Tag Archives: marathon

Data Nerd: Analyzing the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2013 Results

Now that my marathon training is over, I thought I’d use some of my free time to analyze the race results.

Registration in the 2013 BMO Vancouver Marathon was capped at 5000 and there were 4958 registered runners, but the results show only 3876 people finished the race – 1710 women and 2166 men. Another 102 people dropped out, including last year’s women’s winner Ellie Greenwood. For the remaining 980 runners, injuries probably forced many of them to drop down into shorter distances or not run at all.

2013 BMO Vancouver Finishing Times By Gender
Finishing times ranged from 2:24:08 to 8:12:33. Half of the men finished under 4:10:00. The median time for women was 4:30:00.

Half Splits Histogram
It was the hottest BMO Vancouver marathon in the race’s 42 year history, which clearly affected most runners. Only 99 finishers (2.6%) ran a negative split (where the 2nd half of the race is faster than the first). Everyone else slowed as the race progressed and the temperatures climbed. For most runners, the second half of the race was 3%-11% slower than the first half.
Half Splits By Finishing Time
The elites ran closer to even splits, but even they slowed by a few minutes. For someone running a 3:30 marathon, the second half of the race averaged 10 minutes slower than the first. For a 4 hour marathon, it was 16 minutes slower. For a 5-hour marathon, it was 27 minutes slower.

Boston Qualifiers - Male Boston Qualifiers - Female
375 marathon runners ran times fast enough to qualifiy for the Boston Marathon in their category. Overall the ladies did a better job qualifying, with 189 running BQ times (11%). 186 men (8.6%) also ran BQ times. The categories that had the most Boston qualifiers were Male 50-54 (43), Female 45-49 (34), Male 45-49 (33), and Female 40-44 (32).

Race results were acquired from SportStats.ca.

BMO Vancouver Marathon Completed in 3:27:06

30.5 km and Looking Good
Achievement Unlocked – Ran a Full Marathon

Everything went well today. My fuelling strategy with homemade gels worked well, I kept hydrated, and I ran a good, consistent pace, and I finished faster than 3:30 (my goal).

Finishers Pose No Meat Athlete Runs on Plants
Special thanks to Emily, Joy, Erica, and Marsha for cheering me on at multiple spots along the course. Having friends in the crowd gave me energy boosts when I needed it most. The crowd in general was awesome. Lots of encouraging words, funny signs, and good music. Some guys on Cornwall even started a “No Meat Athlete” chant for me.

3:45 Pace Bunny BMO Marathon Crosses the Burrard Bridge
It was a hard race. I felt really good for the first 19 km, but after the UBC downhill my feet started to ache. The uphill around km 24 up to 4th Avenue was surprisingly hard (harder than the big Camosun hill at km 10). But the absolute hardest section was the last 10 km around Stanley Park at the end of the race, even though it was completely flat. It was lonely and my legs were mush. I saw a lot of people stop to walk. I ran my slowest km splits in there, but I managed to get through it. I felt better when I passed the 9 o’clock gun and there were big crowds to cheer me on and push me through the last 2 km.

The heat really did a lot of people in, but it didn’t bother me too much. There was more shade along the course than I expected.

I was impressed by the number of people running in Vibram FiveFingers, but the most spectacular sight was the guy running completely barefoot. I was close to him for a long stretch in UBC. I think he was trying to run along the white lines in the middle of the road to avoid the hot pavement. Crazy.

My shirt said “Powered by Plants” but it really should have said “Powered by Dates”. My breakfast and energy gels were mostly dates, with some banana, coconut oil and other goodies mixed in. It did the trick and got me through the race. I thought I was drinking enough on course, but I was dehydrated enough at the finish line to drink over a litre of water and coconut water without thinking about it.
Energy Pudding Post Race Facebook Update
Continue reading BMO Vancouver Marathon Completed in 3:27:06

T-10 Days Until the Marathon

Dundarave Run
10 days. That is all that stands between me and my first marathon. What a terrifying thought.

I’m almost ready. Or rather, I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I’ve started tapering now, so the focus is on staying healthy. In some ways it is liberating knowing that it’s too late to improve my fitness levels.

Right now the biggest weakness in my training is my low weekly mileage. The most I ran in any week was 67 km back in January, and that was the week I injured myself. Since then I’ve averaged 40-60 km a week. I wish I had run more, but there was never enough time and I was worried about reinjuring my calf.
Marathon Training Graph

I’m happy with how my workouts have gone. This week I recorded my fastest training times in the 1 km (3:17), 5 km (20:38), and 10 km (42:49) during my tempo and track workouts. So my speed is definitely where it needs to be to run a fast marathon. My worry is with my endurance.

My primary goal for the race is to run in 3:30. My secondary goal is to just finish. I’m going to spend the next 10 days doing some light running, eating good vegan food, and prepping for race day.

Marathon Training – Week 10

UBC Trail Run
I ran for 30 km on Sunday, the farthest I’ve ever run. We went out to UBC, through the trails in Pacific Spirit Park, and back. It took 3 hours. I’ve never run that long before, so I had to figure out what to eat. I wanted something with real food in it, not chemicals, so I made my own homemade power gel. I adapted it from recipes and ideas in the Thrive Diet, combining lots of dates, coconut oil, dulse (seaweed), lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/4 banana, and a chunk of papaya. It looked disgusting, especially when I put it in a ziplock bag, but it tasted good and kept me going for 3 hours. I’ll have to get some GoToobs to pack it into next time so people don’t think I’m crazy.

My energy levels felt good, but my legs were hurting, especially after 20 km. I almost stopped running because my right hip flexor was so sore around km 25. But I mixed in some walking and shortened my stride and that helped enough that I was able to finish. I’m going to start doing exercises to strengthen the hip muscles.

The workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday were in monsoon-like conditions. I think the rain did a number on my phone. It’s been twitchy for a while, but after the rain it was really having problems. I sent it in for repairs, so we’ll see if the rain voids my warranty or not.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace /km
Sunday 30.0 Long 3:01:27 6:02 map
Monday Yoga
Tuesday 12.0 Hills 1:00:00 5:33 map
Wednesday 10.0 Tempo 0:47:30 4:45 map
Thursday Strength
Friday Off
Saturday 5.5 Slow 0:33:06 6:02 map
Running Total 57.5 5:22:03 5:36

10 weeks done, only 7 more until race day. Let’s hope the weather improves. Last weeks results are here.

Marathon Training – Week 9

Stanley Park Seawall
My training is back on track. I ran 21.8 km on Sunday (half marathon distance) and felt good. My calf isn’t bothering me at all. Of course, new aches and pains have taken its place. Next week I think I’ll add a fourth run into my workout schedule.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace /km
Sunday 21.8 Long 2:04:05 5:41 map
Monday Yoga
Tuesday 11.5 Hills 1:04:09 5:33 map
Wednesday 10.7 Tempo 0:56:55 5:19 map
Thursday Strength
Friday Off
Saturday Off
Running Total 44.0 4:05:09 5:34

9 week done, only 8 more until race day. I’m on the home stretch now. Last weeks results are here.

Marathon Training – Week 8

Sunny Sunday Seawall
More running. No injuries. All is good.

On Sunday, Erica and I (both recovering from injuries) only did 15km instead of the 26 the rest of the group did. I felt ok (other than the nipple chafe from the rain), but didn’t want to push it.

I was disappointed when the Vega rep cancelled his guest lecture for our running group on Tuesday. I showed up early all set to get some sweet samples and impress him with my knowledge of the Thrive Diet. But the rep got the flu. Obviously he’s not a real vegan, as real vegans are immune to disease.

Instead we went out and did a hard hill workout at Queen Elizabeth Park. I killed it. Not only did I run them quickly, but more importantly, consistently – my 6 reps up the hill were between 2:02 and 2:05.

I’m really enjoying the runner’s yoga course. Lots of stretching of the hamstrings, strengthening of the core, and the dreaded plank position.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace /km
Sunday 14.8 Long 1:29:20 6:02 map
Monday Yoga
Tuesday 12.7 Hills 1:14:14 5:49 map
Wednesday Off
Thursday Physio
Friday 8.3 Tempo 0:38:20 4:38 map
Saturday Off
Running Total 35.8 3:21:54 5:38

8 week done, 9 more until race day. Almost half way there. Last weeks results are here.

Marathon Training – Week 7

Running along the Seawall
I’m slowly ramping up my marathon training to the level it was when I hurt my calf. This week I added some speed work and was able to run 10 km without any pain. In addition to running, I went to my first runner’s yoga class on Monday. There was a substitute teacher, so I’m not sure what it will be like when Mike Dennison is there, but I’m going to continue going to the course. I need the increased flexibility and core strength.

Day Distance (km) Workout Time Pace /km
Sunday 7.9 X-Country Skiing 1:27:26 11:01 map
Monday 6.0 Tempo 0:29:59 5:59 map
Tuesday Off
Wednesday 10.4 Steady 0:54:39 5:16 map
Thursday Off
Friday Off
Saturday 5.2 Fartlek 0:24:47 4:48 map
Running Total 21.6 1:49:25 5:04

7 week past, 10 more until race day. Last weeks results are here.