“The RunVan Fall Classic Rocks! There is no better way to end the Fall running season!”
My Third RunVan Fall Classic Race
It is amazing how time flies! Today marks the third Fall Classic that I have completed. I could not be more proud for getting myself out on a rather miserable soaked day, to complete another half marathon race.
As noted in my Fall Classic race review last year, the Fall Classic, put on by the RunVan Vancouver International Marathon Society, is the last big race of the year. The event is known for its half marathon event, but also holds both 10k and 5k race distances.
The various distance options allows for a community event that brings runners from all age groups and ability levels. In my opinion, RunVan has improved on attracting a breadth of runners to the Fall Classic. In fact, the event was comply sold out this years!
That is one of the many ways that RunVan stands out from the rest – All three of their annual races (The BMO Vancouver Marathon, The Turkey Trot, and the Fall Classic) provide a venue showing off the positive vibe that the running community has to offer, for elite and beginners alike.
Couple times a year I change hats (figuratively) and run instead of walk. Today I did my 2nd half marathon, and while I was hoping for sub 1:10, I'm happy(ish) with a new pb of 1:10:31. #walkersthatrun #FallClassic #TeamNB pic.twitter.com/ojCFZmj8AI
— Evan Dunfee (@EvanDunfee) November 13, 2017
Package Pickup Experience
For 2017, package pickup was moved to the Main Street Forerunners (3889 Main St., Vancouver, BC) store location. Other than the challenges of finding parking during rush hour (my mistake), the change in venue was a great choice. I love this part of town and this store location; the layout is much more open, with a wider variety of products to look through after grabbing bib numbers.
The pickup experience was quick. I especially appreciated the friendliness of the staff (customer services/friendliness is horrible in Vancouver), and the personal approach given to each runner. I’m always thrilled when staff remember me from previous races and take the time to give me a warm hello. (Yes! This happened, and gain, not a common experience in Vancouver.)
Hat Trick and Event Bling
If you register for all three RunVan races, during package pickup at the Fall Classic, you are awarded a “Hat Trick” gift. Even better, due to illness, I pulled out of the BMO Vancouver Marathon this year, and instead volunteered for the event. This still counted as participation! High-five RunVan!
Hat Trick winners received a sports towel and technical t-shirt (pictures at bottom of article). All race participants also received technical fabric gloves! An extra bonus!
Race Day Experience and Course Description
As with all RunVan events, the Fall Classic was well organized. The Fall Classic course is moderately challenging, sporting a double loop with plenty of opportunity to show off progress from those dreaded hill workouts.
Volunteers are placed throughout the race course cheering-on runners, and handing out Ultima Replenisher and water. There are several rest stations throughout the course as well, with very small lineups at each. Aid stations were located every three to five klicks, compared to aid stations at full marathon events at every two to three klicks.
How I Did
I decided prior to the Fall running season, that I would pulling back from achieving personal best goals in the short-term. In an effort to battle burn-out, this has proven a good strategy. My best half marathon times is 2:09. Today I achieved 2:20. I kept pace with the 2:15 bunny up to 16k, and then fell back into a positive split, only pushing extra hard in the final klick.
I am proud of my time, especially considering that it took all I had to get myself out the door this morning to get to the race. Running teaches us more than there is room to type today. Sticking to our goals, even when we do not feel the motivation to push forward, reminds us that we can do most anything, simply by placing one foot in front of the other.
Summation: Pros and Cons
The Pros – What I Loved
- The race staff and organizers positive approach and community building.
- The amazing Hat Trick bling and event gloves.
- The post-race hang out space at UBC. I got to see lots of running buddies today.
The Cons – Suggestions
- I would bring back corrals. Felt like a congested start, even though it did thin out by about 2k.
- I wanted to see more folks in costumes.
The RunVan Fall Classic ends the season with an awesome bang! Year-over-year, race organizers put on an increasingly amazing event, inviting to runners of all ages and abilities. If you are looking to engage with the Vancouver running community, the Falls Classic, as with all RunVan events, is a sure bet. Better yet, volunteer for en even deeper community experience.