Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Vancouver Sun Run is an ideal race for a newbie

2007 Vancouver Sun Run
Like I mentioned earlier, I've been a runner on and off again for a few years. As I reached the age of 40, my fitness, or lack thereof became a focus. I joined a gym and started running in earnest.

Before I joined the gym, I did make several annual attempts of getting into running. The Vancouver Sun Run is an annual event that attracts 50,000 runners/walkers. Each year the Vancouver Sun newspaper publishes training programs including one for beginner runners. And for several years in a row, I would join the throng of well intentioned January athletes and begin training only to abandon the idea a few weeks later.

Finally, in 2002, I stuck to the plan and ran my first Sun Run. Part of the difference from prior years was telling everybody that I planned to run the race. I have found that having a well defined goal helps with my motivation and commitment to running.

I finished in 1:01:37. I was happy with the result and being tantalizingly close to one hour provided the motivation to do it again the following year. I broke the 60 minute mark in 2003, finishing in 0:54:59. I've done it a couple more times since, finishing with times of 0:55:03 in 2005 and 0:52:33 in 2006.

I missed it last year due to a knee injury (that's a story in itself) and I will be skipping it this year since it's too close to my half marathon.

The Sun Run is Canada's largest race and ranks second in North America behind only Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race. It's a fun event and well organized. For many people it's too big, but for me it was the ideal way to get committed to running.

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