The First Spring Race of 2016 – My 94th Half

Meadows and Lakes…does it sound poetic? Oh, how fortunate I am to have run my last few races around meadows and lakes!

This past Sunday, the half marathon I did took place in a suburb of Vancouver called Pitt Meadows. With a name like that, I can’t help but think about the beauty of spring. However, weather-wise, it did not feel like spring on Sunday. But no complaints; it was still mild enough for me to wear my shorts.

Pitt Meadows is known to be an agricultural town, with over 68% of its land within a flood plain and much of it protected as conservation areas. A municipality of Metro Vancouver, Pitt Meadows is sandwiched on the north side of the Fraser River, with the Pitt River on the west and Maple Ridge on the east and is in close proximity to Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey and Langley (Wikipedia).

I couldn’t believe that it was only a 45 minute drive outside of Vancouver because I felt like I was in a different city altogether. The race started in this quaint village called Osprey Village, which to me was quite reminiscent of an old British town. The architecture was beautiful: several row homes lined the streets, with flower terraces attached to their window sills, giving the neighborhood a very rich European charm. Even the shops and boutiques were decorated in a very European way. That’s part of the reason I like trying different races: getting to discover and explore the regions I race in, which are most often new and foreign to me.

The start of the race was a short 3 -5 minutes away from the parking lot, so there wasn’t much waiting around at the start line. Before the race, my husband and I met a young guy who was running his first half. He said the race was so close to where he lived that he could easily make it home if he decided to bail! Funny that all runners (including myself) devise these contingency plans.

The race was small with about 67 runners, which was apparently 2 more than last year. Most racers were local. The first half of the race was a bit tougher than the second half, as we had to cross over the Golden Ears Bridge twice. This bridge was rather long and steep, and for context, I found it be much steeper than the Burrard Bridge in Vancouver. Even worse, after running almost 4km each way, there was a spiral ramp that we had to tackle, going down one way and climbing back up the other. I was nearly dizzy from all of that turning. I swear there must have been 4 levels of spirals! Thereafter, once we got back to the end of the other side of the bridge, we had reached approximately the 9km mark. It was around that point that the 10km runners had taken off for the bridge, having started about 45 minutes after the half marathoners.

We passed the 10km mark and entered this little rolling trail for about 2km, followed by a part-road and part-dykes trail. We actually ran past the Pitt Meadows Airport, where there were a couple of small planes taking off. At this point, the rain began to fall. I got a little soaked but really not too bad, considering the forecast called for a 50% chance of rain for the morning. For the portion of the race along the dykes, the course was out & back, so the half marathoners got to see one another go by.

The last KM was tough. I tried to find some speed in my legs but they weren’t cooperating. As a result, I finished with a relatively slow time, but still had an overall positive experience as always.

How many people get to run a race on the first day of spring? I am so lucky to be doing what I am doing. The road to “100” (100 half marathons) has suddenly become more real for me. Thanks to my blog followers for following and supporting me on my wonderful journey thus far!

I will summarize with this quote: “what your mind believes, you become!” Go out there and don’t be afraid to give everything 100%!

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Views of Pitt Meadows

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Along the course, with the Golden Ears Bridge in the back

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Golden Ears Half race medal

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Yay to the first day of Spring!

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