In a stark contrast to the snowy conditions we experienced at the Big Elf Run in December, the Easter Fun Run was dry and – from time to time – sunny! And now that spring is finally on its way, the cherry blossoms were out in full bloom. So I was very grateful that Baxter Bayer, who organized both races, offered me a free entry to this year’s Easter Fun Run. And what fun it was!
Debra kindly picked up our personalized bibs prior to the race – my alter-ego was Bouncy McChuckles.
The race itself didn’t start until 2pm on Sunday, although there were a few festivities starting just after noon – including day-of bib pickup, kids race, and Easter egg hunt. Along with Nibbly Yummy-mitsu, we car-shared to Stanley Park – and this was a fortunate choice. A number of runners struggled with the traffic on a busy, sunny long weekend – a few even missing the race start! Thumper O’Hare (Debra) got there in time for us to get our bibs sorted, and check our bags before the race. And, of course, get a few pre-race pics with Wascal Wabbit and Maggie Thumper Feet!
Baxter Bunny led the Easter-themed warmups. This featured such exercises as ‘Pick-a-Carrot’, ‘Ear Flop’ and ‘Dig a Burrow’. Although I loved the Big Elf Run warmup, I have never laughed quite as much as I did at this one!
Having run 36km the day before in preparation for the upcoming BMO Vancouver Marathon, I elected to run the 5k rather than the 10k – and I made the right choice! It’s true I’m never a huge fan of double loops, so that was kind of a no-brainer. But even more than that…it was the crowds.
After suffering through a record-breakingly wet March, any hint of a dry day brings out the people. Combined with a long weekend and a sunny Sunday afternoon…
Within the first kilometre, we were dodging couples and families, all enjoying the weather and taking pictures of the cherry blossoms. However, as soon as we turned onto the Seawall, the place was absolutely crammed! Bikes, strollers, dogs, walkers, runners…the whole shebang! We knew it would be a shared path – but I honestly didn’t expect it to be like this!!
So, with bunny ears flopping we forged ahead! It was a bit warmer than expected, so I took advantage of the halfway mark water station, and waited for Nibbly Yummy-mitsu to catch up with me.
We had to dodge lots of folks taking selfies, and even a semi-professional photo shoot happening in the middle of the path, but eventually rounded Brockton Point, where the crowds began to thin. My bunny ears fell off, and I ended up carrying them for the last kilometre or so. I was still suffering from Saturday’s long run, but kicked up the pace a bit to get to the finish line, where Baxter Bunny was waiting.
I was greeted with a bottle of water and a chocolate Easter bunny, and then circled back to catch my fellow rabbits finishing their races.
The Easter Fun Run really lives up to its name – this is a fun, holiday-themed event. I’m not sure what weekend it usually takes place on, but I assume it’s always Easter. And because it’s a holiday that moves around the calendar a lot, the weather could vary pretty widely. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a fun, family-focused, costumed race that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is the race for you! Although it’s chip-timed, the crowds really made it impossible to be truly competitive – but ultimately, that wasn’t the point. It was a spirit of fun, laughter, bunny ears, chocolate, friends and family. A hippy hopping good time at the Easter Fun Run!
Chip Time: 28:41
Average Pace: 5:42 min/km
Overall Place: 6/96
Place in age category: 2/9*
*NOTE: The winner – with a time of 19:32 – was in my age group!
Quick Recap – Easter Fun Run
Packet pickup: I can’t really comment since Debra picked up our stuff from the Running Tours office – but race day pickup was also available.
T-Shirt/Swag: As a low-priced fun run, no t-shirt or swag – but we did get a chocolate bunny at the end…and (curiously) a pepperoni stick with our bib. As a vegetarian, this was a bit odd, but I simply shared with a friend.
Course: The loop from Lumberman’s Arch through Stanley Park to the Seawall, and around Brockton Point – it’s the same route as the Big Elf Run. As mentioned, though, it’s a crowded run on a sunny Sunday afternoon! As such, you can’t really ‘race’ the race. But it’s unquestionably scenic and flat!
Post-Race: Tim Horton’s had a truck set up with free coffee and hot chocolate, and David’s Tea had some samples. And if you were there with family and just wanted to hang out in the park, it was perfect for that. I wouldn’t have minded a bit of food – a banana or bagel – to stave off the hunger. But otherwise, fun energy and good music!
Would I Run It Again? Sure! Maybe next year, I’ll do a bit more with my bunny costume!! Looking for a family race – the Easter Fun Run is for you!