by Allison Macsas
Springtime. It’s all about the new. A new season, new life, fresh starts, big goals! So, it’s in this spirit that we have chosen the Vancouver Marathon & Half Marathon as the spring destination race for Rogues in 2016.
But wait. Haven’t we gone to Vancouver en masse before? What about this whole new theme?
Well, you’ve got a point. Rogue runners have descended upon this race before, specifically in 2012 and again in 2014, so no, the event itself is nothing new. And when you add in several years of SeaWheeze Half Marathon attendance as well, the location itself is definitely nothing new.
But, here’s the thing. Vancouver is tried and true when it comes to the one new thing that we all care about: NEW PRs!! The weather is nearly always brilliant.* The half marathon is blazing fast and the marathon, despite a rather challenging last bit around the seawall**, also delivers consistently fast finishes. Both races are incredibly scenic, and the city happens to be at its blue-skied, flowery best in May. With 5000 marathoners and 10000 half marathoners, the field is the perfect size – big enough to generate that magical race day energy and to draw lots of spectators, but small enough that you’re actually able to do what you came to do – RUN.
Of course, the event is just part of the draw. We all know that the post-race festivities are just as important as the race itself (and let’s be honest… usually a lot more enjoyable too!). The city is packed with every type of food, drink and venue imaginable, all of which you can walk (I promise, it’ll help with recovery!) to. You can stay afterward and enjoy one of the most beautiful areas in North America: take the ferry, go to Whistler, visit the suspension bridge, explore the redwood forests, eat as much sushi*** as you possibly can.
Flights from Austin are reliably affordable, and while hotels near the race can be a bit spend-y, there is no need for a car rental or a taxi – the light rail will take you straight from the airport to wherever you need to go for a few dollars. Better yet, join up with your running friends and find a cool place to rent on airbnb – there are a zillion options, many of which are more affordable, more comfortable and a heck of a lot more memorable than a hotel room. Plus, you can get the inside scoop from some locals that way.
In 2014 it put a huge smile on my face to hear the race announcer comment, as yet another Rogue crossed the finish line, “Wow! Another Austin runner!” and I’d love to see our crew show up in an even BIGGER way next spring. I’ll personally head to Vancouver in May for the fifth time, and while the neither event nor the destination will be anything new, I believe that it’s the perfect recipe for exactly I want – a fifth shiny new PR.
Ready? The race date is May 1, 2016 and you can register here. Then, get ready to train like you’ve never trained before (in kilometers!). We kick off on December 1 – sign up here.
*”Brilliant” is defined by me as a temperature between 38-48 degrees and dry conditions on the starting line. In 2014 it was wet and “miserable” was perhaps a better term, but everyone still ran fast, soooo…
**It’s beautiful, but quiet and lonely on the seawall. But even if there were crowds, it’s the last 10K…it’s gonna hurt. Prepare your mantras in advance.
***And pho and ramen and everything else
Allison has worn many hats at Rogue over the years, from graphic designer and marketing director to coach and co-founder of Rogue Expeditions. She spends most of her time globetrotting between RE trips these days, but always makes sure to leave the Vancouver race weekend open.