Coho Run 2018

Posted: September 20, 2018 in My Story
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Coho RunAfter nearly 14 years living in the same place, we moved in August. Not a big move in the strictest sense – but a significant move for us. We packed up everything from our downtown one-bedroom and relocated across the bridge to a two-bedroom condo in North Vancouver. A lot of factors went into this decision, but we are excited by life on the North Shore: the new neighbourhood to discover, the nature, and the runs! Expect to see more from me about running trails over the next year!

So when registration for the annual Coho Run opened, I had to be part of it! The event finishes in West Vancouver, a short jaunt from our new home, and it’s the only 14-kilometre race that I know of!

Pre-Race

Packet pickup was held on Friday evening and Saturday at The North Face store in Kitsilano. We made a morning of it, combining it with a lovely brunch at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company. When I arrived at the store, I was greeted warmly and got my bib right away. I was told: “You ordered a small t-shirt but the smalls are cotton. The medium is a tech shirt if you want to try it?” which I did and it fit quite well so I went with a medium. “See you tomorrow!”

No longer living just across Burrard Bridge from the start line meant I had to take a car2go from North Van to Kits Beach – but at 8am on a Sunday, the traffic was a breeze. I arrived just as Debra showed up on her Mobi. This was followed by a flurry of activity as photos were taken with our West Van Run Crew members and friends.

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Jeannine, Shannon and I then did some warmups – a short run, some drills and strides. Jeannine, who was planning to add another 20k on after the race, asked me: “Are you racing today?” I was non-committal. While I’m always happy to achieve a good time, my main goal was to have fun.

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In the start corral, I was delighted to connect with fellow North Shore resident, Bev!

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Just as at the 2016 Coho Run, a member of the Squamish Nation drummed and sang a blessing before we headed for our run on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh people. I love and respect this tradition that the Coho Run has embraced.

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On the Course

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I made sure to get myself nearer the front of the pack as we headed out, remembering the congestion of the previous year I’d run. We looped around Kits Beach Pool, past the start line and onwards.

My intention was to run comfortably for as long as I could, maintaining an even pace and staying in control of my breathing. Even as we made the gradual climb over Burrard Bridge, I kept it together. Then it was smooth sailing for the next 4 kilometres along English Bay and onto the Seawall past Second Beach and onwards to Third Beach.

At Merilees Trail, we zigzagged up up up to Prospect Point. I tried to keep a steady jog going, but ended up walking for a hundred metres or so until my breathing slowed. Of course, Jonathan in his brilliant orange shirt passed me at this point.

Prospect Point onto Lions Gate Bridge and I was in my element again. Steady up and coasting down. It started to drizzle. Off the bridge and towards Ambleside.

I had hoped that drearier weather would mean fewer pedestrians. But the dog walkers were out in force. I picked up steam and passed a few runners, at which point I was joined by one of the most eager puppies I’ve ever seen. He was lithe and bouncy and had an orange ball in his mouth and he wanted to run and wanted me to play come on play with me!! A Vizla, maybe? He looked a bit like this:

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Cute, but I was sure I would trip and then he dropped the ball in front of me, I leapt over it and forged ahead sans puppy. Phew.

Pushing forward and the finish line was around the corner. My honey had cycled over from home to cheer and snap photos, and I heard a few folks calling my name and the race was done! Bam!

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And guess what? It was my Coho Run PB!

Post-Race

We mingled, we chatted, we caught up with friends.

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I thought about lining up for pancakes and then remembered that I don’t like pancakes that much and the line was kind of long. We decided to go for brunch instead of hanging around for the Coho Festival. This would turn out to be a good idea, since the heavens opened while we were having brunch and we would have gotten soaked.

We made a brief stop at the Ambleside Farmers Market on the way, and enjoyed both coffee and some yummy cider!

I declare the Coho Run 2018 a success!

Final Results

Chip time: 1:09:45
Average pace:  4:50 min/km
Overall place: 59/446
Place in age category: 17/40

Click here for complete race results


Coho Run 2018 – Quick Review

What I liked:
– The unique distance – how often do you get to run a 14k race? An automatic PB for newbies, and a course to challenge yourself as a returnee
– The scenery – you get to see the best parts of Vancouver, with beaches and bridges and Stanley Park – hard to beat!
– The people – lots of familiar faces, great energy, awesome volunteers and a festival at the finish line!
– The t-shirt – I haven’t loved previous years’ shirts, but I’m really happy with the design for this year’s mens shirt

What could be improved:
– The t-shirt colour for the women – now, this isn’t really a direct criticism, but the women’s shirt was, well, salmon colour. Not the best colour for everyone. I heard a few comments about sizing from the women as well, but that’s just hearsay
– Social media – I dutifully follow the Coho Run on Twitter, but they only had one post in 2018, about two months before the race. Having said that, the Coho Run Facebook page is fairly active, so I guess that’s the channel of choice!

Would I run it again?
This was my third Coho Run and I enjoyed it yet again. The weather is unpredictable and the climb is challenging, but it’s such a fun event! I’ll be back!

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