Summerfast 10K 2017


Summerfast 10k

As I was making my way to the 2017 Summerfast 10K in Stanley Park, I recorded a quick video for my Instagram story – and within seconds, my iPhone had shut itself down. The black screen of death told me that somehow my battery was empty, and I knew there would be no photos of my third Summerfast 10K – if, in fact, I ran it at all…

Perhaps I’m being melodramatic. But the night before, I had a dream that the 2017 Summerfast 10K was not just a struggle. In fact, my subconscious actually had me dialling in before it started. That’s right – I dreamed of pulling a DNS (Did Not Start), which would have been a first for me. I’ve run over 100 races since 2009, and never even felt inclined to not show up. But I was feeling a bit blue, my knees were both a bit tender, and the thought of running this particular race didn’t appeal at all when I woke from that dream.

Crazy, right?

But then I realized HOW. MUCH. TROUBLE. I would be in with Debra if I didn’t show up. Not only had she picked up my bib the day before, she had been advocated for a second consecutive win for the West Van Run Crew in the Team Challenge. I certainly didn’t want to be in Debra’s bad books! So despite my battery feeling nearly empty – much like my iPhone (see the connection?), I made my way to Ceperley Meadow to join the race.

Oh, and also – the kind folks at Summerfast 10K asked me to be featured on their webpage this year. You can read my testimonial here (and also about my friend, Mayling, here)!

Divided Loyalties

Yes, I registered for the Summerfast 10K as part of the West Van Run Crew. Come on, we were the winning team last year! Plus, Debra was the one who encouraged me to register in the first place! However, Forerunners Vancouver has always been my training crew – I run with them nearly every weekend. I was definitely torn between the two, although I was graciously allowed to join in both team photos!

Summerfast 10k

The Race

There’s nothing new about this route – I’ve run it many times, in both directions. I won’t go into detail – you can refer to my Summerfast 10K 2015 race report (when I met Stephen Amell from Arrow!) to learn more about the course. Suffice it to say that it was warm and toasty while we were in the sun, that I took advantage of both water stops, and that it was blessedly shady on the far side of the Seawall!

I caught up with Rodrigo around 8k – and he paced me until the final stretch – and then pummeled me in the sprint! Nice work, Rodrigo!

Summerfast 10k Summerfast 10k

Afterwards, I checked my watch. Only 9.89 km. I know GPS can be fickle, but it was later confirmed – the course was short by 180 metres. The official distance, then, was 9.82 km. As it happens, the pylons at our turnaround spot were misplaced, cutting that wee bit of length off the route. Not a big deal for me, but no course records were set.


One of the biggest draws of the Summerfast 10K – as I’ve said before – is the baked goods! All the wonderful folks from VFAC (Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club) provide delicious sweet treats for participants to enjoy. This year was no exception – the baking was spectacular! I especially enjoyed the lemon cake, the rice krispie squares (with chocolate), and the caramel/chocolate bark. Delectable!

Door prizes galore! Age group medals! Lots of cheering, and a remarkable showing from the over-70 crowd!! What strikes me most about the Summerfast 10K – and at least two others commented on this to me that morning – was the camaraderie and spirit of encouragement from the local running community. Fast or slow, I felt surrounded by positivity, excitement, and general happiness to be together to celebrate the athleticism of running. And to think I almost missed this?!

Then it was time for the Team Challenge – and West Van Run Crew didn’t win. Neither did Forerunners. Nope – it was the Mile2Marathon (M2M) Team! Congrats, everyone!


Debra had a couple of gift cards for the Donnelly Group – so a bunch of the West Van Run Crew headed to Library Square. We were treated like royalty by our server, Emily – and welcomed with open arms by Manager Megan (who is now an honorary West Van Run Crew member!). All in all, a fantastic experience!

Summerfast 10k

And after all of that? My battery was fully recharged. The run, the scenery, the volunteers, the baked goods, and the spirit of the Vancouver running community – gave me the energy I so desperately needed!

Final Results

Chip Gun Time: 50:17 (projected 10K time: 50:47 / chip time: 49:52)
Average Pace: 5:00 min/km
Place Overall: 193/419
Age Category Place: 12/18

Summerfast 10K – Quick Review

Social Media: The Twitter feed and Facebook page provided regular updates, and we got a final reminder email the week before the race. Not a lot, but enough information for a race of this size.

Packet Pickup: Debra kindly retrieved my bib at the Running Room on Friday night. She arrived just after 4pm and found a long line. But then she took pictures, so no biggie!

T-Shirt/Swag: No t-shirt (which is fine – I have plenty), but they had socks. Only nothing in my size. Oh well.

Course: I wish I had something new to say about this course – but it’s so familiar! Counterclockwise on the Seawall around Stanley Park. Well staffed with volunteers, aid stations at 5k and 8.5k-ish (Third Beach).

Post-Race: My favourite part of the morning – socializing with all my running peeps, mowing down on home baking, and watching people win prizes. None for me this year!

Organization: As usual, a well-run event with great community spirit and enthusiastic volunteers. The only error this year was in the course length (180 metres short), but I’m sure this will be remedied next year!

Would I run it again? I promised to run the race fast this year. I did not. Will 2018 do the trick? I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

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