Friday Five: Favourite Running Routes


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.

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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.


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!



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



    • 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!)

  1. 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
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