Granville Island Turkey Trot


Granville Island Turkey Trot

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m still recovering from last night’s amazing Thanksgiving dinner, and now enjoying a mug of freshly brewed coffee.  But I’m also reflecting on the awesome experience that was this morning’s Granville Island Turkey Trot!

It shocked me, and a lot of my runner friends, that I’d never run this race before! Last year, we went to Seattle for the weekend. The previous year, I ran the Victoria Half Marathon. Previous years? I’m not sure why…but it just never happened. The great thing about this is having the chance to run the Turkey Trot for the first time!

The Granville Island Turkey Trot is Race #2 of the Run Van race series – which includes BMO Vancouver Marathon in May (#1) and the Fall Classic in November (#3). I’ll be pacing the 30-minute 5k at the Fall Classic this year!

Package Pickup

After a mellow morning at the Farmers Market, a catch-up with a bunch of friends we hadn’t seen in awhile, and a peaceful brunch – we dropped by Rackets & Runners to pick up my bib. Race registration included a gift card for the store, which was a nice bonus! I had my bib within seconds, and had a quick catchup with Lara Penno – RUNVAN Runner Services Manager extraordinaire!

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot


Getting up this morning was a bit of a struggle, particularly since the post-Thanksgiving dinner coffee I had last night kept me awake. Thankfully, the sun was starting to rise as I headed out and grabbed a Mobi bike to get me across Burrard Bridge and over to Granville Island. It was brisk and breezy, but also clear and dry…perfect race conditions!

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

I checked my bag, and then caught up with a few of my running peeps.

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

Then we gathered in the corral for a prompt 8:30am start!

The Course

Although I’m familiar with most of the False Creek loop of this course, I’ve never actually run on Granville Island. It’s usually rammed with tourists and cars (personally, I think the Island should be car-free, but I doubt that’s ever going to happen), but we had the place to ourselves as we wove through its streets for the first kilometre.

There are a few smaller hills in kilometre 2, and then the long, steady incline of Burrard Bridge. This was, unsurprisingly, my slowest kilometre. After that, the remainder of the race is essentially flat along the Seawall around False Creek.

Race Force was out with an awesome cheering and aid station just past 5k. Near Science World (7k), there was a huge crowd of young people with tonnes of signs and enthusiasm encouraging the runners. Having run this route many, many times, I knew what the remainder of the course would look like. At 8k, I did my best to kick things into gear, and stay ahead of the girl who had kept cutting me off over the past 2k.

Siobhan, in her fantastic Thanksgiving costume, came into view just before the finish line. We pushed each other right to the final turn back onto Granville Island. She even ran a PB race, just a week after completing a full marathon! Congrats, Siobhan!

Granville Island Turkey Trot 


Medals – fantastic!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Post-race food – amazing!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

In addition to the usual suspects (fruit, juice, energy bars), there were Old Dutch chips (my favourite weakness), and chili (including a vegetarian option). It was the perfect food to top off an autumn race!

A live band was entertaining the crowd indoors, but once I had finished my chili, I decided it was time to head home. Another Mobi, and a quick jaunt back over Burrard Bridge, with one quick photo stop.

Thanks for an amazing Thanksgiving run – kudos to the volunteers and organizers who made the 2017 Granville Island Turkey Trot a success!

Final Results

Chip Time: 50:25
Average Pace: 5:02 min/km
Overall Place:  243/1833
Place in Age Category: 43/153

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Granville Island Turkey Trot 2017 – Quick Review

Social Media: I appreciate that the Turkey Trot has its own Twitter and Instagram accounts, although the latter hasn’t been updated in over a year. They have an active Facebook account, and kept participants updated on race events (although I only signed up last week, so I don’t have a lot of info to go on!)

Packet Pickup: Quick and straightforward pickup at Rackets & Runners on Oak Street on Both Friday and Saturday, as well as pre-race on Sunday morning.

T-Shirt/Swag: No t-shirt included in this race, but I love that they have a medal for this awesome 10k! It’s classy and simple, and will make a great addition to my medal wall!

Course: A fast and flat course, with the exception of the Burrard Bridge. Scenic and peaceful, just the way a Vancouver race course should be!

Post-Race: Although today was sunny, it was great to have a post-race venue under cover! Lots of food, including hot chili, and entertainment! Fantastic, filling and fun!

Organization: Typical of Run Van events, the Granville Island Turkey Trot was well-organized and fun. Great volunteer support, awesome pre- and post-event coordination. Two thumbs up!

Would I run it again? Having run this for the first time, I’ll definitely be back for more!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

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