Vancouver Sun Run 2019: Event Day Advice From Coach Lynn
If you spend a few moments planning ahead, you will be in a better position to enjoy the day of the “big event” and have fun! Here are a few simple guidelines that may help you.
Get Organized Before the Event:
- Visit the Vancouver Sun Run website! Check out the map of the course or better yet, take some time to drive or cycle it prior to the day. Specifically having a look at the start and finish are helpful for your mental preparation.
- Pick up your event package at the Vancouver Sun Run Expo - It’s fun to experience the energy of the expo and peruse the sponsor booths as well. Besides your number, a race package usually includes safety pins, some event information, and your event t-shirt.
- Rest up in the last few days. Squeezing in more training at this stage will not get you any fitter. Make healthy food choices, sip water regularly, and don’t try anything new whether it’s food, drink, clothing or shoes – this is not the time for new experiences!
- Check the weather forecast the day before and plan accordingly. You need to consider what you will wear during the event, as well as what you will put on afterwards.
- Pack your bag and pin your number on your shirt the night before the race. You might want to include a complete change of clothes, extra shoes, a warm hat, gloves, some toilet paper, a towel for showering and a bottle of water. If the forecast calls for rain, consider wearing a “garbage bag” to stay dry in the time you have to wait outside before the event begins. Wear a hat – rain or shine it’s good protection. You can even wear an outer layer of clothing you no longer need: Toss it to the side when you start the event and the Sun Run organizers will collect discarded clothing for donation to organizations who provide for those in need in our city.
- Eat a light meal 2-3 hours prior to the start of the event. Select high carbohydrate foods and beverages that are low in fat, protein and fiber. Stick with food that is familiar, and go easy on the coffee. It’s likely you will be a bit nervous so you want to avoid food and drinks that might be problematic.
- Make your travel plans. Allow plenty of time to park, visit the restroom (they will be very crowded) and make your way to the colour-coded corral indicated by your bib colour; it’ll be according to the finishing time you predicted on your entry form.
- Take time to warm-up properly at the start (approximately 20 minutes prior to the start of the event). You’ll feel better and prevent injury. Even if you want to conserve energy for the race, skipping your warm up is not a good idea. To keep your heart rate up, move around or jog in place until the event begins.
Water…Drink it Up
- Be sure to sip water in the days prior to the run, and continue sipping the morning of the event. Ideally you’ll take in about 2-3 glasses in total before the event begins. Also, don’t forget to drink at the aid stations located out on the course.
Line Up at the Start
- Note the time the event starts. Leave yourself plenty of time to find where you will start the race. You will line up according to how fast you plan to complete the event and according to your bib colour.
- Try to keep warm and dry as best you can before the start. If you are concerned about getting a chill while waiting for the start, tear arm and neck holes in a garbage bag and wear it until you are warm. Or, wear an old t-shirt or sweat-shirt that you can discard just before the run begins.
Pace Yourself… it’s Personal
- Try to find your rhythm with a pace that you can maintain throughout the 10K. It should feel relatively easy for the first half, and then take more concentration to hold in the last few kilometers. For the most part it should be a “talking pace” such that you are able to string a few sentences together. Try not to run faster than usual because you are trying to keep up with someone else – RunWalk at your own personal pace and ideally you’ll find others in the crowd that are moving at a similar pace.
- Run in a safe and predictable manner. There will be a lot of participants, (over 40,000!) making it easy to trip or stumble into another’s path. So be courteous, and avoid sudden movements. If you are trying to pass someone, make sure you are a couple strides ahead before cutting across.
- Follow the course. Cutting corners to shorten the distance is not fair to you or anyone else. Pride yourself on completing the entire course.
- Do not litter as you run. Try not to drop your water cup on the course where someone might trip on it.
After the Event
- Keep on moving through the finish line. Event volunteers will kindly guide you through the chute area.
- Take time to cool down properly which should involve some gentle stretching of the calves, quads, hamstrings and buttocks.
Re-hydrate and Re-fuel
- Help yourself to water and refreshments that will be available at the finish area. Now is the time to replenish the fluids and nutrients you expended during the event!
- Arrange to meet your friends and family at a designated spot in BC Place Stadium. Many use their group name or family name and meet under a designated “letter” in the stands.
- Plan to treat yourself and perhaps enjoy a nice brunch in celebration of your accomplishment.
Above all, HAVE FUN! This is the largest 10K in the country – Relish in your fitness, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and ambiance amidst the incredible display of health and wellness!
Written by: Lynn Kanuka
SportMedBC RunWalk Coach