Oak Bay Half Marathon – A Runner's Point of View
This past weekend I headed over to Vancouver Island to run the historic Oak Bay Half. A half marathon winding through the streets of Oak Bay, which is a municipality of Greater Victoria. British Columbia's capital city. I also documented my run from a runners point of view of the course and its surroundings.
The Trip Over
The trip hadn't started out all that well. I left bright and early the day before the race to grab my race package. (Every big race, you need to pick up your race package at least a day early, I learned this the hard way, arriving late to Disneyland, then having to show up 2 hours before the race at 330am.) My thoughts were, park my vehicle on the Vancouver side of the crossing, walk on to the ferry and we would be well on our way. Except one of the BC Ferries had broken down in Victoria for the 7 am, which was also the 9 am crossing in Vancouver. This created havoc and lineups beyond belief. 2 sailings later, I made it over.
Fast forward to the morning of the race. Heading into the lovely community of Oak Bay, bright and early. A light haze over the rugby field at Windsor Park. The start of the race. The sun was shining and it wasn't too warm. After all, it was 7 am. I was able to get my barrings early, as everyone was still setting up for the 8 am start. I was even able to meet one of the organizers of the race, Nick. His interview is at the beginning of my recap video. Great guy, very helpful.
It's 7:59, the mayor of Oak Bay is on the mic, the race starts. We head through some enormous trees that are overhanging the street. The sun is behind us, and the 1500 runners are on their way. Passing through the small community, the locals are cheering us on from the comfort of their own lawns.
The first 4 or 5 kilometers are winding through the streets. If you haven't been to Oak Bay before, this is a great way to see the streets quickly. After all the corners the race starts to straighten out, and we run along the beautiful coast. Picturesque and breathtaking, literally, as we near the 5 km mark.
For a further explanation of what we saw with the community in full support of the race and it's runners. You will just have to watch the video.
Highlights of the Run
Some of the sights along the way, are the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, the Oak Bay Marina, the entrance to Uplands. A residential community with houses and properties that are quite expensive. But quite a sight.
One of the points of interest of the race was running along the Victoria Golf Course. The road is a slight incline, Golf Courses on both sides of the road, the ocean is next to that. Beautiful to say the least. Yes, there were golfers out at 8 am, The early bird catches the birdie.
When it comes to running, these half and full marathons get rated on everything from Merchandise, Organization & The Course itself. I have to say that the only thing I would maybe recommend was bananas at the midway point. But quite honestly a 5 out of 5 for everything else. The race shirt was a New Balance Shirt. The bib was black and white, looked sharp. The medal was even half decent.
I had mentioned in the race that I would note of the gear that I was using. I've had some other runners ask, what I've been using and blogs that I would recommend to help them become better runners. So here it is
- My Hydration Pak was a MEC Runners Vest
- My shoes were Nike FlyKnit Racers. Lightweight, and enough cushioning for the roadway. Also, it's like wearing socks.
- My watch is a Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical. This watch is awesome for training. It has breadcrumb technology, for all of the trail runs. Using a separate satellite system for tracking.
- My shorts are Nike Running Shorts.
Overall, the Oak Bay Half was fast, My Personal Best Time. The volunteers were great, everyone involved had that Island vibe. Generous and there to make sure you had a great time. If you would like to know more about the Oak Bay Half, click HERE
For my other race recap of the Vancouver, BMO Half click HERE
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