I finished 2nd in Sunday’s Vancouver Sun Run. Not quite the result I was looking for, but I’m trying to focus on the positives of the race. It was the 3rd time I’ve been 2nd in this race. The first time, in 2007, I had no expectations, it was one of my first road races ever. In 2009 I went in thinking I had a chance to win, pushed the pace early on and was well beaten by about 8km. This year I thought I had a good chance to win as well, but knew there were many good guys in there. I was in it with a good chance at 9km, but fell short in the end.
First off, big congrats to Eric Gillis who won the race. He was very good on the day. First Canadian male to win since 1998.
The race started off fairly slow. A group of five consisting of myself, Eric, Kip Kangogo (last years champ), Willy Kimisop (2009 champ), and Kibet Rutto (28:20 guy) formed at the front within the first few hundred meters.
I sat in behind Kip and Kibet. Eric ran mostly beside or behind me. Nothing of note happened for the first 8 or so km’s of the race. I wasn’t conscious of any splits along the way. I briefly thought about putting in a surge just past 7km, up the incline near Granville St bridge. I got on Kip’s shoulder for a few strides and then bailed on the move and tucked back in. It was clear by 8.5km it was a race between myself, Eric, and Kip. Kip made the first big move sprinting around the corner and up the Cambie St on-ramp. I knew a surge would come here. My plan was to hopefully be able to cover that move and make another move of my own nearing the crest of the hill. Well, that didn’t go to plan. I was able to initially cover Kips move. But Eric did as well, and was able to make the second surge that I was hoping to make. I couldn’t cover it, but Kip did. I was tapped and in a world of hurt. The guys were putting distance on me with each stride and my legs felt like lead. Coming off the bridge with about 400m to go I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started sprinting. Somehow I managed to make up about 5secs on a fading Kip and just barely beat him to the line for 2nd place.
Afterwards I thought of all the things I could have done differently in the race to get the ‘W’, but reality is Eric was in very good form and probably wouldn’t have been beaten regardless of my tactics. I was glad I didn’t give up and clawed my way back for 2nd.
Lots more racing over the next 6 weeks. Should be fun. Stay tuned..…