“Marathon day approaches! The rubber has met the road.  I am ready!”

Challenges Along The Way

With only 4 days before the BMO Vancouver Marathon, I have decided to firm up my race day plan in order to complete the 42.2k in, or around, the 5 hr mark.  I have planned, trained and mentally prepared for this amazing experience.  I can’t wait!

Following is a great map that shows the various challenges of the course over and above the distance.

The map shows a “3:45” race group.  I in no way will be pushing for that time!  LOL!  Maybe another year!

You will notice the red sections of the course, one of the primary reasons I like this map.  They indicate the uphill sections.  The most daunting section reported by runners is Camosun Hill that runs between the 9k and 10k mark. On the one hand, I am glad the most difficult hill is early in the race.  On the other hand, I wish it was not there at all.

Pacing Strategy?

  • I am shooting to complete the race in 5hrs.  That means I have to average 7:07/km.
  • I will use my Garmin Pace Buddy and shoot for running 6:45/km.  This provides the following splits:  5k/33:45, 10k/1:07:30, half-m/2:22:24, with Marathon completion at 4:44:49.
  • Running 6:45/km gives me some buffer time to make the 5hrs mark.
  • Camosun Hill and the slow slope at the Burrard Bridge will slow me down.  The above numbers assume a relatively flat course.  The provided 15min buffer will help me during these challenging sections of the run.
  • I am running the marathon as two races within a race.  The first 32k, and the final 10.2k.  The first 32k I will run with my head.  The last 10.2, with my heart.
  • I WILL HAVE FUN!  With goal splits in mind, no matter  how I feel, and no matter what time it takes me to get around the course, I am focusing on enjoying my first marathon experience.  That, in the end, is all that matters.  If I am able to complete the race in five hours, that is icing.

Gear Decisions:

I have fought with myself about what I will bring on the race.  Following are my final decisions approaching race day:

  • I am bringing a hand held for hydration, only large enough to hold a half liter of water.  It has a pouch where I can store some gels as well.
  • Long sleeve with short sleeve on top.
  • Flip Belt to carry my iPhone in so I can use Garmin Live Tracking.
  • Hoka One One Bondi 4.  I have over 500k on these shoes. Although I anticipate some toe box issues as the race progresses, these are still by far the best shoes for the distance.
  • 2″ or so split shorts.  Comfy, and sexy!

Race Nutrition:

Avoid the wall by proper pacing, and proper race event nutrition:

  • There are aid stations about every 3-5k in the race.  That means I will be well taken care of in terms of hydration.  To reduce anxiety, I am bring a small hand held and several of my own gels.
  • I will be taking a gel about every 8k or so.
  • The final week of taper means four things:
    • Lots of refined pasta and bread (no whole wheat to avoid GI distress.)
    • No spicy foods.
    • Fruit juice to keep tank topped.
    • Avoiding over eating.
BMO Marathon Race Strategy was last modified: August 1st, 2017 by Jerod Killick