pair of shoes during the run to changing up your diet the day before. If you typically eat a simple pasta the night before your training runs, don’t try out that new Mexican Food Cart on Saturday night. If you don’t usually have coffee before your training runs, don’t go for a double espresso on Sunday morning. Stick with what works for you – from your meals to your running clothes to your morning routine.

C – Start in the right corral

When you pick up your bib number, you’ll notice a coloured corral box on it (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, or Purple). This colour matches up with the corral you’ve been assigned to and there’ll be coloured corral flags at the start line to show you were to line up.
But what’s a corral? In order to give everyone their best experience on Race Day, we assign all participants into a corral based on their predicted finish time. This way, speedsters can start at the front of the pack while walkers start further back. Please be respectful of other runners and line up according to your expected finish time. Please also be mindful of other runners who may need to pass you on course – if you are running with children encourage them to stay close or hold their hand. Corral details for Half-Marathon and 5k.

BONUS – use our Gear Check to store a bag of warm, dry (and less-sweaty) clothes for after the race. Your $2 donation will go to our Featured Charities.


During the Race

A – Make sure your bib number is on your front and visible

We use a bib-tag timing system, which means your timing chip is embedded in your bib number. In order for it to work properly and have your time recorded:

  • Do not remove the “bibTag” or foam spacer from your bib.
  • Do not fold your bib or excessively bend or twist the “bibTag”.
  • Wear your bib on your chest/abdomen. Do not wear on your back, side, leg or arm.
  • Do not cover your bib with clothing – always make sure it is completely visible.
  • Make sure you cross over the timing mat at both the Start Line and the Finish Line.
    ***Start Lines for both the Half and 5k will CLOSE 10min AFTER THE SCHEDULED START TIME

B – Start slow and stay even

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Race Day and start out too fast. Do the opposite – start a little slower than your normal pace and gradually pick up your pace over the first kilometre. After that, try to keep an even pace throughout the race and save your extra energy for the final push to the Finish Line!

C – Stay hydrated out there (and wear sunscreen!)

It can be pretty hot in June, so make sure to keep hydrated while on course. It’s a good idea to bring your own water, but we’ll also have plenty of aid stations on course, serving up both water and Gatorade. If you are using one of the aid stations:

  • When approaching a hydration station, move to the side of the road, grab your fluid/nutritional needs and keep moving. There will be multiple hydration tables so if the first table is busy KEEP MOVING.
  • Throw your used cup to the side of the road as close to the hydration station as possible, ideally in one of the marked bins. Drop your cup down by your waist so you don’t hit/splash another participant.
  • If you plan to stop at the aid station, move past the tables and pull off to the side of the road.
  • Say thank you to the volunteers!

After the Race

A – Keep moving

Collect your medal as you cross the Finish Line, then keep moving through the chute until you get to the Post-Race Recovery Area. Keep moving for at least 10 more minutes afterwards to gradually bring your heart rate down and help your legs flush out that lactic acid (this will prevent you from being stiff tomorrow).

B – Refuel and rehydrate

Right after the finish line we’ll have water and Gatorade for you to rehydrate with. Grab a cup and keep walking – there will be more in the Post-Race Recovery Area. A variety of snacks will be available in the Recovery Area, including bananas, bagels, Powerbar, cookies, raisins, juice, and yogurt. The carbs will help replenish your energy stores while a bit of protein will help rebuild your muscles. Make sure you eat something within 30 minutes of crossing the line.

C – Get warm and enjoy the Finish Area

After you’ve fueled up, stop by Gear Check to collect your spare clothes. Even on a sunny day, your core temperature will drop fast once you stop moving, especially when you’re still wearing sweaty clothes. Once you’ve done that, check out the live band, our Charity Village, and Awards Ceremony (10:30am).

If you’re looking for a place to meet your friend and family after the run, our five Charity Village tents will be labeled A, B, C, D, and E – pick a letter and meet in front of it. Full map of the Finish Area is here.

Congratulations! Now it’s time to start planning your next race – join us at the Under Armour Eastside 10k on September 15, 2018!

Coolsaet and Gollish Claim Toronto Waterfront 10k Victories

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

By Paul Gains

Two time Canadian Olympian Reid Coolsaet easily handled a competitive field at the Toronto Waterfront 10k leading 8,500 runners across the finish line in a time of 30:13.

The 38 year old Hamilton, Ontario resident earned $2,500 first place prize money at this Canada Running Series race presented by lululemon, after taking the lead in the first four kilometres. He had a gap of around two seconds when he went through the 5km mark in 14:55. Behind him, defending champion Wendimu Adamu, an Ethiopian citizen living and training in Toronto, and Kyle Wyatt bravely kept in touch but once they made the turn toward the finish around 8km, the race was clearly Coolsaet’s.

Adamu finished 2nd in 30:24 with Wyatt claiming third place a second behind. Sergio Raez Villaneuva, who won the Canadian 10,000m title on Wednesday night finished a commendable 4th in 30:46 acknowledging his legs were still feeling the effects of his race three days earlier.

For Coolsaet it was a race which initiated mixed feelings. After stretching his lead to a comfortable margin, he tried to relax as he approached the final hill at 9km. “I wanted to run a lot faster,” he declared. “I am really happy with the win. I ran alone after 3 or 4k so I was just trying to push as much as I could solo. I really thought I would be able to run a lot quicker. It was a lot of fun.

“It’s not a big hill but it’s right around 9k so it’s in a tough spot. I had a sizeable gap by then and I felt I don’t need to suffer because by 6 or 7k my time goal was out the window. I would have liked to have run 29:30.” His wife Marie gave birth to a baby girl three weeks ago but he refused to blame the lack of sleep as an excuse.

Adamu was all smiles paying compliment to his coach at Toronto Olympic Club, Paul Poce. Though he has run well under 30 minutes for the distance he was satisfied today. “I was feeling a little bit of pain in my leg so I couldn’t run at my best today,” he explained. “I tried but he (Coolsaet) was far in front.”

Defending Toronto Waterfront 10k champion, Natasha Wodak, flew in from Vancouver Thursday and for her the 7:30 a.m. start felt like 4:30 a.m. at home. Still, she has become quite used to crossing time zones having represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and most recently at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia where she was 5th.

At 5km (16:36) she was a few strides in front of the chasing pack which included fellow Vancouver resident, Dayna Pidhoresky, Ethiopian Anteneh Emebet and Sasha Gollish who recently won the Canadian Half Marathon Championship in Calgary.

The race became a three woman affair by 7km and shortly afterwards Gollish went to the front and quickly opened a gap which she held to the finish. Crossing the line in 33:05 – a new event record – she was delighted with the victory.

“It was awesome. It is so nice to see the level of running in Canada escalating every year,” Gollish said. “By escalating I mean the talent pool is going up. It’s only going to get bigger and better from here.

“Probably just before 8km my alpine ski brain went on and I was like ‘ooh’ I took that corner kind of quickly’ and I just noticed they had dropped back about ten metres and I thought it was a natural place to go from.

“I was worried. I wasn’t looking back. I think you have at some point trust yourself and you also have to know that if someone is going to have a better day they are going to have a better day. But if you are going to test yourself it’s really important to look forward, eyes up, and keep pressing and if someone is faster, they are faster There is nothing you can do to control that.”

Wodak continued to give chase but ultimately finished 2nd in 33:17, a commendable result considering she ran 35 seconds faster today than in winning a year ago. “I just happened to be out in front,” she said of her early front running. “I was trying to run 3:19 – 3:20 (per kilometre) pace which is 33:20 pace and just feel good. I was hoping some of the other girls would do a bit more work but that didn’t happen until they passed me at 8k.

“I have definitely been doing more 1,500m/ 5k training since I have been home from the Commonwealth Games. So I knew today was about having fun and putting in a good effort. I was hoping to run 33 low, I ran 33:17. You know it’s great being out here in Toronto. Alan Brookes always puts on a good race and I get to see a lot of my running friends. All in all a good day.”

Emebet who has been in Canada just a month, finished 3rd in 33:37.

Full race results:

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Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Dayna Pidhoresky Leads Impressive Field for Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k

By | Elite Athletes, General, Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

by Paul Gains

Injury free for nearly two years now, Dayna Pidhoresky has been enjoying an unprecedented block of consistent training and is raring to go at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k on June 24th, a Canada Running Series event.

“I want to win for sure,” the 31 year-old Vancouver resident says of her goals. “Time-wise it depends on the day. If I am feeling good then maybe I can really push it a little bit more. I think the main thing is to get some Canada Running Series (CRS) points and try to win.

“Last year I ran really slow there because I was in my marathon recovery phase, so I am in need of a little bit of redemption. I am familiar with the course now and I know the second half can be harder coming off a pretty long downhill section. I think Natasha (Wodak) is doing it so it will be good if she ends up racing –  I am ready to put up a fight.”

She laughs at her last comment knowing that Wodak registered a fine 5th place finish at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and remains the Canadian 10,000m record holder at 31:41.59. 

At the same time Pidhoresky has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2018 season. In March she won the Around The Bay 30k Road Race in Hamilton, scored a personal best 10k when she finished 5th in the Vancouver Sun Run and then claimed the silver medal at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary. Toronto’s Sasha Gollish was the victor that day.

“So far I have been very consistent,” Pidhoresky declares. “I haven’t had that special race that I have been wanting where everything kind of shines, but I have put in a lot of solid races. The main thing is I have been healthy – no injuries at all for going on two years.”

During the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon she suffered a painful sacral fracture that crushed her physically and emotionally. Yet she battled back seven months later to run a personal best marathon of 2:36:08 in Ottawa. That performance has led to selection for the Canadian team at the 2017 World Championships marathon in London, and suggestions that she is destined to follow Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene into the ranks of top international class marathoning.

The men’s field features Lethbridge’s Kip Kangogo who last year won this race for the sixth time, and former Canadian international Rob Watson, of Vancouver. To view the complete elite field for the 2018 Scotiabank Half Marathon & 5k, please click here.

Kangogo was 4th in the half marathon at the Vancouver Marathon festival in early May, then three weeks later, finished 2nd at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary. Despite his advanced years – he will be 39 next month – the Kenyan born Canadian citizen never fails to turn up ready to do battle, and perhaps feels he owns this race.

Watson ran 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and once claimed to have retired. Yet his ‘fun running’ has left him in fairly good condition. Despite extensive coaching duties with the Mile2Marathon group, he has returned to serious training to win the Vancouver Marathon last month. He also finished 5th in the Vancouver Sun Run in a very good 30:01. On such evidence this certainly promises to be a competitive race.

The picturesque course starts on the grounds of the University of British Columbia and traces the Pacific Ocean shoreline through Point Grey and Kitsilano to Stanley Park. With turns, some hills and the challenging climb over Burrard Bridge at 18km the event records are quite extraordinary. Lioudmila Kortchaguina set the women’s record of 70:50 in 2003 while Kenya’s Patrick Nthwia ran 63:10 in 2007 to establish the men’s standard.

The top Canadian man and woman will each receive $1,500 as well as 45 CRS points which count toward the overall title and the accompanying $3,000 awarded to title winners.

For further information and last-minute entries, see www.scotiahalf.ca.

 

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10 tips for a successful road race

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

With all of the training and planning for your upcoming race, it’s easy to miss some of the small details along the way. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re prepared for a successful race day!

1. Run or bike the course.
Checking out the course beforehand will help you mentally prepare for race day. You’ll know what to expect and where the hills are.

2. Nothing new on race day!
This includes fuel! Have a familiar breakfast on race day, something you’ve had during your training that sits well in your stomach. It’s also a good idea to try out the fuel that will be available on course during the race.

3. Train at the time of the race.
As much as possible, complete your long training runs around the same time as the race will be, particularly if you aren’t a morning runner. Your muscles and your mind will be better prepared on race day.

4. Hydrate properly!
Having a set hydration plan will set you up for success. This includes pre-race hydration (including how much you drink the day before your race), as well as which aid stations you’ll stop by to re-hydrate with Nuun. Remember to plan for recovery hydration as well!

5. Have multiple goals.
Your “b” goal should be slower than your “a” goal, and your “c” goal should be to have fun! Having multiple goals means you still have a target to keep you going, no matter how you’re feeling during the race.

6. Then tell someone!
If you need help holding yourself accountable, tell your goals to a friend. Saying them out loud makes them real, and you’ll also have a friend that will check in with you to help keep you on track.

7. Wear extra layers at the start line.
It can be cold at the start of a race. Grab some old clothes to wear as extra layers at the start line, then shed them before the race begins. You’ll stay warm without overdressing for the race.

8.  Avoid aid station bottlenecks.
Head to the end of the aid station to avoid the large crowds. And no, you don’t need to learn to run and drink at the same time from those small cups. It’s okay to slow down to a walk, just remember to pull over to the side.

9. You can’t bank time.
You might think that you can “bank” time by running extra fast in the beginning, but it doesn’t work that way. Running too fast in the beginning will just tire you out.

10. Find your mantra.
Having a positive mantra will help you power through the harder parts of the race. Don’t be afraid to say/shout it out loud!

See you out there!

Charity Spotlight: Jason Cole and Rand Surbey, racing for Cerebral Palsy Association of BC

By | Charity, Scotiabank Charity Challenge, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Uncategorised | No Comments

For the seventh year, Jason Cole and Rand Surbey will be racing in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half marathon as part of a wheelchair team. Their goal? To raise money to support the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC. Oh, and a world record.

Their Story:

After damaging his knee during last year’s run and working hard to come back from injury, Jason will run again in 2018, pushing Rand again in an attempt to capture the elusive and challenging bid to capture to Guiness Record and support the Cerebral Palsy Association’s team. After seven years of breaking the world record but not having their time recognized due to an equipment technicality, Jason and Rand are coming back stronger than ever to prove their speed and determination.

 

“Thanks to Wheelin’ Mobility and the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC, who outfitted us with a racing wheelchair that matches the requirements of Guinness, Rand and I are back in training and preparing to take on the Scotiabank Half Marathon again this year on June 24th” said Jason. “Our goal since beginning our racing careers has always been to advance the inclusivity of fun athletic events, like running races and the Tough Mudder, regardless of people’s financial or physical status.”

 

Jason and Rand will be racing in costume and this year’s theme will super heroes, with Rand as the Hulk and Jason as Captain Canuck. As an additional incentive for fundraising, they have acquired a limited edition, minted $20 silver coin that was released from the Canadian Mint commemorating Captain Canuck, and are offering it as a prize draw, with entries available for anyone donating in excess of $50 to our fundraising efforts. The draw will take place at the finish line of the race.
 

CLICK HERE to support Jason and Rand, and the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC.

 

 

Athletes to Watch For at the Toronto Waterfront 10k

By | Elite Athletes, Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

Natasha Wodak, 36, Vancouver 

“You know it’s just about fun for me I really want to enjoy the race.”

The Toronto Waterfront 10k defending champion, Natasha Wodak is the Canadian 10,000m record holder (31:41.59) and represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games.

How Natasha prepares for the race: 

“Generally when I come to Toronto the races are in the morning so it’s a little tricky with it being three hours time difference. Usually I am getting only 5 or 6 hours sleep. I will go to bed at midnight and get up at 5:30 a.m. and that works fine me

I like to be at the start an hour and ten minutes before, to get settled and begin my warm up. If I am away I will usually have a coffee and a chocolate chip/coconut energy bar. I try to aim for 250 calories before a 5 or 10k. If I am at home or a place where it’s available, I will have a piece of multigrain toast with peanut butter and banana. But I need that two hours before the race.”

Follow Natasha on Twitter and Instagram.

Reid Coolsaet, 34, Hamilton

“I haven’t looked closely at the competition, but I’d be going for the win.” 

Reid Coolsaet is a two time Canadian Olympic marathoner and father of two. Coolsaet is the second fastest marathoner in Canadian history with a personal best of 2:10:28.

How Reid prepares for the race:

“Waterfront 10k morning is going to be an early morning. I usually eat oatmeal then an energy gel thirty minutes before the race and a sports drink throughout the morning.

Even if I’ve had a bad sleep, once I drink a couple of cups of tea with caffeine before the race, I am never tired for the race. For Waterfront 10k I will wake up at 4:30 a.m. Hopefully I can fall asleep at 9:30 p.m.”

Follow Reid on Twitter and Instagram. 

Sasha Gollish, 35, Toronto 

“A fun time and a good race, because really you cannot ask for much more than that, right!?” 

Sasha Gollish is an extremely versatile distance runner. She has a 1,500m personal best of 4:07.08 and claimed the 1,500m bronze medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games.

How Sasha prepares for the race: 

“I will probably get up somewhere around 4:30 a.m. to make sure I can get a proper breakfast in. I’ll likely stick with what I eat on ‘tempo saturdays’ which is a bowl of greek yogurt and some berries. And of course, coffee with a splash of milk.

In all honesty, I’ll probably go to bed when I feel tired. Recovery after the race will be really important, so I’ll be sure to go to bed early the night of race day. I am not worried if I don’t get a good night sleep before a race, as long as the sleep before that night has been sufficient I know I’m going to be ok.”

Follow Sasha on Twitter and Instagram. 

Krista DuChene, 41, Brantford

“I will not be running any super fast personal best times. So something around 35 minutes I will be happy with.” 

Krista DuChene, a Brantford, Ontario mother of three ran the second fastest marathon ever by a Canadian with her 2:28:32 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. She represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

How Krista prepares for the race: 

“I am used to running early in the morning so that is not something that would concern me. I would plan to have an early dinner the night before, be finished by 6 and get to bed early between 9 and 10 p.m.

It depends on when we are catching a bus to the start. I will probably wake up 5 a.m. or 4:30 a.m. have my usual bagel with honey, a few coffees drink some sports drink. That would work for me.”

Follow Krista on Twitter and Instagram. 

 

To view the full start list click here.