Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The 10k Vancouver Sun Run has been taking place each year, on the third (sometimes fourth) Sunday of April, since 1985. For the first time, I joined this year, not as a runner but as a walker. I was among the 59,179 people, the biggest number ever, who registered for the run. I joined our corporate team. Bud joined too as my companion and unofficial photographer. It's more fun to have a walking or running buddy to say Bilisan mo!!.

To prepare for the Sun Run, I went on the treadmill for two weeks. This was a short preparation but I had been swimming for several weeks. I felt I was good to go. I love walking.

Our corporate team before the run. That's me on the left corner.
Eleven of us were either runners or walkers. The rest went there to support the team.

The weather in Vancouver was near freezing that Sunday morning. It was chilly at 3 degrees. I had only a shirt, a sweater and a cap. And warm gym pants. During the Sun Run, people wear layers of clothing and many shed some along the way--sweaters, gloves, sweatpants, toques, even runners--as they begin to warm up. Thousands of articles of clothing are left on the fences and roadside which are later donated to the Salvation Army.

Waiting for the run to start.

The race started in waves. I was with the white group, the walkers, as you can see on my the colour of my bib. We were the fourth, out of 6, waves to leave the start line. By the time our group crossed the starting line, the first wave--the fastest runners--were nearing the finish line.

Registered participants had a time chip tied to our shoelaces. It recorded the time we crossed the starting line and then the time we stepped over the finish line.

Go! Go! Go!

The atmosphere was very festive. There were cheerers and live bands along the way. Lots of water stands and pit stops too. When I saw a Striders' Pit stop with tons of mini-bagels, bananas and oranges, I stopped to eat. I wasn't even hungry, nor was I a strider. I must have lost at least 5 minutes because of that.

Yay! Free food! Striders' pit stop near the English Bay.

Thousands before me...

...and thousands behind me.

I brisk-walked most of the way and ran some. My favourite stretch of road was coming down Burrard Bridge.

On Burrard Bridge

About 3 kms to the finish line, I sensed my left arm was very cold and numb. I quickly donned back my sweater. By this time, I was beginning to get exhausted so I took it easy till I got a second wind. My fourth second wind, actually.

Less than a kilometre to the finish line, people on the sidewalks were cheering and encouraging every one. Just 1 more kilometre to go! I saw Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan on his wheelchair with a woman standing by his side. I waved at the mayor as I passed by him. I was quite pleased to see him and very surprised he had no bodyguards! I have never seen that in the Philippines.

Almost there. You can make it, lerryblossoms!

I picked up speed again in the last 50 metres. Several cameras were taking official photos that will be sold for at least least $16.

We proceeded to the BC Place where my team had decided to regroup. There were more food and drinks inside. Winners were announced.

I clocked 1:40:50 and placed 35,517th. Deduct from that the time I ate and posed for photographs. In any case, I did not really set a time goal. I was just happy to be able to finish without having leg cramps or collapsing midway. Next year, I will train longer, run more, and finish earlier. No more stopping to eat!

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