Vancouver Sun Run 2008

We did the Sun Run last Sunday. We being Arkensen, Nanzaro and myself. Suanne opted out from running because it was too much work for her. LOL! I think she is chicken … she thinks that if she can’t keep up with the Kenyans, she won’t even try. So Suanne became the official Sun Run photographer for the family.


Never having ever ran the Sun Run before, we had no idea how bad the transportation could be. Obviously, driving downtown is out of the question. The other choice for us was to take the B-line from Richmond.

We decided to Skip the B-Line and chose instead to drive to Metrotown and take the Skytrain from there. At least there are lots of parking and there are lots of choices for lunch after the run. Oh yeah … I was thinking of food even before the run started.


I was not too confident that the smallish Skytrain system could even handle the throngs of people converging into the downtown core. So, we started off early … very early … like 2 hours before the official start time of 9AM.

The cars were already quite filled with runners. We could spot them quite easily. Getting downtown by Skytrain was quick.


We could see the BC Place on the way there. The BC Place was the finishing line of the 10K Sun Run.


We wore the timing chip from home. It felt kind of flimsy, the plastic ties they provided. Moreover, it was almost impossible for me to tighten it. It was jiggling all the way and I was so nervous of losing it that I had to take a peak at it every now and then.

Lose that timing chip, you don’t get a time but what is worse is that it will cost you $40 bucks if it is not returned. Yeah, I know … I put it on upside down. Nanzaro told me already. Who cares as long as it captures my time.


Even at slightly past 7AM, there was already a festivity mood. Locating my starting line was easy … there are colored balloons that shows your starting line. Faster runners are placed forward while walkers are located way at the back.

The morning was extremely chilly. As a matter of fact it was the coldest Sun Run in history … 2 Celsius! Brrrrrr …. good thing we remembered to bring our gloves.


Our starting line is just in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. This is where the 2010 Winter Olympics countdown clock is located. Frankly, to me this thingy is a vandalism and protest magnet. 691 more days to go to the 2010 Olympics … wohoo!


To me the Sun Run must have been one of the most beautiful runs in the world … not that I had been to any runs before! The route is amazing with great views.


By 15 minutes before the start time of 9AM, the entire area is already jam packed with people. Anyone coming after this can’t even get on and had to wait until the road cleared before they can get on.

This year, the Vancouver Sun had managed to get almost 60,000 runners. That was a record and pushed the Sun Run to be the second largest 10K runs in North America (after Atlanta’s Peachtree something, I think) … and like top 5 such runs in the world.


Getting to the starting line from our staging area took an awfully long time. It took us 24 minutes just to move ahead by 150 meters. Once at the starting line, things got a lot more exciting, I must say.

The organizers couldn’t have picked a better place to start the Sun Run. Georgia St is wide and most importantly downhill for quite a distance. So, almost everyone SPRINTED from the get go and many ran out of steam just 1 KM down the street! He he he …. me included! Don’t laugh at me … I am a running newbie OK?


Things went OK until we started going up that brutal slope leading to the Burrard Bridge. I was totally spent by the time I got up the bridge … and … our heart sank (Arkensen and I was keeping at the same pace) when we saw that big sign that says … “5KM”. Are you kidding me? Gosh, there is no giving up now … it will take just as long finishing it as giving up.

I took the time off to take a picture … about the only one I took along the route. It was around here that Arkensen took off ahead of me.


After almost eternity, I finally completed the run … at 74 minutes. Lousy time, I know but hey I made my first 10K run. Arkensen was ahead of me by about 6 minutes or so. I was glad I did the run.

When I started training for the Sun Run, I wanted to complete it in 60 minutes which later revised it to 70 minutes and again later to 75 minutes when it was apparent that I am in no form or shape to do 60 minutes. Maybe the next time. Am I going to stop running? Hmmm … not just yet!


It was amazing being a part of all the humanity in the BC Place Stadium. Oh man … I can just imagine how much more fitter the entire city had become as a whole just because of this one event.

Let’s do some math here. Say, there are 60,000 runners. Each runner on the average burned 800 calories each week training for the run. Say, each runner on the average trained for 3 weeks. That makes it … let me get my calculator … 144,000,000 calories! That must have amounted to a loss of at least a few tons of fat in the entire city.


At the end of run, we get free food. It’s always the same fare … bananas, bagels and oranges. I gobbled down quite a lot of bananas.


So … there you go … my first Sun Run!

“Sun Run … Been There, Done That”

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  1. Erick

    Congratulations, Ben on finishing your first 10K. The time of the finish doesn’t matter so long as you were able to get out and do something active to get the heart working. You gotta do something to keep all of your food adventures from extolling their revenge on your body.

    I liked your comment about thinking what was for lunch before the race even started. Foodies think alike…we’re always looking forward to the next meal!

  2. nhbilly

    Congrats,many more miles lays ahead and many more calories to burn. 😉

  3. Jessica

    Congratulations! It’s quite an accomplishment!

  4. twistedsunshine

    Congratulations Ben! I’ve always wanted to join a fun run but I chicken out because I know I can’t reach the finish line.

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