Have you ever taken part in BMO Vancouver Marathon weekend? I have, twice, and it’s AWESOME. So awesome, in fact, that I’m going back for a third time, and I doubt it will be my last!
Race day is thirteen weeks out as of this Sunday, February 4th. My coach has built plans for the half and full distances, so if you are looking for an AWESOME guide, see the end of this post for links and a discount code!
In 2014 I ran the half and even though it was MISERABLE out and we were soaked before even leaving the corrals, I loved it! Then, in 2016, I went back for my first go at the marathon distance, and once again BMO Vancouver seriously delivered. It’s hands down the most scenic of the six marathons I’ve fun so far. The 8k is a race I’ve yet to run, but the course doesn’t seem to skip out on any of the scenery Vancouver has to offer just because the distance is shorter. It cuts right through Stanley Park and winds around Brockton Point into Coal Harbour to the downtown finish line on Pender.
This year, I’m registered to run the half marathon. Lifelong Endurance and my coach are preparing me to get there feeling confident and strong. My goal for the 21.1 km distance in 2018 is a sub-1:45. Whether or not I’ll be ready to lay that down at BMO will become more evident as we progress, but as of right now, that’s the plan!
This is what the BMO 1/2 route looks like. If you aren’t familiar with Vancouver, the map may not mean much, but you can still take note of a few things:
- the fact that more than 1/3 of the distance is along the Pacific Ocean!
- running over any city bridge kicks ass! Crossing the Cambie Street Bridge over False Creek is no exception. It’s literally BREATHTAKING (trust me)
- participants get to run some big chunks of the Stanley Park Seawall, plus run THROUGH Stanley Park as well, which was named the best park in the WORLD according to TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards in 2013.
Other things that I remember are:
- the glorious downhill during the first few kilometers from Queen Elizabeth Park to the Cambie Bridge
- one short and sweet out-and-back – perfect for high-fives, encouraging others, and seeing other runners you may know who are slightly ahead or behind you (normally I don’t enjoy out-and-backs, but this one is short)
- emerging from Stanley Park with 5km to go, for round two of Seawall action, and the stunning Coal Harbour
The full marathon is equally as amazing. Looking back, I would say it is an ideal marathon for your first, if you are going after it for the first time. EFF YEAH!!!
I’m really looking forward to running this course again. I will continue to recap my weeks on the blog as I train for the BMO half within my build-up for my goal marathon in July, JACK AND JILL!!!!! You should come meet up at BMO weekend!!!
Update: I am co-hosting the #WeRunSocial meetup for BMO weekend! Join us!! If you are wondering what this is, it’s nothing more than a bunch of fun people getting together to get fired up before race day, meet new friends and take a big group pic!
Here is a half marathon training plan for you built by Andrew. You can use code JAMMIESENTME for 25% off.
Here is a full marathon training plan for you built by Andrew as well. Again, you can use code JAMMIESENTME for 25% off!