Last weekend I ran my second race of the year, the Modo Spring Run-Off Vancouver 8K. Going into this training cycle, it wasn’t a run that I had planned on running. My goal is to race less this year and focus more on peaking for my ‘A-races,’ like the BMO Vancouver Marathon. However, when asked to join Team Modo, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to run with a great group of people.
For those of you who don’t know—or aren’t from Vancouver—Modo is a local car-share co-operative committed to the vision that no one should have to own a car. This is their first year sponsoring this race, and from early on, it was clear that they were taking this role seriously.
Modo’s promotion and social media around the race was stellar. There were regular Facebook and Twitter campaigns and updates; and even an Instagram contest. These were so successful that the #modo8k hashtag became a trending topic on more than one occasion. Last month, on a rare snowy Sunday, Modo partnered with race host, Canadian Running Series, to host a pre-race group training run around Stanley Park—complete with a water stop, as well as coffee and brownies at the finish.
Great weather + great people + great sponsor = great race!
The race started and finished at the Stanley Park Pavilion, one of my favourite race venues. There is plenty of indoor space (and washrooms) to keep warm before and after the race, as well as two bars on site for a post-race beer. For this race, Modo added a ‘Community Fair’ that showcased some local non-profit organizations. The fair included:
- Modo the Car Co-op;
- HUB, Vancouver’s cycling coalition;
- Maker Mobile, workshop on wheels;
- Vancouver Farmers’ Markets, ‘eat local’;
- Victory Gardens, “We Help You Grow Food”;
- Vancouver Tool Library, a co-operative tool lending library;
- BC Athletics; and,
- Take a Hike (Youth at Risk) Foundation, the charity partner
I wasn’t sure how I would fare after the previous day’s 32 long run, but my legs were only a bit heavy during my warm-up and my cardio felt great, so I decided to use it as a tempo run. My plan was to start out at a tempo pace (4:50/km for me) and hold on as long as possible.
While most of the course is familiar, the race is mentally tough because of the last kilometre long hill to the finish line. Also making it difficult to maintain focus was the fact that the seawall isn’t shut down to non-racers. This means that runners are competing for space with people out for a Sunday walk or ride; some of whom—despite all the signs and forewarnings—seem put out that they had to share the seawall and refused to get out for the way. I should note that this isn’t unique to this event, every race around the park deals with similar attitudes.
After reaching the 5k mark, my legs weren’t too happy, but the rest of me was still feeling good, and I was maintaining my target pace, so I decided to keep it up and push through to the finish at my tempo pace. When I hit the 7k mark at Lumberman’s Arch, I pushed up the long hill to the finish. As I crossed the finish line in under 40 minutes, I knew that I had a new PR! (out of a grand total of 2 races at this distance 🙂 ).
Here is some local media coverage of the race:
Modo Spring Run-Off Vancouver 8K Stats
Time (gun/chip): 39:06/38.53 PR
Pace (min. per km): 4:52
Male 35-39: 24/59