The Vancouver USA Marathon Weekend will always hold a special place in my heart. Back in the day, when I had reached the point of no return (and ballooning up to about 45 pounds more than I wanted), I started my running journey. Now, after a myriad of 5k-15k/s, one duathlon, one triathlon, a 20-miler, and a full marathon, my 35th half marathon is upon me – the 2015 Vancouver USA Half Marathon. And thing that both myself AND the race share is that the 2011 event was the first for both of us.
When I ran the race that year, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. 13.1 miles seemed ridiculous at the time, and I almost figured it would be a one-and-done experience. I mean, who would really want to spend their free times running those on a consistent basis. Well, now that person is me. And I credit the folks at Energy Events for shaping who I am.
The inaugural Vancouver USA Half really gave me that drive and fueled my fire. For an inaugural event, I look back now and thought how I remembered how efficiently it ran (though I’m assuming that the RD’s probably have a laundry list of things they have improved on since). Fast forward to 2015, and this race has exploded as a staple half marathon in the Pacific Northwest. It is featured by Runners World and has grown to include a Summer Brewfest. Yet that doesn’t mean that the Vancouver streets are packed to the gills, as entry size is still limited, which helps keep the large event intimate and feeling local.
The half marathon course follows the same course from that first year, and the lack of change is a good thing. Runners start at Ester Short Park in downtown Vancouver and snake through the down downtown and business corridors for the first three miles. Mile three hits the westernmost part of Clark College and runners will head down to the beautiful historical Officer’s Row area and Fort Vancouver. Following this, runners head out east of town along the main drag on 5th Street until mile 7.5 or so (keeping some energy in store for a quick little climb around mile 6. There is a turnaround in Wintler Park and the final stretch is home to some riverfront stretches before getting back to the start.
I am very excited to bring things full circle and compete in next month’s event. I hope to see you out there.
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Vancouver USA Half Marathon:
When: June 19-21, 2015
Start times: 7am Marathon, 9am Half Marathon
Where: Ester Short Park, Vancouver, USA
Register: Online here
Registration includes: Tech shirt, handcrafted finisher’s medal (for half and full marathon), entry into the 3-day Summer Brewfest.
Packet Pickup: At race expo June 13-14 (NO packet pickup on Sunday morning for half and full marathon)