Shaughnessy 8K 2018


shaughnessy 8k

In an incredible break from tradition, the Shaughnessy 8K was run in reverse in 2018! This did not mean, as some suggested (Seann, I’m looking at you, Mr Paparazzi!), that runners would run backwards. Though I hear there’s a new world record for doing just that! No, the double loop of the Shaughnessy course went clockwise instead of the usual counter-clockwise. And what did that mean for the success of this fun local race? Read on…

I’ve run the Shaughnessy 8K three times before, most recently last year. Naturally, a bit of light pressure applied by the indefatigable Margaret, and I was registered again for Shaughnessy 8K 2018! Last year, I was over-the-moon surprised to place 2nd in my age group, but this year had me in a new (and shockingly more challenging) age category. How would that affect my showing??


I elected to do bib pickup on race morning, since I had a lot going on the day before and getting to Kits Running Room wasn’t going to happen. Sunday morning dawned sunny and cool, and I hopped in an Evo to jet to the start line in Kerrisdale. At the bib pickup / race day registration table, Judy greeted me warmly (as usual) and handed me my bib.

shaughnessy 8k

Within minutes, I was ready to go. I trotted over to the track – where I spent many Tuesday nights over the past few months training with Mile2Marathon – and did a quick lap and some warmups.

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Back at Kerrisdale ‘Cyclone Taylor’ Arena, I mingled and connected with some of my favourite people from West Van Run, Forerunners, and the local running community. These people make running such a positive experience!

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Promptly at 8:30am, we lined up and counted down to our start!

On the Course

No surprises, the first kilometre of the Shaughnessy 8K is a straight shot along East Boulevard followed by a sharp turn and famously short but challenging uphill on 37th. Having trained on this very hill, I was prepared for the gravity challenge!

Then the big change up – rather than turning right, we veered left to begin the first of our two loops around the calm, shady, tree-lined streets of Shaughnessy. I had taken some time the night before to review last year’s course and then pictured it in reverse. Although the route is not exactly hilly, it undulates enough to be challenging. As expected, kilometres 3 and 6 (identical) were the toughest as they were gradually and incessantly uphill. These were my slowest intervals, but I knew they would be.

Although there weren’t a lot of folks out cheering – I guess most of the homeowners were sleeping / sipping mimosas on their back porches / on their yachts / living overseas – the course marshals along the route were absolutely great. They clapped and shouted and encouraged every runner as they came by, full of smiles and enthusiasm. THANK YOU!

On my second loop, I encountered Debra and her costume (and camera!)

shaughnessy 8k

After Eugene Marathon, Coach Tony suggested that having a ‘mantra’ of sorts would help near the end of the race. Despite the fact that the Shaughnessy 8K is a far cry from a marathon, I still felt the need to encourage myself along the way. Riffing on a theme presented by Laurel at our last training session, the phrase “I am a raging bull” came into my head. And to be fair, my laboured breathing might have been mistaken for bullish snorts! That pushed me through to the last kilometre as we headed downhill.

Rounding the corner at the bottom of the hill, there was nothing between me and the finish line but a few hundred metres of pavement. I pushed hard. And then this young guy with legs up to my chest blasted by me and finished just second ahead. At least he wasn’t in my age group!

As it turned out, I place mid-pack BUT was thrilled to shave a minute off of last year’s time…and achieve the best 8k result I’ve had in 3 years!


Phew! That was tough. The weather had warmed up, so I was glad to grab some nuun to cool down. Thanks for repping, Humphrey!

I grabbed some post-race snacks. There were cookies from Subway, bagels with cream cheese and my favourite Ethical Bean coffee!

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After grabbing a few more photos, I waited around for awards and door prizes. I won neither this year, as luck would have it. However, I was proud to cheer on many of my friends as they received awards. Special shout-outs to my girls Debra and Judy!!

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Things started to wrap up, and it was time to head home. I had planned ahead to make this into a long run, and headed out along the Arbutus Greenway for another 8k run in the beautiful Sunday sun.

Another wonderfully executed Shaughnessy 8K! Huge kudos to Lions Gate Road Runners, their helpers and volunteers!

Final Results

Chip time: 38:44
Average pace: 4:50 min/km
Overall place: 48/132
Place in age category: 5/8

Click here for complete race results

Quick Recap – Shaughnessy 8K 2018

Social Media: All of the information you need is on the website. The race itself doesn’t have social channels, but I recommend staying in touch by following Lions Gate Road Runners:  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Packet Pickup: I missed the pickup at Kits Running Room, but had no problem getting my bib early on race morning. Quick and simple

T-Shirt/Swag: The Shaughnessy 8K is a no-frills run – which is fine, because I have plenty of race shirts! Medals for overall and age group winners, but no take homes for me this year.

Course: A steep uphill near the beginning, which turns into a speedy downhill at the end. In between, double loops of the Shaughnessy neighbourhood – no truly steep hills, but lots of undulation. It’s more challenging than it looks! But the course is well shaded, and there are lots of beautiful homes to look at. A pleasant course.

Post-Race: Given the size of the race (about 150 runners this year), there are great sponsors, heaps of food and plenty of door prizes. Your chances of winning are high. This year, though, I went home empty-handed. 

Would I Run It Again? A local favourite! Yes, absolutely!

shaughnessy 8k
The boys of Forerunners!

One comment

  1. Judy Westacott

    I love reading your blog Bradley! I do wish more people would find out for themselves what a great course this is and how well-organized LGRR makes it. This is one of my favourite smaller races. Thanks for special mention and razzing the “Papparatzzi”.

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