This was the 2nd year I ran this. It was one of those last minute decisions where I signed up the week of the race. It was a very nice race, as we got to run on Vancouver Island – which is a short ferry ride from Vancouver, B.C., about 45 minutes from Horseshoe Bay, just north of West Vancouver.
My husband and I never bother making reservations for the ferry, although the ferry always advises travellers to do so to guarantee a specific sailing time. Nowadays, going over with a car and passengers is mighty expensive and to make a reservation, one has to pay $15 on top of the cost of each passenger. We really did not mind the wait as it was minor, maybe because we took the 7:30am ferry, which was clear sailing. Just a handful of cars and definitely not crowded.
It was a beautiful but cool morning. Going on the ferry always proves a lot of fun for us. We always guess if we’ll be directed to the upper or the lower deck. The most dreadful part about taking the ferry is having to grab our belongings from the car and walk the long flight of stairs to the desired deck. My legs were especially heavy that day. However, once you get up to the passenger decks, the view is usually so breathtaking!
Once we made it upstairs, we picked some quiet seats and just chilled. Looking out, I always remind myself why the slogan on our license plates says Beautiful British Columbia. Definitely not because of its over-crowdedness and high-rises constantly being built, but because of the raw beauty of its mountains & water.
Looking out, it was very pretty. I hardly felt like I was going to a race, but more so going on a day-trip to the island. We saw several runners who were also racing that morning. Everyone was relaxed.
As we got off the ferry, the race venue was a mere 10 minute drive. As we arrived, the shuttle buses carrying runners were already dropping off walked-on ferry passengers. We all walked into the community centre to pick up our bibs. On the way out, we spotted the BMO mascot, so I grabbed a picture with him. I like doing kiddish things like that, it just makes me chuckle!
This race was odd, as the start was at 9:17 a.m.( or some sort of odd time). In the crowd were a few people who dressed up for April Fool’s Day but not too many. Nice to see that mix in the crowd.
As soon as the race started, there was this slight climb. Oh my, my legs felt like they were glued to the ground. The first 400 metres felt so hard. This was a hilly course all right. So if anyone registered thinking it would be a fair course, they were definitely fooled!
Seriously, this race was non-stop climbing, one hill after another. And one of the hills were super long, about one mile straight.
It got warmer as the race went on and I started heating up. It was nice to see much of the community volunteering for this event. Even the senior citizens. One lady in particular who was dressed up – I recognized her from last year. Extremely friendly and enthusiastic. I would definitely nominate her as the best volunteer of the day!
I talked and ran with another woman throughout a great portion of the race, until about the 20 km mark when I passed her. The last kilometre was still uphill, and I just wished to get it over with. A few runners charged to the finish, while I took my time jogging to the finish. I did not have any time expectations, I just wanted to cross that finish line. What helped me get there was spectators who shouted “I like your shirt!” which said, “run for the bling”! It was a special shirt I bought in Florida.
So for April Fool’s, I fooled myself into running all these hills for the bling! On to the mission for more bling (finisher’s medals!)