North Van Run 2018


north van run

Welcome back! 2018 marks the second year of the North Van Run – I’m glad it returned, and with it some awesome changes! As new residents of the North Shore, it was so handy to be a true local for this event. With great people, awesome sponsors and a new course – what a great way to spend a drizzly Sunday morning in September!

Course Preview

At the end of August, just a few days after we moved to the North Shore, the West Van Run Crew gathered at the Shipyards near Lonsdale Quay to preview the new North Van Run 5K course. It was a fun and leisurely jaunt to introduce us to the revised race route. We were treated to one of the most spectacular sunset views of Vancouver that I’ve ever seen, followed by beer at the Tap and Barrel. A great social run kind of evening.

north van run

Package Pickup

A few weeks later, and race day was approaching. Saturday afternoon, after running a few errands in the city, honey and I took the Seabus back over to North Van, browsed the Lonsdale Farmer’s Market and made our way to the Shipyards. Who should we find on a the stage but our beloved Debra, handing out our bibs.

north van run

Quick and easy! See you tomorrow!

Race Day

We knew it would rain. The predictions were accurate. And while we woke up to a pretty heavy downpour, it had eased off as we headed off to the Shipyards.

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Lots of friends, Sam and I did a warmup run. Plus a couple of pics with Gord…whose blog post on the North Van Run is definitely worth a read!

And then we made our way to the start.

The 5K runners headed out first – and I was part of that pack. A 10K race followed, running the 5K route before doing extended out-and-back distance along Low Level Road. I made sure to stay just ahead of our intrepid 25-minute pacer, Misa!

north van run

On the Course

Unlike last year’s race, which was a point-to-point from the North Shore Automall, this year’s started and ended at the beautiful Shipyards near Lonsdale Quay. We are hugely grateful that the North Shore Spirit Trail has been connected at the Mosquito Creek Marina – and that become part of the course.

The very beginning of the route was the least scenic, as we navigated the bus Lonsdale bus loop. Then it was just beautiful – the Spirit Trail! Views of the water and extravagant houseboats at the Marina. Halfway through the race, at the Automall, we did a loop and caught sight of the runners heading out on our way back.

Then the more challenging bits began! First, we powered up the Fell Avenue rail bridge, a short but steep overpass. Then we turned right, and started the slow climb up Third Avenue. After that, it was all downhill (in a good way!) to the finish line.

north van run

Once again, we finished at the end of the Burrard Dry Dock. Usually, this affords a spectacular view across Burrard Inlet of the Vancouver skyline. On this day, it was wet and cloudy. But no less thrilling!

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Despite the rain, I hung around to catch up with friends and cheer more folks to the finish. Lots of high fives, damp hugs and smiles!

The North Van Run has one of the most well-supported post-race events I’ve seen for a race of its size. Food and drinks from a whole range of vendors, including Cobs Bread, satisfied the hungry runners. My favourite? Bags of Old Dutch potato chips for the win!!

After that, cold and shivering, we headed home for hot showers and brunch.

Final Results

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I placed second in my age group! Didn’t stick around for the podium, but happily received my medal from Race Director Kirill at the SHLF Run this weekend!

Chip time: 23:11
Average pace: 4:38 min/km
Overall place: 29/245
Place in age category: 2/14

Click here for complete race results

North Van Run 2018 – Quick Review

What I liked:
– The course – so lucky to live in such a beautiful city! The Spirit Trail is epic and the finish line on the waterfront is so inspiring. Even on a rainy day, it’s a run worth doing
– The medal – fantastic double-sided medals with images of the Shipyards and the Dock – great colours on the lanyards, too!

north van run
– The after party – lots of food and fun and people to connect with!
– The distance options – 5K and 10K, plus a kids run to boot!

What could be improved:
– Nothing! From registration to package pickup, bag check to finish line, it all went without a hitch. Later in the race, I noticed a few issues with local traffic and cranky, impatient drivers. One completely ignored the course marshal and drove right onto the course, putting some runners at risk. I don’t blame the race organizers for this – could the City step up and provide more support?

Would I run it again?
– Without hesitation! See you in 2019!

north van run


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