Archive for the ‘My Story’ Category

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!

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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
Stay connectedWebsite | Facebook | Twitter
Run the Seawall! Register here

PROMO CODE! Save 10% when using promo code BIBRAVE10 at registration!James Cunningham Seawall Race

 

hot chocolate seattleDisclaimer: I received a free entry to the Hot Chocolate Seattle 15K 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!

We’ve had a balmy summer here in Vancouver, and the past week has been no exception. So why am I thinking about hot chocolate? Well, although the race is still 6 months away, I’m pretty excited to be running my first ever RAM Hot Chocolate series race: the Hot Chocolate Seattle 15k!

What has me anticipating this race so far in advance? Let me tell you 5 reasons I can’t wait to run Hot Chocolate Seattle!

1. The City

Seattle is a great city! Although it’s just a few hours’ drive from Vancouver, we don’t get down there enough. However, last year some good friends of ours relocated from San Francisco, so we have even more reason to visit! Back in June, I had the chance to run Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon – and even had my own little cheer squad! Here’s hoping that the weather in March won’t keep them indoors!

If you’re already in Seattle, you know what a vibrant place it is. But if you need a reason to visit – either for the first time or as a regular – then Hot Chocolate Seattle is the sweetest excuse!

2. The Distance

I’ve run oodles of half marathons, and a whole bunch of 5k and 10k races. The 15k distance is not one that runners see very often. In fact, in my 8 years of running, I’ve only raced this distance once – at the VanRace 15k in 2015!

If you’re aspiring to run a half marathon, but haven’t quite worked your way up to that distance, the Hot Chocolate Seattle 15k could be just what you’re looking for. It’s a great ‘in between’ distance that provides a bit more challenge than a 10k, but isn’t quite as daunting as a half. Plus, you’re guaranteed to get a PB / PR!

For a course map, click here. Oh, and it’s a USATF-certified course, too!

3. The Shirt

Every 5k and 15k participant gets a long-sleeved pullover with their registration. The Hot Chocolate Seattle shirts are beautiful – technical fabric, three-quarter zip, striking colours, thumb-holes – even a zippered chest pocket! Just the thing to keep you warm and toasty in the dreary Seattle winter!

hot chocolate seattle

4. The Bling

I have always admired the medals of the Hot Chocolate series, and the bling for Hot Chocolate Seattle is no exception. There’s a fancy new design for the 2017-2018 series, plus an extra bonus…every city has its own unique keychain! Whether you’re a Seattle native or visiting from out of town, the Space Needle keychain will be a great reminder of this awesome race!

hot chocolate seattle

5. The Hot Chocolate

Ummm…OK. I admit that in the grand scheme of things, I’m more of a savoury guy. I love me my potato chips. HOWEVER, on a chilly winter day, there’s nothing better than a warm mug of hot chocolate. It comforts you more than any bag of sour cream ‘n’ onion chips ever could.

What about the selection at Hot Chocolate Seattle? Well, here’s a preview:

First of all, it’s all about dark chocolate (yum!) – and it’s both gluten- and nut-free!

Then, there are the sweets stations on course – these include:  M&M station, strawberry marshmallow station, chocolate chip station, and chocolate marshmallow station.

For hydration – because even when it’s cold (and possibly rainy), you need to stay hydrated – my favourite brand nuun will be at the aid stations! I know, nuun isn’t chocolate, but still worth mentioning!

Let this photo inspire you:

hot chocolate seattle

Race Details & Promo Code!

Have I whetted your appetite for Hot Chocolate Seattle? Here are some of the key details, so you can make your plans!

When: Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 6:45am
Price: 15K is $59 thru Sept 17; 5k is $39 thru Sept 17 (price increases again in January and February…so sign up soon!)
Stay connected: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Want all the chocolate? Register here

PROMO CODE! You’ll get bonus Hot Chocolate swag using the code BRHCSEA18 at registration. Codes for other Hot Chocolate series races can be found here.

Have you ever run a Hot Chocolate race before?
Share your experience with us!

hot chocolate seattle

SeaWheeze 2017

Upon the completion of the epic SeaWheeze Half Marathon in 2016, I figured it was probably a ‘one and done’ type of scenario. Although I enjoy the hype and the bling, my race tastes tend toward the smaller and more understated. However, when I was given the unexpected opportunity to run SeaWheeze 2017, I jumped at the chance! And do I have any regrets? Not a single one!

I’ve given the spiel before – SeaWheeze / lululemon / yoga / Vancouver – the SeaWheeze Half Marathon is one of those races that draws people from all over the world, that sells out in an hour, and that gets everyone talking. SeaWheeze 2017 was no exception!

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rock n roll montreal

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!

To date, I’ve only had the opportunity to run two Rock ‘n’ Roll series races:

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Half Marathon – in both 2014 and 2015 (sadly – the Vancouver RnR has since been cancelled)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon2017

While I’m not entirely motivated by the hype and the bling of big races, I have enjoyed the Rock ‘n’ Roll races immensely. The events are well-organized, the participants and volunteers are enthusiastic, and the medals are arguably the best out there!

Montreal

With the cancellation of Vancouver race, Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal is now the only RnR event in Canada. Second only to Vancouver – which is arguably the most beautiful city in the country (but perhaps I’m biased…) – Montreal holds a place in my heart as the most vibrant, culturally exciting place in Canada!

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Epic Canadian – Run for Canada

Posted: July 8, 2017 in My Story

Epic Canadian

I’m very pleased to welcome another guest writer to my blog – my friend, Andrea! I’ve worked with Andrea for a few years, and we run together from time to time. When I heard about her upcoming travels, I asked if she’d share her experiences. Here is Andrea’s Epic Canadian report, all the way from the Maritimes…

About 5.5 weeks ago, I sought an opportunity to check something off my bucket list – I signed up for my first out of province run, the Epic Canadian in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia! I’ve been running more consistently over the last few months and I thought, why not sign up for a race while I’m still in shape? I searched for races in July in Nova Scotia as I knew I was going to be there to visit my brother. I found the Epic Canadian right away and I got super excited.

Epic Canadian a 3-day event with different distance runs (5km, 6.1km, 10km, and 21.1km). I decided to sign up for two back-to-back runs on July 1st – the Maple Leaf 10km run with my brother, and the Canadian 5km run with my mom. The timing worked out because my flight arrived on July 1st at 2am, and the 10km run started at 8am. I knew I would be tired but I couldn’t miss the opportunity. I also really liked the beautiful Canada 150 medals! You get a medal for each run and if you sign up for more than one run, you get a bonus medal! There was no better way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday than running the Epic Canadian.

Pre-Race

My brother picked up the Epic Canadian race package three days before race day at the Atlantic Superstore near the start line. There was no line up and the packages were neatly organized in a zipped bag. The goodies included a race bib, Canada 150 t-shirt, and a limited edition Canada 150 buff.

Epic Canadian Epic Canadian

The night before my flight I slept only three hours because I’m a last minute packer so yes, I have no excuse. I was hoping to catch up on my sleep on my flight to Toronto, but I sat near a baby who was crying nonstop so I couldn’t sleep. I felt very exhausted and was looking forward to getting to my hotel in Halifax so I could rest a few hours before the race. When I landed Toronto to connect to Halifax, I found out my flight was delayed for two hours. I had some midnight Pad Thai from Thai Express – this was going to be my last meal before the race. When I landed Halifax, it was 4:15am on race day – less than 4 hours before the race start time!

Race Day

The Maple Leaf 10km – July 1st, 2017, 8AM

With only 30 precious minutes of sleep, I was exhausted but still excited and determined to run. The weather did not look promising – it was cloudy and chilly. Getting to the race was a smooth process. The event was sponsored by Subaru so we were able to park in the “VIP” parking lot for Subaru’s which was just steps away from the start line. We arrived at 7:50AM, took a selfie, and sang O Canada. The horn sounded and everyone was off to run!

Epic Canadian Epic Canadian Epic Canadian

I ran with my brother for probably less than 5 minutes before he dashed off. I kept my pace and after the 2km mark, it started drizzling. The route was quite scenic, especially by Lake Banook, but a lot hillier than I expected. Running uphill was hard and running downhill was slippery! Each kilometre marker featured an epic Canadian*, which was pretty neat. People and children were cheering us on and giving high fives.

*Editor: Some our most famous Canadians – people like Justin Trudeau & Laura Secord!

It rained harder and harder and by the time I was in my last 2kms, it was POURING and I was drenched. My runners carried puddles of their own and with each step I felt the water splash inside my runners. Water was dripping off the tip of my cap. At this point I was just relieved that I wore my jacket and cap. The rain motivated me to run faster so I could get out of the rain sooner.

As I dodged the puddles and approached the finish line, I heard them announce my name and that I was from Vancouver, BC, which reminded me that I was actually running a race outside of BC! I never thought I’d be a runner and I used to not be able to run even a minute without stopping. It meant so much to me to come this far in my running career. I was so happy when I crossed the finish line – mostly because it meant getting out of the rain, but of course, also completing the race. I was soaked and it was still pouring like crazy. There was not a lot of undercover area in the post-race space so I didn’t explore and went straight to the car to rest before the next race.

The Canadian 5km – July 1st, 2017, 9:30AM

It was drizzling but luckily it wasn’t pouring. The Canadian 5km route was covered by the 10km run, but this run (walk) was for the mama bear. My mom is not a runner and she did not train for this at all, but I’m proud of her for trying. Since we walked part of it, I was able to take more photos of the route!

Epic Canadian Epic Canadian Epic Canadian Epic Canadian

Post Race

Still drizzling, but we were finally able to take photos with our medals! My phone was all wet but I still had to bring it out to take some photos by the finish line. We met Dartmouth’s MP, Darren Fisher, who came to us to hand out some cool Canada 150 pins and we took a selfie! (Selfie credit: Darren Fisher @DarrenFisherNS)

 Epic Canadian Epic Canadian

Overall, the event was very well organized. Although I was totally not expecting to enter the race with lack of sleep, hilly routes, and pouring rain, now I can return home to Vancouver with an ‘epic’ experience to share and some medals to show-and-tell!

Final Results – The Maple Leaf 10km

Chip Time: 1:02:12 (not a PB, but 5:20 faster than my last 10km Sun Run in April 2017!)
Average Pace: 6:18/km
Overall Place: 279/536
Age Category Place: 20/43

Final Results – The Canadian 5km

Chip Time: 44:41
Average Pace: 9:13/km
Overall Place: 556/701
Age Category Place: 51/58

Epic Canadian

Learn more about the Epic Canadian:

Website: https://epiccanadian.ca/
Facebook: Epic Canadian
Twitter: @EPIC_Canadian

Rock n roll seattle half marathon

The only Rock ‘n’ Roll series race I’ve run before is Vancouver, which I did in 2014 and 2015. That event has since been cancelled (but will be replaced by Vancouver Running Festival this year!). When there was a ‘global sale’ for RnR race entries last year, I decided to sign up for Seattle. And since we have some awesome friends to stay with in the city – it’s the perfect race destination!

Here it is – the best and worst of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon!

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