SHLF Run

The West Van Run Crew was out in force this past weekend, joining the team challenge at the 2017 Strachan Hartley Memorial Foundation Run – otherwise known as the SHLF Run! Last year, Paula and I both ran the 5k, so I decided to up the ante and tackle this year’s 10k! However, there were a few surprises in store… Read the rest of this entry »

north van runIt was a short race, so this will be a relatively short post. However, the North Van Run was inspired by big ideas, and is worthy of two huge thumbs up! Thanks, as always, to Kirill and Shannon, and their team of volunteers for putting on a top-notch event!

I’ve been a huge fan of – and active participant in – the West Van Run over the past several years. When I first heard about the plans for a North Van Run, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to run as a member of the West Van Run Team!

From what I understand, this is the first road race to be held entirely in the City of North Vancouver. Sure, there are lots of trail races, given the mountainous nature of the area, but they are in the surrounding District of North Vancouver (as is the SHLF Run, which I’ll be participating in again this weekend!). So the inaugural North Van Run is a pretty big deal!

Package Pickup

All day on Saturday at the Capilano Mall, package pickup was also available pre-race on Sunday morning. Fortunately, my friend, Kyla (who lives in the area) was kind enough to grab mine for me.

north van run

Pre-Race

We were a bit worried that there might be rain, but the day was bright and sunny! Debra came by to pick me up, and we stopped at Burrard Station for Sam. The sun was rising as we headed over Lions Gate Bridge.

north van run

The race started near the North Shore Auto Mall, and Level 10 Fitness opened their doors for pre-race preparations, including bag check and late bib pickup. There was also a short indoor track and other equipment made available for the use of participants.

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On the Run

After a quick but energetic warmup, the emcee called us all to the start line, and soon we were off. There was an extremely short out-and-back before things really got going. This – along with a few other loops – allowed Debra the chance to take lots of ‘runner in action’ photos en route!

Loop and another loop, and then we saw a hill, but then we turned left and did another loop and THEN the hill was for real! And by hill, I mean overpass (over the railway tracks) and although it wasn’t a steep hill, it was mentally daunting. It was over fairly quickly.

There was one ‘water stop’ midway through – and this is my only criticism of the race. The very enthusiastic volunteers were handing out huge bottles of water, which inevitably 1) had to be carried or 2) got thrown on the road, only partially drunk. I found this option wasteful, and would strongly suggest having the usual ‘water in cups’ option seen at most races.

The reprieve didn’t last very long, though, because as 2nd Avenue turned into 3rd Avenue, we kept ascending. It’s the kind of hill that you don’t notice when you’re driving, but that seems endless when you’re running. The kid in front me of – maybe 9 years old? – ya, I couldn’t catch up with him. And I thought perhaps I had gone out too fast.

Moments later, the road sloped down towards Esplanade. And, as 5k races go, we were in the final kilometre. There were a few twists and turns before the finish line was in sight.

north van run

This was the most stunning finish line view of any race I’ve ever run! The last 200 metres took us out onto the Burrard Dry Dock Pier, with the City of Vancouver skyline as a backdrop. Epic!

north van run

Post-Race

Everyone gathered at the end of the pier to take photos. How could we not? Lots of cheering and support and smiles.

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Then we wandered over to the Shipyards – where a night market is held every Friday in the summer – and joined the festivities. There were multiple vendors, free samples of food and drink, and lots of enthusiasm. Huge thanks to the sponsors of the North Van Run!!

Although I had to leave to get to another appointment, many folks stayed around for the awards ceremony. Those who had parked at the start line got shuttled back for free.

I deem the inaugural North Van Run a success! Looking forward to adding it to my annual race calendar!

Final Results

Chip Time: 23:55
Average Pace: 4:47 min/km
Place Overall: 78/242
Division Place: 10/20

REMINDER! The West Van Run weekend will be held March 3 and 4, 2018. Sign up now, and save with discount code ‘bradley’! The 2018 race will feature finisher shirts AND medals!

north van run

 

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m still recovering from last night’s amazing Thanksgiving dinner, and now enjoying a mug of freshly brewed coffee.  But I’m also reflecting on the awesome experience that was this morning’s Granville Island Turkey Trot!

It shocked me, and a lot of my runner friends, that I’d never run this race before! Last year, we went to Seattle for the weekend. The previous year, I ran the Victoria Half Marathon. Previous years? I’m not sure why…but it just never happened. The great thing about this is having the chance to run the Turkey Trot for the first time!

The Granville Island Turkey Trot is Race #2 of the Run Van race series – which includes BMO Vancouver Marathon in May (#1) and the Fall Classic in November (#3). I’ll be pacing the 30-minute 5k at the Fall Classic this year!

Package Pickup

After a mellow morning at the Farmers Market, a catch-up with a bunch of friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, and a peaceful brunch – we dropped by Rackets & Runners to pick up my bib. Race registration included a gift card for the store, which was a nice bonus! I had my bib within seconds, and had a quick catchup with Lara Penno – RUNVAN Runner Services Manager extraordinaire!

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

Pre-Race

Getting up this morning was a bit of a struggle, particularly since the post-Thanksgiving dinner coffee I had last night kept me awake. Thankfully, the sun was starting to rise as I headed out and grabbed a Mobi bike to get me across Burrard Bridge and over to Granville Island. It was brisk and breezy, but also clear and dry…perfect race conditions!

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

I checked my bag, and then caught up with a few of my running peeps.

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

Then we gathered in the corral for a prompt 8:30am start!

The Course

Although I’m familiar with most of the False Creek loop of this course, I’ve never actually run on Granville Island. It’s usually rammed with tourists and cars (personally, I think the Island should be car-free, but I doubt that’s ever going to happen), but we had the place to ourselves as we wove through its streets for the first kilometre.

There are a few smaller hills in kilometre 2, and then the long, steady incline of Burrard Bridge. This was, unsurprisingly, my slowest kilometre. After that, the remainder of the race is essentially flat along the Seawall around False Creek.

Race Force was out with an awesome cheering and aid station just past 5k. Near Science World (7k), there was a huge crowd of young people with tonnes of signs and enthusiasm encouraging the runners. Having run this route many, many times, I knew what the remainder of the course would look like. At 8k, I did my best to kick things into gear, and stay ahead of the girl who had kept cutting me off over the past 2k.

Siobhan, in her fantastic Thanksgiving costume, came into view just before the finish line. We pushed each other right to the final turn back onto Granville Island. She even ran a PB race, just a week after completing a full marathon! Congrats, Siobhan!

Granville Island Turkey Trot 

Post-Race

Medals – fantastic!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Post-race food – amazing!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

In addition to the usual suspects (fruit, juice, energy bars), there were Old Dutch chips (my favourite weakness), and chili (including a vegetarian option). It was the perfect food to top off an autumn race!

A live band was entertaining the crowd indoors, but once I had finished my chili, I decided it was time to head home. Another Mobi, and a quick jaunt back over Burrard Bridge, with one quick photo stop.

Thanks for an amazing Thanksgiving run – kudos to the volunteers and organizers who made the 2017 Granville Island Turkey Trot a success!

Final Results

Chip Time: 50:25
Average Pace: 5:02 min/km
Overall Place:  243/1833
Place in Age Category: 43/153

Granville Island Turkey Trot


Granville Island Turkey Trot 2017 – Quick Review

Social Media: I appreciate that the Turkey Trot has its own Twitter and Instagram accounts, although the latter hasn’t been updated in over a year. They have an active Facebook account, and kept participants updated on race events (although I only signed up last week, so I don’t have a lot of info to go on!)

Packet Pickup: Quick and straightforward pickup at Rackets & Runners on Oak Street on Both Friday and Saturday, as well as pre-race on Sunday morning.

T-Shirt/Swag: No t-shirt included in this race, but I love that they have a medal for this awesome 10k! It’s classy and simple, and will make a great addition to my medal wall!

Course: A fast and flat course, with the exception of the Burrard Bridge. Scenic and peaceful, just the way a Vancouver race course should be!

Post-Race: Although today was sunny, it was great to have a post-race venue under cover! Lots of food, including hot chili, and entertainment! Fantastic, filling and fun!

Organization: Typical of Run Van events, the Granville Island Turkey Trot was well-organized and fun. Great volunteer support, awesome pre- and post-event coordination. Two thumbs up!

Would I run it again? Having run this for the first time, I’ll definitely be back for more!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

seawall race

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the 47th Annual James Cunningham Seawall Race 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!

In my previous post about the 47th Annual James Cunningham Seawall Race, I talked about the race’s history (as well as my own history with the race!). Today, I decided to run the course, and share a few highlights along the way, including some history of the sights you’ll see when you run! Read the rest of this entry »

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock ‘N’ Roll Montreal 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!

Combined with my first visit to Quebec in four years, Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal provided the chance to reconnect with friends and explore even more of the city. As travel day approached, however, the extreme heat warnings began. Then, just four days before race day, on the eve of our departure, the unthinkable: the full marathon distance of Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal was cancelled! And so began a sweaty, humid and exhilarating weekend in Canada’s major French metropolis!

Read the rest of this entry »

Under Armour Eastside 10kA new course. Unexpectedly good weather. A title sponsor that helped deliver a fabulous race. This was the Under Armour Eastside 10k 2017! After two consecutive years of utterly miserable conditions – particularly last year’s torrential downpour – it was such a blessing to wake up on Saturday morning to mild temperatures and clear skies. As I hopped on a Mobi bike and pedalled along Pacific Street towards the Woodward’s Building, I felt a surge of anticipation. This was going to be a good day!

Read the rest of this entry »

James Cunningham Seawall Race

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the James Cunningham Seawall Race 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!

The James Cunningham Seawall Race holds a special place in my heart because it was among my very first races when I started running – among the first dozen, at least. Here are a few photos from 2010 and 2011, when I made the most of things:

2010 – I ran with my friend, Deanna (who was a spider). I donned a pair of wings and carried a wand to sprinkle fairy dust on everyone (?)

James Cunningham Seawall Race

2011 – Jean, Louisa and I dressed as mimes, and showed our Hallowe’en spirit.

James Cunningham Seawall Race James Cunningham Seawall Race

It was a very rainy day, and by the end I looked like a drowned rat / murderous mime. But oh the fun we had!

 James Cunningham Seawall Race James Cunningham Seawall Race

The James Cunningham Seawall Race has a prestigious place in Vancouver history. It’s the oldest consistently run race in the city of Vancouver, which is pretty cool. This year is its 47th iteration.

Who is James Cunningham?

Great question! I won’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve done a bit of reading on James “Jimmy” Cunningham. He was a Scottish stonemason who worked on the Seawall from 1931 until his death in 1963. When the race was started in 1971, the organizers wanted to recognize Cunningham’s contribution by name the event after him. I strongly encourage you to read about the history of the race here.

The Course

Lots of races include the Seawall as part of the course – including (but not limited to) the Summerfast 10K, the Great Climate Race, the SeaWheeze, and the BMO Vancouver Marathon. However, the James Cunningham Seawall Race is unique in that it makes a complete loop, and doesn’t make concessions or tweaks for distance: in fact, it’s an unusual distance of 9.62km. A great opportunity for a PB!

The Swag

This year’s James Cunningham Seawall Race includes an event shirt and a finisher’s medal.

The Costumes

Although just over a week before Hallowe’en, costumes are strongly encouraged at the James Cunningham Seawall Race! I’m not much of a costume runner myself, but I may just make another exception this year!

Event Details

When: Saturday, October 21 at 10:00am
Where: Starts at Second Beach in Stanley Park
Price: $55 until Sept 30;  $60 Oct 1 until race day
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PROMO CODE! Save 10% when using promo code BIBRAVE10 at registration!James Cunningham Seawall Race