Friday, 19 September 2014

2014 Gran Fondo Whistler: Double Fondo Day!


In early August, my brother asked if I was interested in riding the Gran Fondo Whistler with him. We would be riding for the RBC team (which I did not realize until after I saw the results). This event would mark my second time participating in the ride up to Whistler. One stipulation that I had for my brother was that if we were to do the Fondo, then there would be no driving back. We would have to do the Fondo-return, riding back after the event. He agreed, and I was game.

Dark start!
I had not put a heap of kms in my legs through August, save for some riding in Whistler on the 29er (Whistler trail riding is amazing), and a few rides in the Okanagan up Anarachist mountain in mid August. With the impending Fondo looming, I took to the road for a couple of long rides before the big day.

Giro set to go!
New start in Stanley Park--a wise choice on Gran Fondo Canada's part, making this event much safer!!
Sunrise on the Fondo! Looking east at the Second Narrows on a beautiful morning!
Back to the lead up. Ted Matson and myself headed out for bromance "Tour de Lower Mainland" on Thursday August 28th, riding 173kms through Surrey, Langley, Pitt Meadows, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Burnaby, up Seymour in North Van, through West Van, into Vancouver, then Richmond, Delta, and home. All that to pickup a backpack at MEC that was having repairs done to it. A stop for coffee, then lunch, then MEC and we were done. Long day in the saddle--the longest of the year to that point. But Whistler loomed, and I knew that we would be close to riding 100kms more than my ride with Ted.

A couple of days later, I put back a solo 115km ride out to Cultus Lake for a family wedding. I was the first to arrive at the wedding, by bike. Not bad.

I suppose that made me ready for the Fondo? A couple of long rides and BOOM, let's do this.

A beautiful sunny start to the Gran Fondo Whistler!

The Fondo day started with a 4:30am wake up for breakfast, bike load, then drive to main and 2nd to park. Aaron was racing the Giro, and was keen to get his numbers sorted out. We parted ways downtown and arranged to meet after the ride in the expo area. I figured AW would be in the lead group for the Giro, and he had a shot at making it in the top 5 overall.


Scott and me, pacing the Lions Gate Bridge.
Brilliant riding solo on the bridge!!
The fun is just beginning. 117kms to go to Whistler.

I had to meet my buddy Scott at the Wall Center. We met up, pedaled to the start, and waited to depart. With the start staging area at Stanley Park this year and the roll out staggered, we had a very incident free start to our ride. In fact, it seemed like we were the only ones in the Alta Class on the bridge as we made our way over. Taylor Way was the first effort, and we managed to meet up with many folks on the climb. But that was short, and soon we were on the Upper Levels Highway in a group of 4 tapping out the rhythm. It was not until close to Lions Bay until the group behind us caught up, and we had about 45 other riders with us. A group swarming to Squamish. I was feeling pretty good, and thought that I had a shot at the Gran Fondo sprint TT in Squamish. I wanted to save my energy for that, yet at the same time stay at the front and out of trouble. That little dilemma had me doing more work in the first 70k to Squamish than I wanted, but at least I was out of harms way. Pacing the group up the climbs, breaking the wind, I was not hurting, but knew that it would bite me in the rear near Callaghan Valley, if not sooner.

Riding off the front of the group for the KOM. I did not even come close!
My group caught up with a group of 4 TNA sleevelss riders, and a group from La Bicicletta. We managed to push the pace, and by Furry Creek, I was working to get to the top of the hill first in the group. If I could manage a swipe at one of the two race within a fondo events, I was sure going to give a good effort. I got to the top of the climb first in the group, but my results had me a long way back in the overall for the KOM competition. 5:25 up Furry Creek hill, putting me in 105th place overall. The winner of that event rode to a 4:00 finish. I was a far cry off.

On a side note, Aaron was at the base of Furry Creek with a broken spoke on his front Easton EA90SLX. His THIRD broken spoke on the front. He was in the lead group of 30 of the Giro and was challenging for some money. His day was done, he was pissed, and it took the fine folks at VELOFIX 30 minutes to get him back on the road with a useable front wheel. If it were not for them, he would have had to get a ride back to Van. Fortunately, he was able to ride on.

The TT done, Scott and me on our way to Whistler. But first, the Alice Lake Climb. 
Knowing that climbing is not my strong suit, I had hoped that I could get a better run at the TT in Squamish. Scott told me that his wife was going to give him a feed near the Canadian Tire, and I knew the TT was going to go right by there. I did not wait for him, and took off from the group as soon as we crossed the TT start. I rode tempo through the first 200 meters, but then sprinted for the line with about 300 to go. I may have gone just a bit too soon. My time over 500m was 45 seconds, good enough for 9th overall (tied for 8th) in the TT event. I needed to go better than 40s to win the event. Perhaps next year....

Still tapping out the pedal strokes....
The last 50k to Whistler is where the ride really begins. It starts to kick up. And up it goes. Keeping a steady cadence is super important to keeping wheels, and not falling off the back. I managed to lose contact with one group. The wheel was right in front of me, then it was 5 feet. Then 10. Then 10 meters. Then 50 meters. All I had to do was put a solid effort in and grab onto the back again.
The scenery up the Sea to Sky is amazing!
But I could not. I knew that I did not have enough energy to burn to get back on, recover, and go again. Plus, I had to ride back home after I got to Whistler. So there they went. I let them get out of sight, as I struggled in no man's land to keep up. Soon enough we were at Daisy Lake, and another group had caught up. I still stayed close to the front, pulling along, again using that precious energy. Whistler was not far now, and I knew the road well from my first Fondo in 2011, and from training on the IMC course with my buddy Todd last summer. Function Junction, Creekside, less than 5k to go.

Still pulling up the hill, staying safe. 

Coming in at the line. About 17 minutes slower than 2011, but....
....I was only halfway finished....now the ride back home.
It was only later that I would find out that I was riding for Team RBC. We managed to take the team competition, with my time counting for 9th place on the time. 



All told, this event was one of the best cycling events I have had the pleasure of doing. The organization this year on the road, at the start, and through the entire course was outstanding. 100% safer than 3 years ago. That made for a very enjoyable ride. Is it good value for money? Well, I think that the it is pricey, and if you are going to make a weekend of it by staying in Whistler, or travel from somewhere else to do this ride, then yes--you will be treated to some amazing cycling on the best roads the lower mainland of BC has to offer. The climbs are spectacular, the scenery is priceless. Well worth it in that regard. Because I can ride there any summer's day that I choose, it is not the best value for me. There is something to be said about having a full lane to yourself as you make your way to Whistler by bike. That is worth something.



Double Fondo Elevation Profile
 Aaron and I ate a bit of lunch, hammered back some watermelon, filled up our bottles, and remounted our steeds back down the hill all the way to Vancouver. We decided to stop in Squamish for a coffee and some food. The way down to Squamish was almost hard to watch--thousands of cyclists struggling up the hills, like a death march. Some even walking their bikes, 20kms out of Whistler. By that time, Aaron and I have finished around four hours, spent an hour and half relaxing and eating, and then got on our way. I must say that if you intend to ride to Whistler on little training, be warned--it is not for the faint of heart. At least have six solid 100k rides under your belt to make it not so painful, and much more enjoyable. My heart went out to the people who were baking in the sun, still struggling along.


One gorgeous day heading home the Sea to Sky!
We ended up pseudo-TTT'ing to Squamish with a a german gentleman who completed the Forte, and two other Fondo riders from the MEC team, Allan Prazky and another guy. Me and AW peeled off for some Starbucks, and parted ways with our impromptu TTT members. Caffeine and sugar down, we headed back to Vancouver with 90k to go.

Things were going really well for the ride home, save for the fact that the wind switched from the North in the AM to coming from the South in the PM. That sucked--a double headwind day. That sort of changed once we hit Howe Sound. A spot of concern for me was the two lane section of highway just before Porteau Cove when heading back to Vancouver. I was a bit nervous that we would have some impatient drivers try to overtake us, forcing us to use the very narrow shoulder. Aaron and I took up the lane, riding tempo though that 800 meter section. To our delight, not one car came through--not one car was on that part of the highway while we rode it. It was a blessing for us to not have any negative interactions or close calls.

The route: there and back.
Nearing Lion's Bay, I had good legs, and AW was falling off. I mentioned to him that I had never seen this side of him before, and that I would out him on FB to everyone I could--that older brother was stronger than younger brother. We laughed and continued on, getting off the 99 and onto the undulating, scenic, and somewhat unforgiving Marine Drive. On Marine Drive, our epic day continued to get better.

We stopped in Ambleside to grab a Coke each, and again refuel to get ourselves over the bridge and back to the car. I must say that 2 weeks later, I will never have another Coke again, unless I am in dire need of some super energy. That stuff sent me flying!! I had energy to burn through the streets of Vancouver. By the time we had hit the Burrard Bridge and made our way to the 7th Avenue bikeway, I was seriously considering riding home.
A long time in the saddle. A very good day on the bike.

We did not end up riding home, just back to the car. I high-5 to my brother for completing what was for both of us, the longest day in the saddle ever. The fact that we had done this ride more or less together was a near cause for celebration. Feeling good, we drove home, but not until we polished off a couple of Triple O's BC burgers.

Without having done that many long rides in August, I still had enough muscle memory to get me there and back. The temperature at 30 was perfect, and even though we had a headwind both ways, the convective cooling made for a pretty nice ride. I managed my nutrition, hydration, and energy very well, not taking on too many fluids or overeating. In fact, I would say that I was always just a little under in managing my consumption of food and drink, which worked out perfectly. There is only so much sweet and sugary stuff one can put in their body before they want to yack, and I managed to dodge those stomach-y feelings. With proper determination, training, and preparation, I would say that this was a perfectly executed long ride, even if my training leading up to it was a bit light.


I would definitely do this event again, and even next year, push to ride for 300kms.

Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Time off to Heal: My declining fitness, my time away from the blog

Over the past four months, I have watched myself lose my run fitness, and my mojo for blogging. M.Ed work at SFU, coupled with the BCTF teacher's strike, and the BCPSEA lockout all have added up for me not wanting to put much effort into this online journal. Motivation waned, run training came to a halt, and I managed to get Shingles. AND put my neck out. So much for exercise and training as preventative medicine.

Truth be told, I essentially stopped running steady after the BMO Vancouver Marathon, swapping my bike out for running shoes. The bike, as I have said before, is forgiving. It is smooth on the road, adventurous in the trails. I can bike for hours and hours, and then go our the next day for more.

Having a summer off of running has not been all that bad. I still raced a 38 minute 10k at the Sandcastle Classic in South Surrey in June on a different course this year from last; mountain biked in Salmon Arm, Kamloops, and Whistler; registered and ran the Kamloops Half Marathon which turned out to be a disaster of a run for me; ran to the summit of Whistler via Singing Pass and the High Note Trail with my brother Sean; got lost on the west side of Whistler with Franco; and spent some time in Osoyoos cycling up Anarchist.

So for my first run back in the watershed, I was humbled. I was slow and felt fat. Currently my scale shows me fluctuating between 189 and 192 lbs. I would like to be down to 175-178. My bloated-ness is due to the reaching for too many beverages of the brewed type, and not enough time spent in the month of August thinking about what I am putting into my body.

But like all things, getting back on track, taking up a program, and having a goal upcoming can work wonders for a person. The last couple of days on the run have been fantastic--30-30's at the track, a tempo run of 14k, and it seems like I have began to tap into a dormant run fitness. Oh, I have limited my beverage consumption drastically, opting for tea, water, chocolate milk, or a solitary brew.

So on with the recap of Summer 2014! 

(*Although I wrote the following race recap after the Sandcastle City Classic, I never did publish it).

Sandcastle 10k: A changed course made for a bit slower time. 

The last 5 weeks after the marathon have been spent on my bike.  Ironing out my muscles and joints of the last 8 months of running, the break has been really good to recharge and refocus on what I love.

I do love the run. It is an addiction, in fact, much like my purchasing of shoes. However, of late the bike is where my focus has been. My ability to recover quickly from bike efforts is amazingly quick, and taking up double day rides has been something that is almost normal.

Which means that with all the riding happening, I have been running less. Much less. Maybe 2 times per week, on a Tuesday and Thursday if I am lucky. So going in to the 2014 Sandcastle 10k, my expectations for myself were ridiculous. Originally I had set my goal for this race at finishing in the 35 minute frame, and I believed that up until the 4km mark. More on that later.

But without running much of late, what is my goal and what is realistic are completely two different things. And in trying to meet a pre-determined time goal, the voices in my head start in when I start to fall off the pace on the run.

Along with the lack of run prep, the days leading up to the race were stress filled: teacher job action/lockout, a weekend at SFU in my M.Ed classes, and taking care of six kids at our house for the weekend take their toll on a couple, and between me and my wife, we have been wearing thin.

But no matter the result, there are great things that come out of a race, even when one falls short of a time goal. To quote Dirk Handke of Kelowna "Your time doesn't matter" in the grand scheme of things. And it is true--we put undue amounts of stress and pressure on ourselves to perform, all the while getting caught up in the outcome without realising how awesome the process and all that happens within and around the race--there are many interesting and amazing people that you meet in these types of events.

Back to the event: I did my oatmeal thing, but on the way had a French Vanilla from Tim Horton's on the way to the race--perhaps my undoing--I did the same for the marathon and it may not have served me well.

I arrived at the start finish area--new this year due to the construction on Marine Drive. This year we ended at Centennial Park instead of the run out down to the beach. That run out is fast and fun, and it goes on for about a Km or so.

I started at the front with Chris Barth, and settled in behind him and Solomon Rotich, a Kenya (whom the start was held for because he was late getting to the race I would love for the race organisers to hold the start of a race for me, if I was a ringer). In fact, for the first km or so, I was in front of Drew Nicholson, which surprised me. I was fine through 2k, but due to a lack of run prep, I began to lose places like I was bleeding. 3rd turned into 5th, then to 8th. By the halfway mark, I was hurting, and behind from where I was the year prior. I managed to get into a bit of a pissing match with Patrick Jones, a pretty fast dude. We held on to each other for the final 3k, and turned the last 100m into a sprint. He won the war between us. I was cooked. Talking with him, I found out that he was about to run the Anchorage Marathon in the coming weeks. A great guy--one who I would love to have the pleasure of meeting again.


Full gas!
This year 13th. Last year, 12th. Also, 2nd in my age cat this year, last year I was first.

July: AXEL MERCKX GRAN FONDO:

On to the Axel Merckx Gran Fondo. This year, I rode it with Lori-Ann. We registered for the 92k event, I wanted to shepherd her through the maze of novice cyclists with poor bike handling skills. It seemed to work--a beautiful, safe ride that saw us cross the finish line together. I was really proud of her--no complaints about the heat, or the distance. It was a good thing that we rode the course over two days prior to the event so that she knew what to expect, and that there were no surprises for her. I knew the course, or at least the 160km route from the previous year, so I was not concerned. The course was a bit different through Summerland this year, but all the same, a fabulous locale for an amazing cycling event. I was very happy to spend an extra two days in Penticton leading up the the event, even if the red necks at the Tim Horton's do not like cyclists. Time at the beach, no stressing over the event and a fast finish time, dinners out with the love of my life--this was a perfect mini vacation for us to get away from all that ailed us.

Getting started at the GFAMO!

Results from our ride. A very fun day on the bike!
Happy and no worse for wear
Lor finished strong, feeling good. We settled into the grandstands after our ride was over to watch my brother in a two up sprint finish with Tim Abercrombie. AW lost the sprint, but we were pretty jacked to have him finish second in the Gran Fondo 160km event, coming so close to finishing first.

Tim and Aaron sprinting for the win. AW finished 2nd.
Still pretty happy about the whole thing!
 After the event, Lor, AW and me booked it out of there back to Kamloops, where we spent the next couple of days before I had to head home for my M.Ed work, and Lor had to get ready to go to N.Y.

Coming up-- Whistler 2014: Singing Pass, Comfortably Numb, Lake Osoyoos.




Thursday, 15 May 2014

2014 BMO Vancouver Marathon Race Report



http://www.bmovanmarathon.ca/



It has taken me a while to process this race, let alone finish this post and RR....

I am humbled.


For all my training, discipline, early morning training sessions, training races, ambitions, and sacrifices, I am humbled.


The 2014 iteration of the BMO Vancouver Marathon is the same course that has been since 2012. Three years of running the same course. And although my fitness is better than 3 years ago (stronger), my mental stubbornness more acutely refined (tougher), my speed improved (quicker), my experience more...er...deeper(!?) (wiser), this marathon punched my ticket. 


Again.


In fact, no matter my hopes for a strong finish, consistent pace, and conserving my energy, I was again struck on this very taxing, very difficult course with giving up my time goals when the writing was on the wall. Just after I hit "the wall".


The day started with a ride down from the New Balance store with Franco, Gord, Sarb, and Pam. We piled into Franco's loaner vehicle at 6:30 and made our way to the River Rock, and on to the King Ed. Station on the Canada Line, where we would be soaked by the rain showers while getting to the start area. Inside the community center, a warm place to settle, I got ready for the run, and packed all of my stuff away into my rain soaked bag.


A couple of trips to the port-a-potties, and some warm-up on the hill about the start area at Q.E. Park, and I was (somewhat) ready to go. I did see Joel Payeur and Shannon Penway at the start line rocking Hoka's and a full trail setup, along with Hans Zimmerling, and Chris Barth. Hans was shooting for a 2:52, Chris was running his second marathon in 3 weeks, and Joel and Shannon were hoping for a 3:30.


The gun went off and I settled in for a long morning. 4:15 min/km was my goal, and I figured I had the strength to suffer for the 42.2k at that pace. I was fine through 8k, where I met Jordan from Victoria. We had the same time goals, and the same finish time from Victoria in 2013 at 3:06. Running with him, I had to duck out and hit a port-a-potty again, losing 35s while I did my business. Back on course, I met up with Franco on 49th.


The two of us were then inseparable. Within the race, my main goal became to stay with Rika Hatachi--a very consistent and capable runner from Coquitlam in her late 40s. I had the edge on her after rounding UBC, and thought that I had dusted her off for good. But the hardest part of the race was yet to come. I crossed the halfway point in 1:30:55. A good sign, but I still had another half marathon to run.


The stretch between UBC and the Burrard Bridge is a very deceptive part of the run. It seems to always be climbing, or a false flat incline upwards. Heading just into the heart of Kits--Arbutus Street to be precise, the cheering section was near deafening. It was amazing to see so many spectators boosting up the runners in this section of the course. It was here where my pace began to take a serious hit heading up the bridge. Yet on the downside of the Burrard Bridge, I felt surprisingly good, and only had 11k to go. Entering English Bay, I saw Alex Lea and Solana Klassen, cheering raucously! It is amazing the boost that having friends on course can do for a runner.


But soon after seeing my favorite cheerleaders on course today, my body came to a grinding stop. I physically did not stop, but my engine sputtered, slowed, and began to simply run on fumes. I was toast. Not hitting the wall hard like last year, but more of a shift from 5th to 3rd. And I could not get out of 3rd.


Perhaps it was a lack of on course nutrition, perhaps I should not have run the Sun Run the week before. Maybe I should have rested more in the week leading up to it. Whatever it was, I was tasting the bitterness of a race that had just beat me, and felt the cold bite of this May rain. I was not shattered emotionally, I knew that my goals would not be met today, yet I still had 20 minutes to run just over 5k. At the pace I was setting, I knew I would finish outside of another Boston qualifier.


I smiled slightly, and resigned myself to finishing the course. Being out there any longer than I needed to was insult to injury in the state that I was in. With 1200 metres to go, I saw my good friend, Jake Francis' father snapping photos. He got one of me while I smiled for him. Although it does not look like it, I am (trying) to smile in the pic. At least, I thought I was smiling. It felt like I was smiling.....



In a dark place....
...determined to squeeze speed from my body, when that would not happen....
I thought I gave Doug a smile....Does that look like I was having a good time?
Crossing the finish line Running Room owner John Stanton presented me with my finisher's medal-- kinda cool, that. I stiff-legged-ly walked to the end of the chute to collect my bag, along the way collecting a lunch box, some water, and fruit. Grabbing my bag, I hit the change tent where me and about 20 other dudes got right close with each other as we dealt with cramps, spasms, and not being able to bend our bodies over to get out of our wet running clothes. The pissing rain outside did little to motivate me to hurry up and get changed.


2014 Results. Running on fumes to the top 200.
Some fancy graphs that tell you about my splits, and where things went wrong... 
Portioning out my HR zones. Perhaps a little high, but it is a race.
Bottom line is this: I am done with the Vancouver Marathon. For now. 

I will not be back next year to run the full marathon in this city. Nothing against the race organization, the expo, or the setup. I just can't seem to solve this course. I need to run in some different places, different events. I will come back to it, just not next year....


That said, the half marathon looks like a good way to still stay involved in the event.


Oh, and Boston calls. I will go there to make magic happen. I can leave well enough alone on this course. It has my ticket, and I am resigning from challenging it for at least 2 years. Maybe 2016. But really, I would like to do Boston, figure out the Chuckanut 50 in 2016, along with some other races, 5 Peaks and whatnot. This one--the BMO Vancouver Marathon--not being a focal point for my spring---will help me get organized for some other, different events.


The marathon is a race that must be respected. It cannot be taken for granted, it cannot be referred to as easy, or minimized simply as just a double half marathon. If run correctly, there should be nothing left in your tank by the end of it, and the recovery should take at least a week or two. I may not have run it correctly on that day. I had little left by the end, but did not run it correctly. Almost two weeks on, I am feeling almost back to normal.


Up next: well I just registered for the Sandcastle 10k, and am gearing up for either the Kamloops full or half marathon. That one is a coin toss, really. It is a BQ race, and it is flat, so there is a chance at redemption there. However, I could put all my eggs in the Victoria Marathon basket, and save myself from the recovery of another marathon effort.


We shall see.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sun Run 2014: A new PB, but just off the pace I wanted

I have been a bit of a whiner with this one. Both pre and post race. Approaching these two weekends, the Sun Run and Marathon respectively, I posed a question to myself:

  • Is it smart to go balls out for the Sun Run this weekend, then try to PB the marathon next weekend
  • Would running hard and fast interfere with my taper, and have me in recovery mode instead of taper mode?
  • Am I over thinking this little fabricated first world dilemma of mine? 
  • Should I just go out and race both and be smart during the week with sleep and meals?

Race morning had me putting on my usual routine, 6 AM wake-up, out the door by 7, on Canada line by 7:30, at the race start by 8:00 am. Not many other souls were on Georgia Street by that time, but it filled up quickly. I met up with Hans Zimmerling, and we did a warm-up with some strides. A full cast of characters made it out to this one: Chris Barth, Tim Abercrombie, Ryan Hayden and his group from our corporate team were all at the start in the elite corral. Finishing my warm-up, the goal was to turn out 3:30/km's for the duration, putting me in for 35 minutes. I thought that to be a lofty goal, but hey, I set lofty goals.

The gun went off and it only took a second or two to get over the start line. Hans, Tim, and me ran down Georgia Street into Denman. We stayed fairly close together through 3k. KM 3 to KM 5 started to wear on me and I could tell that my pace was dipping every so slightly on the false flats. In fact, I do not really remember much from those two kilometres. Hans started to pull away from me here, and I let him go. I slowly climbed Beach Avenue up to the Burrard Bridge, passed by a spectating Alex Lea, and began climbing the Bridge. On the downward slope, my buddy Darbara caught up to me. We ran together from 6 to 8.5 when he slowly began to distance me slightly.

I went into a pretty dark place between 8k and 9k. The Sun Run, or any 10k, is a very short, very intense effort that is almost over before you know. Having said that, there is enough time for a runner to question why they are doing what they are doing. That happened for me in a short distance near the end of the race.

In fact, the Cambie Bridge, albeit uphill then with a nice run out into the finish, was a welcomed sight that snapped me out of my "Luke Skywalker in the cave on Dagobah" funk. I managed to get some time back on Darbara and close the gap to 8 seconds. Hans finished a full 24 seconds in front of me, with Tim "the Terminator" Abercrombie coming in at 35:04! And he is not a runner, he is a cyclist! And years ago, a triathlete! So I guess he is a former runner. He has an engine, a big engine at that! Chris Barth came in at 34:

It has been a long time since I did a Sun Run. I think the last one I did was in 2005 or so, in 45:22. Good enough to be the 1614 finisher across the line. Coming back to the Sun Run this year I had some high expectations for myself. As with any race, I tend to try and shoot for a PB. This race was no different--I jogged out 36:54 bettering my PB from last year's Sandcastle 10k by 22 seconds. Good enough to get across the line in 134th place. I missed my goal mark by over a minute, but that is for next time. I know how 35 minutes will feel, and know what I need to get there. Chris Barth told me back in the autumn to focus on the shorter speedier races, and it seems to be paying off!





This one was a very fast 10k race that almost does not justify the race entry fee for the time I am out there, but the competition, festivities and roads to run on were awesome! I will definitely be returning to the Sun Run next year. This is a very smoothly oiled monster-machine to be able to support 45,000 finisher.