Friday Five: Favourite Running Routes

Posted: February 18, 2016 in Friday Five, My Story
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Running Routes

We are a very spoiled bunch living in Vancouver. Hot, dry summers; rainy but warm winters; early springs. Although the wet runs can get a bit emotionally trying, we don’t suffer from the sub-zero temperatures experienced across most of Canada and much of the US.

Before I started running, I had less appreciation for a lot of the natural beauty at my doorstep. Sure, I recognized that the mountains were right there, and the ocean right there – but I didn’t really value it the way I should have. Then I started running.

We all have our habits – some good, some bad. Running is one of my good habits, though I do tend to fall into a bit of a pattern when it comes to my running routes. But my five favourite running routes are favourites for a reason – and here they are!

Coal Harbour/Lost Lagoon

Conveniently located a block from my office, the Coal Harbour Seawall allows quick access to a running route with views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains. Challenging in the summer, because it’s often packed with tourists and cruise ship visitors, the Seawall is almost empty in the winter.

coal harbour

We generally run this route on our early morning RunVan runs on Thursday mornings.

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Adding a loop around Lost Lagoon takes you off the concrete onto the trails – amazing to experience nature at the edge of the city!

English Bay/Stanley Park

Steps from our front door…the ocean. It’s hard to beat the fact that I can run along English Bay beach pretty much anytime. Again, in the summer, this route can get pretty congested…but it’s totally worthwhile.

English Bay Running Routes

After some tentative exploration last year, Stanley Park has become my destination for many of these runs. I especially enjoy running up to Prospect Point – a challenging but rewarding climb – and then descending through some of the well-groomed trails. I mix the route up from time to time, and then return along the water.

stanley park Running Routes

False Creek Loop

A popular route for our Monday night speed clinic, the False Creek loop has the advantage of a couple of bridges. If you decide you don’t want to do the full distance around Science World, you can cut it short via the Cambie Bridge. Although more of an urban run, the views of Granville Island, boats in the marina, bridges and cityscapes never tire me.

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True, the ‘dog-stacle course’ of Yaletown can present some leashy challenges, but nothing that can’t be overcome!

Jericho Beach/Spanish Banks/UBC

Often, when running with Forerunners, we tackle the stretch of beach across from downtown Vancouver – some of the most stunning views of the city.

Then we head up, up, up to the University of British Columbia. While the ‘UBC hill’ can strike fear in the heart early on a Saturday morning, the views across the ocean are a welcome distraction.

UBC

Last fall, I participating in my first Fall Classic Half Marathon at UBC, and discovered a remarkable sense of peace on the roads around UBC.

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The North Shore

I’m still new to trail running, and I can’t identify a single ‘favourite’ route on the North Shore, but a few runs (both road and trail) have caught my fancy:

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  • And, of course, the West Van Run – and its route along the Seawall

In 2016, I look forward to exploring more of what the ‘Shore’ has to offer – some awesome runs, to be sure!

Tell us about your favourite running route!

*****

DC-Trifecta-Friday-Five-linkup

Linking up with Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?! for this week’s Friday Five – Favourites!

 

Comments
  1. Kristen says:

    Your views are gorgeous! I live in Anchorage so I’ve got the mountains and ocean as well, but I’m still totally in love with how pretty your running routes are! I may need to visit Vancouver for my next out of town race! 🙂
    Kristen recently posted…Friday Five: Favorite Activities for Injured RunnersMy Profile

  2. Wow, you have some gorgeous running routes! My favorite local route is running down at the beach. For a long run, I can hit a scenic trail, run along some beautiful beach-front homes and then end on the boardwalk at the beach. It kind of covers the best of all worlds in my book.
    Christine @ Two Runners Travel recently posted…My 5 favorite running books and magazinesMy Profile

  3. I’m jealous! Those are some great views on your run!
    MCM Mama Runs recently posted…Things that suck about winter runningMy Profile

  4. Coco says:

    I had a business trip to Vancouver two years ago and LOVED running around Stanley Park!

    • bjcjapan says:

      I can’t believe it took me a few years of running before I started venturing into Stanley Park – now, it’s one of my favourite places to run!

  5. Looks like you have some great places to run. I don’t do much trail running bc there are not many near where I live. But when I get a chance to do it. I really enjoy it.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…5 Things that Warm My HeartMy Profile

    • bjcjapan says:

      I haven’t done a lot of trails, except the very well-groomed ones in Stanley Park. I’m doing another trail race next week…my second official trail race (if you don’t count the snowshoe run!)

  6. Your running routes look beautiful! There are many wonderful trails here in Central Pennsylvania. I would say most of my favorite routes are trails in state parks.

    • bjcjapan says:

      I have never been to Pennsylvania, but was chatting with my friend yesterday (on a run) about how I’d like to visit someday. Trails in state parks – sounds awesome!

  7. Karen says:

    A gal I work with visited Vancouver this summer. She was awed 🙂 She couldn’t stop talking about great it is, I would love to visit 🙂 I run in neighborhoods, but I try to take different turns once in awhile lol
    Karen recently posted…Another One DownMy Profile