Posts Tagged ‘West Van Run’

RuntoGiveYVR

I’ve done charity races and fund-raising before. As many of you know, I’ve been running the Scotiabank Half Marathon on behalf of the BC Cancer Foundation for the past four years. Early in my running career, I did some fundraising for The Underwear Affair. The West Van Run Crew did fundraising for the Vancouver Food Bank as part of our Eastside 10K team run.

But this was my first participation in a ‘casual’ run for the specific purpose of raising cash for an important charity.

On Sunday, I gathered with about 75 local runners for a fun, informal run – the second annual Run to Give YVR (#RunToGiveYVR). I missed the inaugural run last year, but made sure this one made it into my calendar!

While the forecast called for rain, the clouds held onto the Vancouver sunshine for most of the run, which started out at the Giant Birds in Olympic Village. Rather than bike or drive, I ran the 5k across Burrard Bridge and along the south side of the False Creek Seawall to join everyone – and that everyone included epic marathoner Rob Watson (“for our thousandth photo together”):

RuntoGiveYVR

And Debra Kato (thanks for the photos!), who represented the West Van Run Crew with me!

RuntoGiveYVR

At 9am, the crowd of runners from multiple run crews gathered for introductions – of both the organizers, and the charity we were running for. We were welcomed by Mabel Nipshank, a First Nations matriarch and representative of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre – who acknowledged that we were running on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She had us form a huge circle, and we joined her in a traditional song – video here (courtesy of @RunGo).

RuntoGiveYVR

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

RuntoGiveYVR

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) is a vital organization in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood – the Vancouver DTES. The mission of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for women from all walks of life, who live and/or work in the Downtown Eastside. To achieve this goal, the Centre provides supportive surroundings with meals, counseling, advocacy and programs which nurture and empower members. Among the vital services the Centre provides is a hot lunch program every day of the year.

You can make a donation to the DEWC here or click on the donate button.

#RunToGiveYVR

This event was started last year by Kate Gustafson (@atrueworld), who is a volunteer at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. She combined her passion for that organization and her enthusiasm for running. I had a chance to run with her a bit – and we talked about the local running community. There are lots of runners in Vancouver, and we all have groups / clubs / crews that we run with. Kate wanted to organize an event that would bring all these people together – to collaborate for a good cause.

RuntoGiveYVR

And Run to Give YVR was born!

The Run

It was a big group. Lots of runners, lots of skill levels and speeds. We all headed out together – and some folks would end up running further, some turning back sooner. It didn’t matter. This was about gathering, and running, and making a difference.

We headed out around Science World. Although most of the snow has melted on the streets, the Seawall was extremely slushy. I was glad I had decided to wear my trail shoes! We continued around False Creek until we reached Burrard Bridge (hey – I’m almost home!) – and at that 4k mark, we headed back the way we had come to finish off the 8k route.

I ran into Debra on the way by!

RuntoGiveYVR

Back at the start/finish, I had a quick chat with Kate, Kim Doerkson (@kdoerks), and Sabine – all part of the organizing committee for the 2016 Run to Give YVR.

RuntoGiveYVR

Kate & me

RuntoGiveYVR

Kim & Sabine

And then I ran home. Glad that I came out. And happy to share that, in total, over $5,000 was raised on behalf of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre! Looking forward to what is achieved in 2017!

What are your thoughts on charity runs?

 

Gunner Shaw Memorial Cross Country

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Gunner Shaw Memorial Cross Country 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 Debra Kato for many of the photos in this post – she kept the camera snapping throughout the whole course!

Although I’ve run a lot of races, I still get butterflies the night before each event. But my stomach was a bit more fluttery than usual in advance of this year’s Gunner Shaw Memorial Cross Country race. Previously, I had only run one other cross country race (the Spirit Run last autumn) – which was fun and challenging. However, there were a few reasons why I was a bit more nervous about Gunner Shaw:

  • Last year’s weather – I wasn’t there, but it was pouring rain, windy, and (based on the photos) absolutely brutal weather-wise
  • This year’s weather – Vancouver has been having a rainier AND colder than usual autumn…and snow was forecast
  • Clothing – what the heck does one wear to this type of race?
  • The puddle (more details below…)

I had originally registered for the 10k (2 laps), but ultimately elected to stick with the single lap 5k.

And it was one of my favourite race events of 2016!

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Great Climate Race

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Great Climate Race 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!

In writing this post, I feel a bit guilty because my involvement in the race itself was remarkably minimal. I showed up, ran the race, and then dashed off for brunch with friends. Nevertheless, it was a very positive experience, so I’ll provide all the details I can!

The Great Climate Race focuses on the impact climate change has on all of us. It’s a walking/ running event series that enables participants to crowdfund for local renewable energy projects. I definitely recommend visiting the Great Climate Race website to learn more.

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MEC North Vancouver Race FIVE

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to MEC North Vancouver Race FIVE 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!

Dubbed ‘Haunted Headwaters‘, the fifth and final race of the MEC North Vancouver trail series had both 5k and 10k options. Initially, I threw down and planned to sign up for the 10k, but ended up scaling back to the 5k. Which was plenty long enough for me! The event starts at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – hence the name of the race!

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SHLF Run

The storm warnings came at us throughout the week. The hashtag #BCStorm was trending on Twitter. I was worried that the race itself might be cancelled.

But when Sunday dawned, the rain was mostly at bay and I had a smooth, uneventful drive up Capilano Road to Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver for the SHLF Run!

Never heard of the SHFL Run? You’re not alone – I hadn’t either! But as an ambassador of the West Van Run, I was introduced to SHLF, and encouraged to run and represent our Crew. But what is the SHLF Run? It’s one of those rare races with a truly personal story behind it.

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Spirit of the Shore

Just a week after my Washington Road Trip with Brie, where we ran the North County Wine Run, I had the Spirt of the Shore Half Marathon on my roster. As one does, I had signed up for this race months ago, and it kind of slipped my mind. And although I have a race calendar, October was on the ‘next page’ – so I didn’t notice that I had back-to-back halfs until they were pretty much happening.

However, this was my first half marathon on the North Shore (including both West Vancouver and North Vancouver) – and we had the amazing support of the West Van Run Crew – so the experience was fantastic. No regrets…except for one wee error in judgement…but more on that later!

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Coho Run

Very early in my running career – way back in 2010 – I teamed up with a friend and entered the Coho Run. At 14 kilometres, it was the longest race I had ever participated in. The day dawned cloudy and miserable, and once the heavens opened – even draped in a garbage bag – I was drenched. Having had very little experience running in the rain, I kept that garbage bag on for several kilometres, until I was so hot I had to tear it off. By the end of the race, I felt bedraggled and alone – being so far behind most of the other runners – but a few stalwart supporters were there to cheer me across the finish line.

Fast forward to 2016 – and Debra (thanks for the photos!) encouraged me to sign up once again for the Coho Run. And the experience couldn’t have been better!

What is the Coho Run?

The Coho Run is a community race organized by the Coho Society – an organization formed to support “the protection and revitalization of North Shore salmon streams and rivers”. The race takes place to coincide with the Coho Festival, held annually in West Vancouver.

This point-to-point race is a great middle distance between a 10k and a half marathon, which is why I chose to tackle it 6 years ago. It’s a very unique ‘beach to bridge to beach to bridge to beach‘ race, as you’ll soon learn!

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