Granville Island Turkey Trot 2018


Granville Island Turkey Trot

The very best thing to do on Thanksgiving weekend – whether before or after your turkey (or, in our case, salmon) dinner – is run a race! And why not make it the Granville Island Turkey Trot?! With costumes, friendly faces, oodles of food and RunVan medals, it’s a favourite tradition of many locals who swarm the False Creek Seawall on Thanksgiving Monday morning.

Given all the festivities, I actually forgot to pick up my bib until Sunday evening – by which time it was too late. I’m also getting used to my North Shore bubble, so a trek to the ‘big city’ wasn’t even on my radar! Given the amount of food and beverage we consumed, the Monday morning wake up call was a bit jarring. It was drizzly and still just a bit past dawn when I ventured forth to Granville Island.

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Arriving at the venue, I was glad that we had indoor space to stay warm and dry. I made a beeline for package pickup and had my bib in short order. Also got a gift card for Rackets & Runners! Then it’s the eternal struggle…pinning the bib to my shirt while still wearing it. I swear that’s the number one motivation for getting your bib the day before!

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

Shout out to RunVan Running Services Manager, Lara Penno, who knows how to put on a top-notch event!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Before my warm-up lap around Granville Island, I managed to secure photos with some key race personnel…

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

Gathering in the starting corral, the runners participated half-heartedly in some November Project-led exercises. The lack of enthusiasm was likely a combination of 1) full stomachs / mild hangovers, 2) eagerness to get the party started! and/or 3) the fact that only the elites at the front of the pack could actually see what movements the leaders were doing! Regardless, once the countdown began, the energy amped up and then we were off!

Granville Island Turkey Trot
Photo credit: Debra Kato

I had no specific goals for the race, other than an unspoken desire to run better than last year. Because 2017 was my first time running the Granville Island Turkey Trot, it seemed a reasonable target.

Granville Island Turkey Trot

I cautioned myself to hold back as we weaved through the streets of Granville Island and headed onto the Seawall. I know that if I get too caught up with the early speedsters, I can easily burn myself out. We cut under and then over Burrard Bridge, which is the only real elevation on an otherwise pancake-flat course. I tried to focus on steady effort, rather than pace, and felt strong during the descent and return to the Seawall.

The next 5 kilometres were very familiar, as I’ve run this route dozens (hundreds?) of times. Just kept moving forward. But somewhere around 7k, I caught up with a guy and what I assume was his personal trainer. The trainer was all about encouragement: “You got this mate! You’ve trained for this! Awesome pace!” – that sort of thing. I pulled ahead of them just as the trainer started belting out Eye of the Tiger, singing not just a few words but the entire first verse and chorus. First time that’s ever happened!

Granville Island Turkey Trot
Photo credit: Jan Heuninck

Just shy of the finish line, M2M buddy Gary was poised with a camera. He was fresh off his brilliant sub-4 hour finish at the BMO Okanagan Marathon, so when he screamed: “Go Bradley, just 150 metres left!”, I was inspired to kick things up a notch. Blazed past a few folks to finish with a solid burst of energy – and a good 2 minutes faster than last year!

Donned my medal, which I love! The RunVan series has the course map emblazoned on the medal, so this one will go nicely with the BMO Vancouver 8K medal I earned back in May.

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Down the boardwalk to the food lineup, where I gathered my coffee, vegetarian chili (they had a meat option as well), apple, juice and Old Dutch chips (sour cream & onion nom nom). Also enjoyed some festive music!

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot

Had a great chat with fellow runner Jonathan, wishing him a Happy Thanksgiving before heading home to enjoy a well-earned rest and all the leftovers!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Final Results

Chip time: 48:09
Average pace:  4:48 min/km
Overall place: 165/1631
Place in age category: 27/131

Click here for complete race results

Granville Island Turkey Trot 2018 – Quick Review

What I liked:
What’s not to like? This is the event that makes Thanksgiving weekend! The highlights:
– The people – it’s a great community event that sells out every year. Even a lot of unfamiliar faces, which tells me it brings out runners of all stripes (and possibly their family members and friends!)
– The bling – another RunVan medal always makes me happy
– The food – especially when the weather is a bit dreary, chili and chips are the perfect remedy

Things that could be improved:
I got nothing. Thumbs up!

Would I run it again?
I’m toying with the idea of running the BMO Okanagan Half Marathon next year, but that’s still up in the air. If I’m in town Thanksgiving weekend, you’ll see me at the Granville Island Turkey Trot 2019!

Granville Island Turkey Trot Granville Island Turkey Trot


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