West Van Run Summer 2019


Hot on the heels of the small but mighty Shaughnessy 8K comes the first ‘summer’ run – the aptly named West Van Run Summer! With a total of three races this year, including the long-standing tradition of the Ambleside Mile, the 5K and – for the first time ever – the Kids’ Mile, West Van Run Summer has something for everyone. The biggest change for 2019 was the new courses, which only served to make the event even better!

I know it gets a bit repetitive, but it still holds true – I love the local races because of the people. My running friends – and friends from other parts of my life who also come out to run – make the whole thing even more enjoyable!

west van run summer
west van run summer
west van run summer

Ambleside Mile

Formerly a standalone race, the Ambleside Mile is the longest-running one mile race in BC, having started in 1992. Two years ago, with the advent of West Van Run Summer, the Ambleside Mile became the speedy ‘warm-up’ event before the 5K. One of my big complaints from the 2018 race was that a lot of kids crowded at the start line, causing some pretty serious hazards as the elites headed out. I was delighted when I learned that we’d have a Kids’ Mile this year!

The former course involved a loop starting on Marine Drive and a wee hill, so it was a big change to be starting in Ambleside Park and have a completely flat course. But while there wasn’t a hill, there’s a sharp turnaround in the middle and I always find those tough to navigate!

Anyway, I cycled over from home and arrived in plenty of time to hang out with all my awesome running friends. I also want to give a shout-out to Dave, who kindly picked up a bunch of race packages the day before!

These short races are over in a flash, although it inevitably feels like the longest 7 minutes of my life! And while this wasn’t a one-mile PB, I got an unexpected surprise in the mail a couple of weeks after the race – an age group medal for placing 3rd in my age group!

west van run summer
west van run summer

Final Results – Ambleside Mile

Chip Time: 6:57
Overall Place: 25/88
Gender Place: 19/46
Division Place (40-49): 3/10
Click here for full results

West Van Run Summer 5K

Like its sister run the West Van Run, the Summer event has grown a lot over the past couple of years. The crowds were pretty impressive – and perhaps slightly oppressive as we gathered a bit further west at the 5K start line. The corral area was quite narrow, but we all just squished together and experienced the pre-race energy.

As the gun when off, we had to navigate around a few obstacles in the path – some permanent flower boxes right in the middle, and a few bollards. However, once we got beyond that, it was clear sailing. We headed east, veered onto the Spirit Trail and did a turnaround behind Park Royal.

west van run summer

At that point, my friend Kyla’s 11-year-old, Addison, was already on his way back! I cheered him as best I could. And when I finished the race, he was grinning as he said: “I beat you!” – which he most certainly did! (I should mention that he went on to win the Kids’ Mile!!)

Following the race, there were lots of goodies, including cookies, bananas and – my personal favourite and big thumbs up for race organizers – chips! After that, brunch!

Final Results – 5K

Chip Time: 24:31
Overall Place: 91/524
Gender Place: 65/221
Division Place (40-49): 9/41
Click here for full results

Overall, West Van Run Summer 2019 was a huge success! Well-organized with a top notch location in Ambleside, and a fast and flat new course. The bling was particularly good – colourful branded medals that really evoke the spirit of the summer!

west van run summer
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