From a marathon to 5K: St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run re-cap

At first, I kind of ignored the St. Patrick’s 5K Run (sorry, TJ) but I registered after talking to Chui and learned that I could get a deep “Staff” discount :D. Oh, and it being a Saturday race meant I didn’t have to sacrifice a long (16K) Sunday run! Important factors, you know. ;)

The race headquarters were at Brockton Clubhouse in Stanley Park that has a non-descript ground floor and an English-style pub upstairs. People were milling about in costumes and music was blasting that it felt like a frat house party… from what I know of them from television!

Costumes, you say? We were invited to wear green and some people did it in spades. I admired the many outfits and green touches: grass skirts, green fake eye lashes, green wig, green hair ribbons and temporary green glitter shamrock tattoos; a guy concocted an all-green outfit of too-tight (stuffed) short shorts, t-shirt, and a cape while another guy was shirtless but wore a green propeller-topped beanie hat, suspenders, and green shorts!

So what about that race? Fortunately, it was short enough for a more detailed re-cap than my usual re-caps.

The start of the race was anti-climactic. The crowd was ambling towards the start line that the elite athletes had a minute start already! The first quarter mile was a human obstacle course with all the casual walkers to dodge. It was worse when the Seawall narrowed and passing walkers and slower runners meant running on to the treacherously inclined grass.

With a kilometer marker handy, I noted I had completed the first K in 5:43 — good start. I marveled at there being a timing mat around 1.75K but it turns out it was for the “Gleukos Power Mile” where the fastest male and female milers got $50 each. I wonder how fast my first mile was….? There were no more kilometer markers after that.

At 15 minutes, I took a break for 45 seconds. TJ inquired, “Did you need to?” Well… yeah. I was out of breath within 90 seconds. If I adopted the trick of chasing after someone ahead, the tattooed Ironman finisher ahead of me who kept stopping was not the person to chase.

Did I need to stop at 20 minutes for 45 seconds? No. =S I would say that I was feeling really discouraged by the sluggish feeling as if I wasn’t getting anywhere during the stretch between 2 and 3.5K.

The course was gently rolling but no part of it resembled the nasty hills we do repeats on either in incline or distance.

It wasn’t until the last 800 meters that I felt like it was a race. Almost predictably, my muscles finally woke up at 4K and I didn’t feel like molasses. I could feel my racing form and motored towards the finish line all the while fantasizing tripping and falling flat on my face before the mat. :P

My final time was 27 minutes 20 seconds. It is a time on par with an unofficial race we did last summer on a 5K-ish course. Good!

Compared to the $20-25 registration, I paid just $10 :D so whatever swag I got was good: Promax in Nutty Butter Crisp (the Cookies ‘n’ Cream flavour rocks), a souvenir beer glass that has been re-purposed, Cyclomax energy gel, oh, and another reuseable cloth bag (spam). I passed on the souvenir hoodie ($25) because I have too many hoodies from a Roots shopping spree and too many green clothes otherwise.

We milled around a little to enjoy the treats afterwards: Thirst-quenching and replenishing Gleukos, all-you-can-eat Irish stew, mini cupcakes, and sample of Jelly Belly jelly beans. We could also take cans of GURU Energy Drinks but apparently the iced tea was rather vile.

Geeky or gimmicky runner than I am, I’m happy to have a 5K race officially logged. I’m really stoked about my next race (Sun Run 10K in April) and the next 5K (PMC-Sierra Science Run in May, I think)… I’ll tell all later!

The usual race results and more….!
28:21 Gun time / 27:20 Chip time
277/675 Overall
106/418 Amongst Women
82/297 Amongst Women Age 1-39 – so, turning 30 recently didn’t bump me to a new field for this race!
9:55.4 first mile, based on gun time, therefore 8:54.4 actual first mile
300/675 Placing in completing a mile; my first mile was slow and I picked up my pace
18:25.0 Last 2.1 mile

As always, my entire racing history is carefully logged and shared via Google Docs.

On this day..


  1. Constance says:

    Hey!! Great seeing you yesterday in your cute green jacket. I’m gonna do this race again next year and I’m gonna keep an eye out for green running gear cuz i felt totally non-festive for barely wearing any green.

    Anyways, I felt like we got a super deal for only paying $10.. i really like those Promax bars, esp the cookies n cream flavour. I got the beer glass too that I’ve given to my dad =P Oh, and the stew was deelish.. wish i could’ve eaten more but we were going for Japanese ramen afterwards =) (altho i did sneak in a cupcake)

    Looks like I’ll see you at the Sun Run, then the PMC Sierra 5K, and then the Scotiabank as well as volunteering at VIM!

    PS good job on the race yesterday.. i’m glad you got the time you expected
    PPS since it’s 10am Sunday and I’m on the computer, obviously, i have opted out of running today. Thumbs down for me. Instead, I am going to do my taxes! yay!

  2. Tony says:

    As always, I just love reading your post-run bloggings.

    That TJ person sounds pretty insensitive with remarks like “Did you need to?” ;)

    Congrats on the run.

  3. wyn says:

    I’m so happy a few people read my run recaps as I love to share the thoughts that pop into mind and nearly boil over during the course of 5/10/21/42 kilometers!

    Constance and tony did particuarly well in the race, too, speeding ahead and being at the finish line to wave while I struggled to the end. :)

    Just ate the Promax Nutty Crisp and it’s got a hint of that protein bar taste and it was just a sample size. Gotta try the cookies ‘n’ cream again and be more observant. Some race in the near future will give me a sample. ;)

    I’m so looking forward to the racing and race-related activities on my plate for this year. Though I haven’t actually volunteered race day yet, it’s just as satisfying to cheer on my training buddies as to run the race itself.

    Oh, TJ? He’s really honest and I hope one of these days, if he doesn’t give up on me, his steadiness will cut through my mental block. :)

  4. Heidi says:

    Hi Wyn, Congratulations on a great race! I have yet to do a 5K, but maybe this will be the year.

    I took a peek at your stats and wanted to ask your opinion on the RVM vs. the OIM. I’m pretty set on doing a full marathon this fall. I was leaning toward the RVM since it had better reviews on, plus there’s less travel time (I’m not big on that aspect of racing yet), but the OIM sounds like more of an “event,” if that makes sense. Do you have any preference?

  5. wyn says:

    Hi Heidi,

    Between RVM and OIM, I’m afraid that RVM wins hands down.

    It was my first marathon and I’m glad it was there I had the experience. It’s a larger, more fan-filled race. The course is far more interesting than I think OIM could possibly be. RVM has more hills but I hardly remember them and was quite prepared for them with hill training in Vancouver. Better race swag, expo, and stuff.

    OIM does take place at a great time to visit the wine region although I had to refrain from the big wine-tasting extravanga because it was the night before the marathon. :(

    I would return to the RVM before going to the OIM.

  6. Heidi says:

    That’s really helpful–thanks!

    Do you have any favourite hills to train on in Vancouver? I live in Mount Pleasant and so I’ve got a few good slopes, but I’m always on the lookout for more. Funny that whenever I see a steep hill I think about running it.

  7. wyn says:

    Hi Heidi,

    It was the Broadway Running Room that introduced me to hill training so our hill repeats are done on the tried and true following hills:
    1. On 2nd Ave. between Larch and MacDonald
    2. On King Ed. between Pine and Arbutus
    3. On Nanton between Pine (or Angus) and Arbutus
    4. On 29th
    5. On 33rd from Arbutus west a few blocks
    6. On Arbutus from 33rd to 37th

    The only one in the Mount Pleasant area that I know of is on Ontario between 2nd and Broadway.

    Then in the neighbouring False Creek area, all the tree streets (Ash, Heather, Willow, Oak, Laurel, Fir, etc.) are challenging but some of them are probably too steep for reasonable training. I like to do my warm up on the Seawall then run up the Tree Streets. :)

    Though I haven’t done it before, the climb between Cambie and Main (or a shorter section within) would be challenging. 10th Ave. is really nice in that area with it being a bike route and the houses being quite character-like.

  8. Heidi says:

    Wow–great list! I run out of the Broadway RR, too, but the only one my clinic ever trained on was that Macdonald/Larch one. It started to feel as though we were going to face the firing squad whenever we headed in that direction.

    I do like the Cambie to Main stretch, along 10th. It’s not too bad–pretty gradual, and yes, nice houses to distract from the task at hand. Mostly I’ve been zigzagging up and down the province streets (Yukon, Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec) between 12th and Broadway–there are some nice, short 5-10% grade hills.

    I hadn’t considered the Fairview slopes you mentioned–probably because I nearly have a heart attack walking up them, nevermind running :)

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