Running the Ucluelet Half Marathon – Edge to Edge
First, I want to apologize for the delay in posts, I've been away from my computer. It's wedding season, and I'm sure a lot of people can relate. Destination weddings, which brought me to the island to race in the Ucluelet Half.
In order to get to Ucluelet, you need to get to Vancouver Island, by ferry, plane or you could swim. But that's just kind of crazy. Then drive to the other side of the island. (EastCoast) Which takes about 2 hours or so, passing through towns such as Parksville, Qualicum Beach (As seen in the video) and Port Alberni. Thank god, we had great weather for the race. I've never seen it without a cloud in the sky. Usually its rainy, windy, and a bit of a storm. People go to Tofino and Ucluelet to surf and watch the storms roll in with giant waves crashing against the rocks. Quite the spectacle.
The race started at 9 am, I left Qualicum Beach at 5 am. The drive is amazing, loads of wildlife and twists and turns. I arrived in Ucluelet at 7 am. Not much going on, a few people just waking up.
Fast forward to the race. I was told by a local islander, that the race should be relatively flat. But he was dead wrong. This has to be one of the hardest races that I have endured thus far. Rolling hills for days, twists and turns along the trails. It was very hard to get into a rhythm. This is a course that challenges your state of mind. But as I've said many times before. It's just a mindset. Change it, re-focus, you can do it, you can't stop. Just pull through and work through the pain. You'll be happy that you did.
The Plus Sides
The plus sides of the course would be the spectators. Seems like the whole town had come out to cheer us on. They had an award for the best-dressed water station. Hense the tiki-themed station. The views, as we ran along the trail, alongside the cliffs, and twists and turns were spectacular. The only downside to the many hills would be the weather. But there isn't anything you can do about that. Maybe start earlier next year. As 10 am fast approached and a lot of people on the course were gassed. But that's a minor adjustment.
It was a great course to run because almost everyone in the race was from somewhere else. I met people from all over. The mainland, the rest of the island, I even saw 2 ladies who were visiting the half marathon from Virginia, and they just qualified for Team USA. So visitors from all over just meant everyone had a smile on their face, regardless of the conditions. It's not like this race had been better with pouring rain.
All and all this race was awesome. The swag could use some work, but all minor adjustments. In Oak Bay they had New Balance shirts, in Whistler, it was North Face. I'm sure Ucluelet will up the ante for next year.
Up and Coming Race Vlogs
Up and coming races for me would be possibly SeaWheeze or a race in the interior. But instead over the summer, I try to do epic hikes and adventures. So stay tuned, this is going to be a fun summer. For the fall, I'm looking towards the Maui Half and Great Barrier Reef Half.
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Running in OAK BAY Click HERE
Running in BMO VANCOUVER Click HERE