West Van Run

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the West Van Run weekend races as part of being a West Van Run Ambassador. Be sure to join the West Van Run Crew for social runs on Saturday mornings, and Thursday evening training!

With just over 48 hours before our departure for a 2-week vacation in Japan, the epic West Van Run Weekend 2017 launched in full superhero force! I’ve written about all of the enticements to run West Van Run, and the anticipation paid off with a fun, well-executed two-day event. Costumes, friends, PBs and a lot of goodies made the weekend a huge success!

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Grouse Snowshoe Grind

The weather was perfect, the snow conditions just right, the company an absolute delight, and the organization a bit suspect for the 2017 Grouse Snowshoe Grind Mountain Run. Running for my second consecutive year, I had a lot of expectations for this event, and brought along my own ‘crew’ to share the experience. By and large, the Grouse Snowshoe Grind lived up to its reputation, but there are definitely some areas for improvement. Having said that, let me talk about all the good stuff – because there was lots of it! Read the rest of this entry »

Forerunners Half Marathon

With the cancellation of the First Half Half Marathon due to inclement weather (snow and ice, to be exact – read the whole story!), many folks felt they didn’t have the chance to ‘earn’ their medal. But two weeks later, the folks at Forerunners made it possible!

Forerunners Half Marathon

Thanks to Karen & Peter Butler – the fantastic owners of Forerunners Vancouver for 30 years – and Coach Carey Nelson, the Forerunners Half Marathon became a reality!

Social Run – the Forerunners Half Marathon

The run was promoted to the local running community – a free supported half marathon to ‘make-up’ for the First Half. It coincided with our usual Saturday training run, so it was a great opportunity for us to see familiar faces, as well as some new ones!

In order to get in my full training distance, I started out by running from home – a 4km training run. As such, I got in a full 25km!

Forerunners Half Marathon

We gathered, as usual, at Forerunners on Fourth Avenue. The store is not used to seeing such huge crowds, so everyone was crammed in prior to the beginning of the run. Fortunately, the owners of Double DD Pizza – next door to Forerunners – opened their space (and bathrooms!) to accommodate the masses of runners!

Forerunners Half Marathon

Karen Butler

Forerunners Half Marathon

Mayling aka I *Heart* Running!

Forerunners Half Marathon

Coach Carey provided an overview of the running course, and then we gathered across the street before heading out on our 21.1km jaunt.

Forerunners Half Marathon

The course is a familiar one, since many of our training runs take us in the same direction. We ran west along 4th Avenue, before cutting down to Jericho Beach. We ran along the water, taking in the views of the mountains in the distance, and the cloudy skies. The snow and ice which had frustrated our running in the past few weeks was no more – back to the usual Vancouver, a few puddles, and a little bit of rain.

Our first stop was at the 5km water station, set up just as the road started sloping upwards toward UBC. Some Gatorade, and some music to pump up our energy.

Forerunners Half Marathon

Upwards and onwards until we reached UBC – and then proceeded to loop around campus. But not before reaching our second water stop (and bathroom break) at the halfway point. Thanks to Christoph, fighting an injury, for stepping up to support us en route, along with Coach Carey.

Forerunners Half Marathon

Ben Kotanen / Peter Butler

We completed the loop back at the top of the hill, and started back downwards. Anyone familiar with the Scotiabank Half Marathon will know this part of the course well! Our first water stop doubled as our third water stop, and we were again greeted by smiling faces and some much needed refreshment – thanks to Peter Butler and special guest, Ben Kotanen!

Retracing our steps, we ended up back where we started…at Forerunners! Special shout-out to our group leader, Kristin, and to Laurel…who kept me motivated to finish this run!

Forerunners Half Marathon Forerunners Half Marathon

Post-race refreshments were provided at Double DD – juice boxes, brownies, bananas, and chocolate milk – all thanks to Forerunners! And with that, the Forerunners Half Marathon was complete!

 

First Half Half Marathon

Since I started running in 2009, I’ve completed nearly 90 races of varying distances, in all sorts of weather conditions. When the organizers of the First Half Half Marathon alerted us to the possibility that the race might be cancelled due to weather, I found it hard to believe. But then, mid-morning on Saturday (the day before the race), it became a reality. Because of conditions caused by record-breaking snowfall in Vancouver, the 26th annual First Half Half Marathon was officially no more.

We ran anyway.

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LEGEND Compression

Disclaimer: I received a pair of LEGEND Compression Leg Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I don’t know if I’ve ever fully bought into compression gear before. Sure, I’ve tried some compression socks (which I quite like), and my tights arguably do some squeezing (but they’re mainly for keeping me warm) – but I’ve always been a bit on the fence about what compression could do for me.

And then I tried LEGEND Compression Leg Sleeves! Read the rest of this entry »

I’m very excited about what 2017 has in store. While I’ve already written about some of the races I’m looking forward to this year, I’ve only mentioned in passing the three organizations that I’m proudly representing. So, without further ado, let me tell you about my 2017 Ambassadorship Trifecta – West Van Run, BibRave, and Run Laughlin! Read the rest of this entry »

Steveston Icebreaker 8K

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Steveston Icebreaker 8K as part of being a WestVanRun Ambassador. Don’t forget to register for the West Van Run (5k / 10k) on March 4 & 5, 2017. Use the code ‘bradley‘ for 15% off!

*Also, special mention to Shannon Banal for the amazing race photos in this post!

With bitter memories of my most miserable race of 2016 swirling in my head, I ventured out for my first race of 2017 – the Icebreaker 8K in Steveston, BC. And whereas last year the weather involved a cruel combination of wind and rain, and I was suffering from a lingering man-cold, this year there was a chill in the air but the skies were clear. And if this race is at all indicative of what is in store for running in 2017, I’m not going to be disappointed! Read the rest of this entry »