How odd was this race start time! I kept mentioning to my husband how odd it really was and how the race organizers should have rounded it to 9am or 9:15am. But I later found out that the reason for the 9:17am start time was that in 1978, the inaugural year of the April Fool’s Run, the co-founder had accidentally slept in and so everyone waited 17 minutes for her to arrive before starting the race. It all made sense after and I think that it’s quite cute that this has become a tradition.
To get to Gibsons, we had to take the ferry, which was a short 40 minute ride from the Horseshoe Bay terminal. We got there early to ensure a spot for our car on the ferry. There wasn’t much of a line. Personally, I always enjoy these rides because it feels like I am on an expedition 🙂 Plus, it is so peaceful just sitting and observing the natural beauty of British Columbia – it definitely is breath-taking. In this moment, I totally forgot that I was going to the island for a race; feeling so relaxed, it seemed more like a weekend getaway.
After the ferry pulled up to the dock, we waited our turn to get off of the ferry, and then we drove for maybe about 10 minutes to get to the race start. The first shuttle bus, which transported runners from Vancouver, arrived in Gibsons just shortly after us. I picked up my bib and ran into one of my runner friends who was also running this race. We chatted a while, and then I did a short warm-up loop around the start to loosen my muscles and wake myself up from my super relaxed state.
The morning was very pleasant although a little cloudy, but overall a nice spring day.
At about 9:15am, the racers were called to the start, and at precisely 9:17am, we were off. The route was very nice. Gentle, rolling hills during the first half, followed by serious hills during the 13-18K mark. But thanks to the volunteers and the race coordinators, they helped make these tough hills more manageable, as they were very cheerful and ensured the race was very well-organized. Just an overall warm community feeling.
As well, there were relay teams that participated in the half marathon, so for every 5K, there was an exchange station for them, and the runners hanging out there were cheering us on (the individual racers). A very happy crowd. The energy and enthusiasm helped time pass by real fast.
For the last 5K, we were running on the highway. I found this part slightly narrow. But a number of motorists were enthusiastically honking at us. I can’t say this enough, but it was a very happy race!
And then, before I knew it, I was done. My friend, whom I met with before the race, and his wife waited for me to finish. They called out my name and cheered me on as I approached the finish line. Afterwards, we grabbed lunch together at one of the favourite local seafood restaurants. See the picture of the boat below, which was taken outside of the restaurant.
What a way to wind down after a race. The ferry ride back to the mainland was a little more crowded than on the way there. Luckily, we managed to catch the 2:30pm ferry back, even without a reservation. We chatted with our friends, and before we knew it, we were back in Horseshoe Bay.
It was truly a lovely Sunday! The whole experience was so happy and fun and I would love to run this race again next year! Thanks to the organizers for putting together a memorable race.