As I sit here after the Vancouver half marathon, tired, achy, and sore, I am still in disbelief and incredibly thankful for the journey that it took to be able to complete something like this.
On Sunday, June 24th, I ran a half marathon in Vancouver, Canada. My chip time, end to end, was 1:45:34. My overall place in the marathon was 612/3500. In my category, I placed 89/275. Even though I sit here a little salty about not hitting my 1:35:00 time as I had anticipated (grrr), I can’t help but think what an amazing production the city of Vancouver put on and all the great people that I met while there. I am truly thankful.
Regarded as one of the most beautiful half marathon courses in the world, the Vancouver Half Marathon route begins at the beautiful University of British Columbia campus, then just gets lovelier as you run down to the finish line at the famed Stanley Park. You can’t beat the view, guys!
I decided to sign up because I’m nuttier than a football field full of almonds! Haha, all obviousness aside, I was ready to accomplish a big milestone in my life that I’ve always wanted to do. I had been actively running a lot for the past year and I was in the physical shape necessary to complete the half marathon with a time that I would be happy with. I punched the ticket, put in the hard work, and got myself mentally and physically ready for the race, with a little more than a month to prepare.
On the day of the race, everything felt great. Water? Check. Energy levels? Check. Potty break? Check. I put on the bib (my runner number) and proceeded to my starting corral. For those unaware, in order to keep the rabbits from smashing into the tortoises, everyone is lined up in little color corrals, at the starting line, based on their predicted finish times. Anyways, once everybody made their way to their start areas, the race began.
During the beginning of the race, everything went incredibly smooth. I fell into a couple of rookie mistakes and pushed myself a little too hard early on, but I was able to bounce back without affecting my time too much. Mile one through mile ten felt great, and I was pacing myself well and on track to meet my goal time.
Insert predictable plot twist here. Everything was going great until somewhere around mile 11, when I hit that wall I’ve heard so much about. I started to feel myself slow down and I stomped on the proverbial gas pedal to speed things back up, but my little engine started to knock around like a door to door salesmen. When you run at length, your body uses an insane amount of energy to keep the kinetic motion going. For example, a man of my size (6’2”, 190 pounds), needs around 2200 calories to complete the 13.1 miles! The glycogen in my muscles had been fully extinguished and my body didn’t have much else to work with.
Finally, I completed the last 2.5 miles and puttered my way to the finish line. The spectators gave their cheers, encouragement, and welcomed every participant’s triumphant end to the morning race. As my heart rate started to drop, I grabbed a couple of bananas, Gatorade and other various post-race goodies, and took a moment to make sure my legs hadn’t been discarded somewhere along the route. Seeing my beautiful little family at the finish line was magical, and meant the world to me. My wife Krystal and my son Jaxon really helped me settle into the post race festivities. After mingling with fellow runners, we went on a stroll through beautiful Stanley Park and began to slow down for the day.
All in all, I am very proud of myself, my family, and everyone who has supported me in this journey towards self improvement! I am happy to say that I’m no longer a half marathon rookie. Next stop: 26.2 miles baby!
-Clay Darland, Chief Technology Officer, Surevest Private Wealth