UBC & Stanley Park
5k, Half Marathon
Scenic, family friendly, fun
Scotiabank Half Marathon 2018
June 24, 2017: The Scotiabank Half Marathon/5K took place this past Sunday. I completed the 21K race, which was my first ever half marathon. The course began at the southwest corner of UBC’s main campus in Point Grey. From there, it wound off campus, along Northwest Marine Drive, along Spanish Banks, Locarno, and Jericho beaches, and the Seaside pathway. We crossed the Burrard Bridge into downtown Vancouver, with the final stretch along Pacific Avenue, before finishing in Stanley Park.
As this was my first half marathon, I didn’t really have a reference point for how difficult this particular race was, relative to others of the same distance. The main saving grace that I would argue for regarding this course was the progressive downhill slope, and stable flatness, from UBC to the bridge. Our only real climb of any substance was the first half of the bridge, which came near the conclusion of the race, and was thus particularly trying.
The course for this race was a tour of many of Vancouver’s most beautiful locales. From the forested areas of UBC and Stanley Park, to the beaches in Point Grey and Kitsilano, to the view from the Burrard Bridge, all of the views were complemented by the beautiful weather. The only improvement would have been my ability to actually appreciate the scenery, instead of having to focus on every last damn step towards the finish line.
While the class of athlete that I was running with was a step up from what I had previously experienced, there was no difference in the feelings of enthusiasm, community, and camaraderie. Everyone in the race, from those leading the pack, to the others just trying to finish, were supportive and determined, with smiles across all of the faces with the energy to do so.
Transporting so many people from UBC to Stanley Park is a difficult logistical task, but the Scotiabank race crew did a great job of making it happen. The course was well-organized and intuitive, which was especially impressive considering the many different twists and turns that the course took. Coordinating the finish of the half marathon with the 5K runners led to a warm congregation at the finish line, where everyone could celebrate their achievements in the Park.