Sun Run 3 — A Recap

Vancouver Sun Run 2007
Originally uploaded by kk+.

(Updated with complete official results.)

This year, I had the most company I’ve had at the start line! It was also the coldest start in my memory of Sun Runs. Burrrrrr…..!

This year was special because NPY – definitely not a runner – was coerced to come along. After predictably waiting 30 minutes until our wave started, we started running with him trotting alongside of me, carefully counting the blocks then ducking off the course about four blocks in. =P Then, I was on my own… which is basically what running is anyways. When he split off, when there was over 9K left to go, I wondered, as per usual, “Why do I keep doing this race??”

At 3 times, the Sun Run is my most-oft repeated race. (Bluenose comes in second at 2 times). Looking back at the past Sun Runs, I cried after the first one because I didn’t know anyone amongst 50K people and their friends and supporters. Last year, I speculated about not doing it again because by that time, I didn’t repeat races.

After NPY took off, I made up for the easy start. It wasn’t too difficult because I desperately wanted to warm up and live up to the running skirt that I was wearing. Not that it matters, but I clad myself in all-black as my team issued black Gaia technical shirts.

With my trusty stopwatch, I noted the following “split” times along the way —
* 8:58 1-mile
* 22:00 4K (aiming for 6-min/1K, this is -2 min. from my target time)
* 27:50 5K (-2.5 minutes — encouraging 5K time!!)
* 33:00 6K (-3 minutes)
* 44:00 8K (-2 minutes)
* < 55:45 10K (same time to complete second 5K as first 5K!!)

At this point, I would like to acknowledge the Speedwork Session our clinic embarked on last Wednesday. I was miserable after 2 mile-long repeats, completed in 8:16 followed by 8:34, both off-target times. However, it gave me the mental edge to slog through the longest fast run I’ve done since last fall’s marathon training.

Because I know more runners in the city this year than last, I heard much more opposition to the yearly, nutty 50K-participant Sun Run. It doesn’t bother me as much as it does those runners who end up refraining from the event. A guy cutting in front of me kicked me a little and it was probably because I was cutting too close that someone jabbed me hard in my back. It was otherwise quite civil and you quickly develop a sense of when you need to apologize for making contact and when you can let it slide.

When we reached Burrard Bridge, I marveled at how on the uphill portion, it became the Sun Walk. On the downhill, it was Sun Running again. I was running around different people by the time we arrived at Cambie Bridge as they were mostly running up the bridge and just flying down the downhill as we were soon approaching the finish line.

The conditions were quite perfect: it was cold at the start but a clear sunny day. It never got to the point of sweltering even at that dreaded 4th Avenue stretch heading east. It is always quite a sight because you can see clearly down eight blocks of the wide avenue and it’s filled with runners who don’t look so speedy.

Since my longest non-stop fast run this year was only 6K, I didn’t feel physically or mentally ready to race 10K non-stop. I stretched out my intervals to 20 minutes before taking a 1-minute walk. That I don’t regret because I was feeling healthy, not too pressured, and on track to beat last year’s ignominious 60:03 and give the first year’s 57 minutes a good run!

All this makes me consider concentrating on 10K races as they are not so drawn-out as half- or full-marathons. It seems my next 10k goal has to be within 50-55 minutes (52:30?) – it’s so hard to shave even a minute off! I’m down for two more 10K races this year: the HBC Run for Canada has a big honkin’ medal that offsets what I suspect will be yet another red shirt and the Canucks Fan Run where I’m eager for a logo-ed souvenir t-shirt from Under Armor!

So you could say that, sure, I’d consider doing the Sun Run again….

Full Results pending….
For me in particular –
Chip time 55:39 =D
5:34/kilometer or 8:57/mile
8,503th overall (field of 42,650)
2,189th amongst females (field of 24,103)
512th amongst women 25-29 (field of 3,555)


  1. teahouse says: rock!

    My fastest 10K was in 60 minutes exactly. And that was 3 years ago…

  2. Ryan says:

    Congrats on another run. I think the reason “serious” runners refrain from the Sun Run is that it’s so big, and so entirely dominated by marginal runners, walkers, unprepared people, and the sheer volume of humanity, that it bears little resemblance to a normal 10k.

    There’s lots of 10k runs in the region that happen at a considerably more reasonable scale; the Sun Run has as its only attraction the (impressive!) mass participation element, and I suspect that gets old fast for people serious about stuff like personal bests.

    I’d bet that on a similar course with about 49,000 fewer people you might shave some time just because of the lack of crowding.

    Also, I’m no expert on running (except for my extensive collection of jogicides) but at your present speed I think you should focus on 10k runs as opposed to longer distances.

    You have (please don’t take this the wrong way) plenty to gain in terms of 10k performance, the training is less onerous and less likely to drive you to a premature use-injury sidetrack, and if you ever revert to marathons, becoming a faster 10k runner is superb base training for becoming a faster marathoner.

    You can think of the 10k distance as intervals-in-slow-motion for the 40k.

  3. wyn says:

    Hi Ryan. Thank you, and thank you for your input on this new development.

    The background is that I did my first half-marathon in 2004 and my first 10K not until a year later. When the “ultimate distance” is marathon-42.2K (nevermind ultramarathoners and the like because I can *NEVER* do that), 10K seems so piddling.

    This year, I got “suckered” into the Sun Run again – yes, it’s hard to go for a personal best – because we were getting *long*sleeved*technical*shirts* and that incentive can sucker me in again next year. =D I will be doing more 10Ks this year in July and probably September.

    The shorter the distance, the faster you need to go (that kind of made sense in my head if it doesn’t to anyone else) and I’ve never thought of myself as sprinter-type. 10K isn’t sprinting and so I’ve grown to like it. Right now, I’m really a half-marathoner with the occasion marathon and 10Ks peppered to “spot-check”: to me 10Ks are likened to long speed-sessions and a “test” that I’m on track in a race situation. No doubt I’m open to that changing in the future as time and health issues change.

    So far, I’ve been really fortunate to not have debilitating injury (something to be said for not training like a nut, teehee) and am taking steps to stay injury-free by getting personal attention from a professional.

    My half-marathon goal (sub-2:00) has been most elusive which makes me want it so much. I’d like to see how much time I can shave off 4:20 in a non-first marathon. And now I’ve got a new goal for a less-packed 10K race.

    I can’t enter that many 10K races because as far as registration fees go, you get more race for your buck the longer the race you register for (e.g., the HBC 10K run is $38 and more than half the cost of the Scotiabank Half/21.1K that was $45, iirc). =D

  4. Henry Chan says:

    Keep up the good stuff.
    Just remember one thing though:
    don’t you trade your passion for glory.
    The medal, shirt, etc are all secondary. It is the challenge that should come first.
    Good luck and I hope to read more of your PBs.

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