Spring Scavenger Hunt – the CMTR Trifecta

spring scavenger hunt

Back at the start of all of this *gestures vaguely*, the running events got cancelled. Race calendars were suddenly blank, and many runners were left with an acute sense of malaise. When would we be able to run together again? When can I get involved in something competitive and fun? Enter the brainchild of Gary Robbins (yes, *that* Gary Robbins, of Barkley Marathons renown) and the Coast Mountain Trail Running team – the CMTR Scavenger Hunt!

I’ve just completed the Spring Scavenger Hunt, but I’ll start by reflecting back on the inaugural Summer Scavenger Hunt, which was followed by the Winter Scavenger Hunt…before providing a few extra details about the Spring Scavenger Hunt!

Summer Scavenger Hunt

Sometime in May 2020, there was a whisper on social media about something called the Summer Scavenger Hunt. I wavered a bit about signing up, but registered at the last minute for the June 8 launch of the #SummerofCMTR. The event continued through until September 16, giving all of the participants plenty of time…but to do what?

This initial event consisted for 35 running and fitness challenges, including a few “secret” challenges and a final, big-whammy challenge. For me, the most memorable events included:

GPS Art – my hubby helped me come up with the design for this challenge by working with printed out maps of North Vancouver. Here’s the result:

2000 Stairs – I found a flight of 200 steps and ran it 10 times…

More Fun Bonus! – upon the completion of all challenges, we got a ‘bonus’ challenge to run 20% *more* than our longest run during the Scavenger Hunt. I took a three-hour journey with Jeannine to Norvan Falls and it was such a great wrap for the event!

The challenges I found the most frustrating *personally* were the shopping-related ones. While the support of local businesses really resonated with me, I despise entering any commercial establishment during or after a run, especially when I’m *drenched in sweat*. Couple that with pandemic panic, either donning a mask or using my current sweaty one…that stressed me out.

Somehow, I also missed the memo about the CMTR Facebook page, meaning that my photographic contributions didn’t make the cut for any end-of-summer award consideration. *sad face*

Nevertheless, the Summer Scavenger Hunt was one of the most enjoyable activities I’ve participated in. As I wrote about previously, it kept me running through the COVID summer months, and allowed me to participate comfortably at a distance from, well, everyone! And we all ended up with a nifty collection of buttons on a lanyard for posterity!

Winter Scavenger Hunt

Back due to popular demand, the Winter Scavenger Hunt ran through the darkest, coldest, rainiest months – from December 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. Due to the shorter timeframe, we had 20 challenges to complete. No buttons this time around, but we got a lanyard and a branded headwrap as swag.

I really enjoyed the run streaks (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day! New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day!) but I especially relished my pre-dawn runs, and the constant enjoyment of coloured lights and decorations. And while I’m really not much for costumes, the smiles I got from my Elf costume were seasonably uplifting!

Spring Scavenger Hunt

Early 2021 was kind of tough for us. Our dear cat, Osker, who we’d had since he was five years old, passed away at the age of 18. He deteriorated quite quickly, and we spent a lot of time with him at the end. Our hearts were crushed when he left us, and our home felt so empty. The pandemic continued (and continues) to rage on, and I wasn’t sure I was up for the Spring Scavenger Hunt when it was announced. I debated with myself for days about registering at all.

I’m so glad I did.

All of the 22 challenges for the Spring Scavenger Hunt were submitted by #WinterofCMTR participants. These challenges really had a lot of heart, and some of them were particularly cathartic. So I made the most of these events. Here are a few that really stood out to me:

Alphabet Run – my #WinterofCMTR contribution was a challenge to spell your name by running streets that started with those letters. Someone else’s idea was an Alphabet Run, and I loved it! I look advantage of the fact that West Vancouver streets are alphabetical from south to north, right up to letter R. I rounded things out using shop names at Park Royal, plus a view Xwemelchst’n sculpture by local Squamish artist, James Harry.

Jeopardy Run – Alex Trebek was the theme, but since his passing this challenge also became a F*** Cancer run for many, including myself. I ran on what would have been my mom’s 87th birthday. We lost her to pancreatic cancer in 2013.

Bookworm Boogie – I love reading and have a book on the go at all times. I read one of the BC Blues Crime novels by North Vancouver author R.M. Greenaway, savouring the recognition of ‘place’ in her stories, set on the North Shore. Then I went out and run in the footsteps of her characters.

Memorial March – a run to remember a loved one, this was in honour of Osker. According to Japanese tradition, the spirit leaves its earthly remains at 50 days after death – which is the day I ran.

Rainbow Run – visited (almost) all of the rainbow sidewalks on the North Shore! Was inspired by this public acknowledgement of inclusion and diversity in our community.

spring scavenger hunt

I finished up my final event – Attitude of Gratitude – just one day before the deadline. And I was able to express my true thankfulness of receiving my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while also celebrating the adoption of our newest family members, Ponzu & Mirin.

And with that, #SpringofCMTR is a wrap. Grateful to the organizers and the incredibly supportive CMTR community for this inspiring and motivating event. Looking forward to the day we can all run together in real life!

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