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Runner Feedback 2012

Thanks for all your feedback—including the constructive criticisms which are very helpful to us for improving future editions. We make most changes based directly on your feedback!

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Dear Fools Run peeps,

Thank you for putting on such a great event!

I believe that was my 4th time participating in your Fool's Run and I plan to return.

Coming from Vancouver, the ferry, the scenery, the post-race park on the beach, the shuttle bus, the relaxed atmosphere, the tomato soup, the unexpected sunshine, oysters and beer post race at the Gibsons marina, a chance to test your early season fitness...

These are the things that no other race can offer and keeps me, at least, coming back for more.

Congrats on another great race and thanks to all planners and volunteers,

— Rachel Kiers, Vancouver

After missing the fantastic April Fool's Half Marathon the last couple of years I realized today that I really did miss the event. Great organization. Great course. Great food. Great vollies. Great day for VFAC. Congrats to all you running fools :)

— Mike Palichuk, Vancouver

From Una Southall's Blog:

This race has recently been voted the most beautiful half marathon in Canada!

From the trip down, the hotel, and the trip back it is one of my favourite runs.

There were 10 participants from Powell River to run this beautiful race April 1st (35 last year).

I love being part of this community! We send good numbers to each event — it's like I never left home.

Accommodations — most of us stayed at the Cedars Inn, it was nice, clean and the staff was super helpful.

Route — beautiful scenery, lots of experienced marshals, very clearly marked and safe intersections. There were 4 water stations placed at the very best possible spots (A+ for thoughtful water station locations).

Although hilly, having done it before I was prepared and they didn't seem that bad this time. I did notice that most of the uphill was balanced with a down hill, so if you didn't kill yourself wheezing up a hill you could recover quickly and take advantage of gravity.

One of the things I loved on the route was the relay aspect. When the new fresh runners sprinted past it was like getting a burst of energy — the energy was contagious and helped me up the hills.

Organization — Perfectly done from the package pickup to the bus back from the race, well done!

Over all the race would get a 10 — I would love to make this a yearly pilgrimage. The cost to go there for the weekend was about $150.00 — hotel with 3 other women, race bib, food, ferry, and carpool gas.

— Una Southall C.P.T., Powell River

(blog excerpt) This was a beautiful course and a fun run. I would definitely like to do this race again in the future. It's small scale (they cap it at 700 registrants), but full of fun times. It was a nice excuse to go somewhere I haven't gone before and see lots of it on foot. With a very reasonable entrance fee, beautiful souvenir shirts, and the convenience of being able to take a ferry over the day of the race, made this a great little day trip.

— Zahida Jaffer, North Vancouver

The new finish line at mission point worked really well — it's great to keep everyone together, feels more like a celebration.

— Julie Clark, Gibsons

Just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to announce at your race. I really enjoyed it! Jo-Anne and I enjoyed our time with Shaunna and Mike and the weekend on your beautiful peninsula!

— David Jackson, Abbotsford (race announcer)

Congrats to you and Larry on another successful event, the weather could have been really ugly, but turned out soo nice. I hope you get a chance to take a rest.

— Michael Campbell-Burns, Vancouver

I had an awesome run yesterday (weren't we lucky with the weather).... thank you so much for all the hard work you do to organize this event, and thanks for leading the clinics.

I was a little skeptical that I was going to be ready for it, but I was totally pumped yesterday and was so happy that I'd done the clinics. Looking forward to next year already!

Thanks again,

— Jan Manaton, Gibsons

What a start to your day Sunday morning with the snow! So glad it cleared up quickly!

I spoke with Suzy this morning, she stated there were about three full boxes of food items and $18.20 in cash.

I agree this is a decent amount for short notice and first time doing it! I did hear your advertisement on CKAY FM.

Thank you for your support and donations to the SCFB, it truly is appreciated.

I spoke to two friends who participated and they were very happy!

Thanks for all you do to make this such a successful event. It is a boost to the community.

— Dale Sankey, Sunshine Coast Food Bank
"Gathering, storing and distributing food to those in need in our community"

Big Thanks to you who organised yesterday's run. Was really nicely done,thoroughly enjoyed it!! Excellent finish area,couldn't think of a better place to have a picnic and do some stretches.
Thank You!

— Catherine Hopkins

Thanks for putting on such a great race! This is now my favourite half marathon by far, I'm already telling people they've gotta run it next year. The 400 metres to go sign was a great idea, I heard other people say that too, then you knew it was time to give whatever you had left! I love my Fool In Training shirt too, it's one to wear all year round. The first time I wore it was on a club run and I locked my keys in my car, proving I'm a real fool, not just a pretender! That said I'll do better next year with everything and not have to bother you at all hopefully. I could go on and on about how great the race was but I know how busy you are, so I'll just say congratulations again (to you, Larry, and everyone else involved), and see you soon!

If there's some way to possibly increase the amount of teams in the club/team challenge that'd be cool. I'm not sure what the answer is, but if it's a special email explanation about it sent out next year, don't let me write it because I kinda sucked at it. I did manage to get a team together, but I thought it would be way easier. That's all I've got for any suggestions. It was a great experience, super well organized, just a fantastic race. My quads are almost healed up again now so I'm really looking forward to next year, and getting some more people to share the great experience with me! Thanks for all your efforts!

— Gord Flett, Vancouver

Incredible run and wonderful support along the way from spectators and volunteers...and the sunshine was wonderful!!!

— Ingrid Sander, Gibsons

As someone who did the early start, a HUGE thank you to the volunteers who did the earliest parts of the run — coming out an hour earlier in the freezing wind can't have been fun but was so appreciated!

The race organizers did an absolutely fantastic job from start to finish. Registration was really straightforward and so was the race package pick-up, the route was beautiful and very well marked, the volunteer crews really well organized, supplies plentiful at each station and I so appreciated the commitment to being environmentally responsible. All in all it was a perfect race and I intend to do it again for years to come! Thank you very much to everyone involved!

— Joshua Goldberg, Victoria

Awesome event, again. I think you should start a complete line of F.I.T. wear — Jackets, hoodies, sweat pants, tights, compression shorts/capris, etc. I know I'm going to be wearing my top until the weather gets a lot warmer, I love it!

— Kristie Congram, Vancouver

Another great race. Thank you Larry and Teresa for all your hard work. You even found some sunshine for the finish! the new finish area was fantastic. I also liked the speeded up awards ceremonies. I hope to see you out there running.

— Dave Bromley, Roberts Creek

I just wanted to say a big thank you for leading the running clinic over the past many weeks. It was so nice to have finally run a half and I know that I had to run those long runs with others. It was fun, informative and exactly what I needed!

— Meaghan Spithoff, Gibsons

This was a very well organized race and I will be back next year.

— Robert Watt, Burnaby

I have participated in most of the runs since its inauguration, missed two or three. For me it is great to see that the run is kept alive, and I will continue to participate as long as my body allows.

At one time I ran the distance around 1hr 30 min. Then I tried to keep it under 2 hrs, later under 3hrs, now the question is, can I do it? And at my age, 81+, I am very grateful just being able to participate and be there.

The arrangement was first class in every respect. Again.

The refreshments and in particular the food, the burritos, the soup (had 3 cups) were fantastic. — I enjoyed it all, including my sore legs the following days.

Great going Teresa, Larry and all the others!
Thank you very much.

— Arne Tveit-Pettersen, Sechelt

I wanted to thank you very much for putting on such a great race. You and Larry clearly go all out, and the hard work is really evident, with every detail taken care of. Good route, good marshals, great food, super prizes, great atmosphere, awesome transportation — you have it all!!!

Thanks for the perfect weather too — we couldn't have asked for anything better!! Next up: Sun Run and then Vancouver Marathon. Let's hope the hills in April Fools have prepared my legs for those couple of wicked ones in the marathon. I know they helped.

— Rebecca Reid, Vancouver (4th woman, 1st Masters 40+ woman)

Really beautiful course and a fun race. Well organized too. Great shirts, medals, fast results, friendly volunteers, all the details were seamless. Great work, and I'll run this one again, FOR SURE!

— Zahida Jaffer, North Vancouver

I always enjoy running through Roberts Creek as there are quite a few people there and it signifies the start of the climb. Basically it's the last very pleasant part of the race before things become painful :) There were a group of young kids at the bottom of Wilson Creek who were the best cheering squad on the whole course!

Thanks again for an amazing event which seems to get better every year! Actually this year was the best yet for organization and food and punctuality.

— David Palermo, Vancouver (overall winner)

Again a great race this year — I'm not sure if the hills seem bigger or smaller each time I come back! Was very happy to be warmed up by sun (and soup!) at the finish area after a snowy morning start.

Great race — as always, unbelievably 'complete' race with a great community feel.

— Gillian Clayton, Vancouver (3rd woman)

First time participating as a walker. Next year I hope to run part of it. Thanks for letting walkers participate. After doing it and talking with many friends, I think I will be able to talk at least five more people into doing it with me next year.

— Sherryl Latimer, Sechelt

The course was beautiful and the event was very well run. This was the first half marathon for both my mother and me and it was the perfect size and atmosphere. Thanks.

— Becky McCorkle, Camrose AB

This was my first half marathon and although I walked it I was very proud to have finished. The runners passing by were very supportive and often gave words of encouragement to keep me going. I am looking forward to next year.

Pastimes Kids Jester Dash: The kids had a great time and really felt as though they were a part of the race.

— Michelle Potter, Sechelt

I'd say race day went pretty perfect — the only thing that I would say wasn't perfect were those gusts of head wind out on the course! It is still a gorgeous course, I love the route, and love the finish by the water.

— Kristin Smart, Vancouver (2nd woman)

Such a great race ....hills are hard but it was all worth it ....

— Gillian Cullen, West Vancouver

Great Race!! I really liked the finish area this year over last year, in the park not on the highway — brilliant! Of course I had trouble finding my daughter (17, her second run), as she was in the ocean ASAP — but find her I did (should have known!) :). Looking forward to next year..... THANKS!!!

— Stephanie Grindon, Gibsons

I just published my blog post from this past weekend's events. Thank you so much for having me. This was one of the best half-marathon events I've been at. The sense of community was overwhelming. Everyone was so friendly, welcoming and full of great community spirit. It was beyond my expectations.

Here is a link to my blog post:

Please watch for more stories coming out over the coming weeks featuring my experiences on my brief visit. Again, appreciate the amazing hospitality. I look forward to coming back to the Sunshine Coast again very soon!

— Brian Webb, Vancouver — Mr. Gay Canada 2012 People's Choice

Awesome support from local residents along the entire course!! One of my favourite half marathon courses. Well organized, safe and well supported! Thanks again for an awesome race!

— Jocelynn Rooke, North Vancouver

I wish that there was actual chip time. Similar to the Harry's Spring Run off timing set up. I feel that my time was not accurate with your format.

The start seemed a bit "uneventful". People just seemed to start running, no big send off. I would prefer a start chute, all other events seem to manage with them.

New park finish was 100% better.

Volunteers were great.

Traffic management at the finish might need to be addressed for safety and flow.

Did not know where the finish line food was located? Blind with accomplishment perhaps.

— Christa Vandeberg, Whistler

Follow-up message:

Thanks for responding. I guess with all the races that use chip time and gun time, it's become an expectation but thank you for the explanation.

The finish line location was great (& beautiful) with no racer congestion. The highway vehicular traffic was congested around the finish along the highway to Pier 17 and might be something to consider as your event grows to avoid any conflicts with people and cars crossing the highway.

Overall, you and your team did a great job on the race; the weather turned out great and congrats on your new title sponsor. I know it's a lot of work.

— Christa Vandeberg, Whistler

Organizers' note: the traffic congestion between the finish line and Pier 17 is due to construction on the highway further along. Temporary situation.

I love this run, you guys did an awesome job once again putting on the race! Loved that I won a draw prize!!

Disappointed though when I finished the race that there was very little food left, definitely no hot food or drinks left : (

Looking forward to the next Fools Run!!

— Alyson Davies, Gibsons

Organizers' note: the issue with the burritos was due to a miscommunication in the way they were to be served. However there was hot soup left over at the end of the event. We also had extra amounts of yogourt, bananas and bagels left at the end. Coffee ran out temporarily but more was brought in.

Well organized event. The Sunshine Coast has a real community feeling. Hot food was a bonus for the postrace as it was still only a few degrees outside. Will definitely be back next year!

Thank you to all the volunteers and spectators for your support on the course. Your cheers were heard! Also, a special thanks to the race coordinators. The race started on time, the course was well marked, and the post race food is definitely something to brag about.

— Lisa Brooking, Langley (first woman)

Great job on the race — very well organized & the food was great, especially the hot soup and burritos.

— Gayle Lewis, Squamish

It was a great event as usual, and I consider the best "value for money" of all the events that I participate in. For me, the conditions were perfect, particularly the finish. Only wish my time had been a little faster.
Gives me room to improve for next year.

— Dominic Gerelle, North Vancouver

Very nice area. Was impressed & pleased at race organization. Especially glad that there was never a question where to run—very well directed.

— Barb McCorkle, Berwyn, AB

The course had way more hills than I expected. I would have liked to have a more flat course if at all possible.

— Alexia Helgason, Vancouver

For my first run, was pretty overwhelming happiness. I was able to run all the hills, especially "the big uphill" and "downhill". Maybe for next year, have little health snacks for fuel, but found the Gatorade very helpful. I did have my own powerade with me, but having what you provided was so helpful. Over all, was a fanatastic organized half marathon. Looking foward to next year's.

Overall was a well organized event. What I would like to see is having chocolate milk there as well. Helps restore the muscles faster than any other protein. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to run my first half marathon ever!!

— Marsha Parnell, Vancouver

Organizers' notes: We like the chocolate milk idea! Will see about that for 2013. Perhaps Silk Almond Milk in chocolate... yummy! (healthier than dairy version)

What a great atmosphere! lots of room, beautiful trees, easy access to the post run food and drink. Great job. Thanks for all the hard work, I love this race.

— Gael Johnstone, Sechelt

Nicely organized race. Very good website. Nice to see food that is atypical of most races. Unique awards. Over the years it has been pottery plates, mugs, artwork — just great.

What a perfect pre-Boston training race — almost a scaled down version with the early downhills and late uphill, followed by a downhill.

What a nice surprise to have the sun shining on us at the finish. My family really enjoyed the day, with stops in Roberts Creek at the Gumboot, Beach and General Store, and later in Gibsons.

Pastimes Kids' Jester Dash: They loved it! They enjoyed colouring their race bib and liked the snacks and toys at the end as well.

— Graeme Wilson, Vancouver (2nd overall)

Excellent race — well organized, but way more hills than indicated — particularly towards the end of the race! Started in cold, wet (in some areas snowy weather), but finished in beautiful sunshine :)

I plan to return next year. A big THANK YOU to the organizers and volunteers.

— Maryke Young, Nanaimo

Run was well organized. Really nice to be able to wait in a warm community centre before it started. Great transportation to & from the ferries. Great food at the finish. Great water stations. Great finisher medal & great shirt. I really like this run & will be back next year...and will NOT forget to check out the prize list! Thanks for a super day and SO glad the runner who was "down" (that I ran past) is ok.

— Bobbi Barrett-Jones, West Vancouver

Great race! I rave about this race to every runner I know.

I love that I can come to a half marathon and my entire family (9 of us total) can also race with the relay option.

We'll see you next year!

— Liz Cullen, Vancouver

Such a well organized race — thank you so much! I loved the course, fast & challenging. The food at the finish was fantastic and the medals were great :)

— Stacey Harman, Vancouver

I had a super fantastic time! I was planning to arrive the night before with my wife, but decided against it simply due to the weather. I love the whole green idea. We car pooled to the ferry terminal and took the school bus to the start line. We had plenty of time to stretch and adjust our gear. The course was awesome, although I wished we could have had a countdown to the start. A lot of us were caught off guard. The volunteers were great and the residents who came out to cheer us on were fantastic! People are so friendly on the Sunshine Coast. The only thing I would suggest is perhaps a handful of heat lamps? Overall it was a lot of fun. We are already talking about running it next year and I've told a few of my friends about it already. Thank-you for organizing such a great event.

— Albert Choy, Coquitlam

Organizers' notes: there actually was a countdown to the start with a megaphone and a series of announcements, but there was so much pre-race chatter going on that people who were not near the front couldn't hear it. Because the start is in a residential area, we can't fire a gun or loud horn at the start.

My friend and I are from Michigan, we were in town for a conference in Vancouver and were lucky enough to fit in this great race. We thought the entire course was beautiful, challenging and full of friendly runners and spectators.

Could have used one more aid station in between stops 1 and 2, but otherwise a GREAT and well-run race.

— Angela Gabridge, Grosse Point Woods, Michigan

I really enjoyed myself. Kudos for being green. Very well organized and friendly! The price was good too. Could food for the food bank be dropped off at packet pick-up? If I had come alone I wouldn't have brought any because I would have had to carry it. We donated a box full. It was hard to find where to drop it at the finish. My husband and beagle found it easy to get around to cheer for me. And what fabulous weather!

— Jennifer Brown, Surrey

Thanks for a great event. Your race web-site is second to none. The race was very well organized and we had a great time. Won't hesitate to do it again or recommend it to friends.

— Cara Smith


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