concerns about Vancouver International Marathon


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Posted by Allie on May 08, 19100 at 18:42:03:


I have written to the Vancouver International
Marathon regarding my concerns. I'm
wondering if anyone else has had a bad
experience like mine and knows of a good
place to find reviews of marathons and
marathon organization.

Following is what I sent to the Vancouver BC
Marathon organizers:

Anyone else run this event for the first time?

I arrived at the host hotel (which I had booked
a reservation with because it was the venue
for the pasta party as well as the expo) to
discover that, without notice to anyone (not the
runners, not the hotel) they had changed the
venue to the Plaza of Nations.

After finding the Plaza of Nations, I received my
number, but not tickets for the pasta party.
Upon asking the answer desk, I was handed
tickets that said "4:30-6:00" which came as a
surprise -- the pasta party was listed in the
brochure/entry form as starting at 6:00.

While waiting in line for the pasta party, we
heard a speaker on a stage state that it would
begin in one hour -- this was said as we were
walking up the escalator to eat.

The next morning, my running partner and I
went to find the starting line. It was not marked
"Start" as it usually has been in other runs I've
done. We walked up to where the carpets
were for the timing chips to find it.

We were told there would be 13 water
stations, spread evenly on the course. After
finding the first station be approx 3 miles (or
5K) from the start, we no longer wondered why
everyone with the "Running Room" logo on
their packs carried water WITH them. We
wished we had, too, after finding the next
water station to be the starting line -- where
someone told us that they were actually the
THIRD water station, because the starting line
had counted as #1. The water stations
appeared to be random -- showing up at
distances of anything from 1-4 miles apart.

The course was beautiful, but in my opinion
the out-and-back loop was MUCH too long.
Stanley Park was lovely.

Upon reaching the finish line, I tore off the tag
on the bottom of my number to hand to an
official, as instructed earlier. No one wanted it.
They did want my chip, however. Vancouver is
the only run I've done that requires a deposit
on the timing chip. I've done several runs with
chips and was startled at the deposit. No one
wants to keep a chip, how bizarre.

There were no signs to direct me to the finish
area -- my boyfriend, who had been standing
on a  bridge overlooking the finish line, had
spotted a bunch of people handing out t-shirts
so he directed me there. I found t-shirts, water,
gatorade, sickly-sweet muffins, and the
standard (thank goodness) bananas and
oranges.

At this point, I was quite ready to be done with
the Vancouver Marathon.

At the start, my running partner overheard
someone say "Vancouver is famous for
screwing things up." And then at the finish
area, I heard someone say the same thing.

Needless to say, I was not surprised to find
that the results had not been posted at the
time stated on the web site.

Now I'm afraid to run a marathon that I haven't
seen anyone talk about before. I thought it
would be fun to drive up to Vancouver BC,
where I've spent a few vacations and had a
wonderful visit, to run a marathon. What a
huge mistake.

Does anyone know of a good place to find
reviews of marathons? (both in the USA and
international?)

-Allie