BMO Vancouver Marathon Race Report – Motoko H

Race: BMO Vancouver Marathon

Runner: Motoko H

Race Date: 05/05/2019

Location: Vancouver BC, Canada

Results: 4:09:31

Strava Activity Link:

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Amazingly beautiful views throughout the course
  2. Plenty of Volunteer support. They are so attentive and sweet!
  3. Rolling hills 🙂

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you


Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

Did well: I collided with another runner at an aid station (at Mile 16). I fell on the ground, face down, my knees/hands got bloody, and I got covered in the other runner’s sticky GU – I never thought this would happen to me, but it did. I was embarrassed and panicked for a bit. I also started worrying about things like “my left glute hurts…am I gonna end up walking to the finish line?” “Can I really finish this race?” ” I don’t want to DNF (again)!” but once I realized that I needed to focus on the present moment, I was able to get back in my rhythm to finish the race.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

If you ever experience the aid station crush – first, make sure you and the other runner are OK. Then do your best to get that focus/rhythm back. Don’t let that negative thinking distract you from running your best.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Be careful near the aid stations!

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Here are some of the landmarks I use

-The big hill on Camosun St: When you pass a school (Southlands Elementary), on your left, you just have less than 1000m to the top of the hill. The hill gets steep at the very end, so keep that in mind. Also, be excited that once you are done with this hill, beautiful, shaded downhill on Imperial Dr. is coming!

-Lions Gate Bridge: Stanley Park feels never ending during BMO Vancouver, but when you pass the bridge (Lions Gate Bridge), you only have a little under 6K (3.7miles) left. You are almost there!

Here are some Course previews that I found it very helpful (other than Team RunRun’s)

Course Preview Video


Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

BIG TIME YES! – Nice mix of nature and the beautiful city!

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

There are lots of hills, so probably not a PR friendly course, compared to other flatter marathons.

About the hills – There is one big hill on Camosun St (around Mile 5), one big downhill on SW Marine Dr. (around Mile 11), and the rest is rolling hills.

I actually appreciate those rolling hills. It always feels like when my legs starts to get tired, a nice little downhill appears, and my legs, especially hamstrings get to recover during that downhill running 🙂

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Yes, very well organized! Had no issues.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

I love the banana station by the KM31 (Mile 19), right after the Burrard Bridge!

Weather and typical race conditions

2017: Nice, marathon-perfect weather – like you actually feel chilly at the start.
2018: Warm, humid weather – like you keep splashing water on your neck to cool down throughout the race.
2019: Little warmer than 2017, but was still a pleasant marathon weather. At the start, I wanna say that it was no more than mid 50s. Got a bit windy by Stanley Park (last 10K).

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

There were plenty of Porta potties and aid stations. Just make sure to bring extra gels just in case (when collision happened, I lost my gel that I had in my hand – But since Coach Anita told me to bring extra gels, I had extra!).

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes! There are great options to move around the city even with the road closures, my husband and my son were able to move around easily (they went from Start to mile 19 to the Finish) to cheer me on!

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

I would give 10/10. Totally recommend it to others, too!