This year marks the 25th anniversary of Vancouver’s annual fitness love fest, aka “The Vancouver Sun Run”; it also marks my second anniversary, at age 52, of participating in this quintessentially Vancouver experience. Before you start gagging, let me reassure you that this is not one of those fat-turned-fit-over-fifty stories, in which erstwhile couch potatoes start running half-marathons in their sleep in order to combat the ravages of menopause. Rather, this is a story of a woman who is resolute in her determination to solidly advance (retreat?) to the back of the 55,000 plus pack incrementally. I want to age gracefully, which, in my books, does not include shin splints and torn ACL ligaments.
I’m pleased to report that I successfully made it behind some 42,000 of my compatriots, in a time of 2 hours and 14 minutes – regrettably this did not meet my goal of breaking the 2 1/4 hour barrier I had set for myself. Last year, by contrast, I had little trouble breaking the 2 hour barrier, with a finish time of 2 hours 58 seconds. Next year, I may set myself the lofty goal of finishing in 2 hours and 30 minutes and possibly behind 50,000 of those competitive types. This is Vancouver after all, and who can (or would want to) fail to stop at all the “oooo ahh” vistas on route. (Speaking of ooo-ahh vistas, last year’s Sun Run coincided with World-420-let’s-smoke-pot-a-lot- in-public day, much adding to the – umm- er – atmosphere of the occasion and prompting my son to ask me if “they were smoking pot at the Sun Run again this year, Mummy?.” (Just in case you were curious , they were not; 420 fell on a Monday this year, and the Sun Run is held on an April Sunday.)
My walking partner has it all backwards, I’m afraid. She foolishly thought that the purpose of our second venture into the “Sun Saunter” was to actually improve (emphasis my own) our time from last year. To this end, as her husband was driving us to the event, she declared that I absolutely was not allowed to stop and pee during the “race” this time. In fact, she further opined, she hoped that I had purchased some Depends for the occasion. At this point her eight year old daughter in the back seat chimed in with “can’t you just wear Tampax?” Thus, a tender mother/daughter moment ensued, distracting from further discussion of my urinary predilections.
I got my way, all around, I’m pleased to report. We were slower than last year and I did in fact stop to pee. Next year, I will drink yet more coffee prior to the event, and conspire to pee twice!