Posts Tagged ‘modo 8k’


Vancouver is a city built for running. We’ve got hills, we’ve got nature, we’ve got the Seawall. Tired of running on the road? We’ve got trails galore! Need someone to motivate in your training? There is a running group / crew / team to meet every need! And if you’re looking for a race? It’s not an exaggeration to say that you could probably run a race (or two) every weekend of the year, and still have some left over!

Having said that, not every race survives the test of time. Even longstanding races are not immune to the winds of change. While we see new races pop up from time to time, it’s inevitable that some races are no longer with us. 2017 has been a challenging year, and this blog post is an ode to the Races We’ve Lost.


Modo 8K

I want to start this post with a special announcement! Recently, I had the honour – along with Debra Kato – of being selected as a Digital Champion for the upcoming Scotiabank Half Marathon on June 26! Debra and I, along with a group of talented pacers, will act as ambassadors for this awesome race, which puts great emphasis on raising funds for worthy charitable causes. More to follow! Thanks to Canada Running Series for hosting this event, and providing an entry to this year’s Modo 8K!

Modo 8K

Debra’s hair matched the Modo race shirts!

Officially the Modo Spring Run-Off 8K, this event is sponsored by local carshare Modo, of which I am a long-term member. Like all CRS races, the Modo 8K is always well-organized with great swag and awesome door prizes. Another bonus:  if you run all three CRS West races in 2016, you get the fabulous ‘three-peat’ medal. So, if you ran the Modo 8K and you like your bling – make sure you register for the Scotiabank Half (or 5K) and the Eastside 10K!

Modo 8K

Race Day

This year’s Modo 8K happened to coincide with my guy’s birthday – and partly because I got to run the Laughlin Half Marathon on my birthday in December, I encouraged him to sign up. Despite having returned from a two-week trip to Japan just days before, he gamely ventured out on the morning of March 20!

Modo 8K

Debra picked us up in the green monster – and fortunately the race didn’t start until 10am so we didn’t have to drag ourselves out of bed too ridiculously early. It was still raining lightly and a bit chilly when we arrived at Stanley Park. An internal debate raged – should I continue wearing a long-sleeved shirt, or could I manage with just a t-shirt? Standing inside the Stanley Park Pavilion, it was easy to convince myself that it was warm enough, so I stood outside in the rain for a few minutes and decided I could handle it in short sleeves.

Got a few pre-race photos in…

Modo 8K Modo 8K

Then we milled about and socialized with some local celebrities, including Gord Kurenoff – Vancouver Sun blogger extraordinaire. If you’d like to read a more professional review of the race than mine, see Gord’s article here.

My chiropractor had recommended that I not ‘race’ this race, to help with a bit of recovery (don’t worry, nothing serious) and prepare for the upcoming Platte River Half Marathon in Colorado on April 10. So I decided to act as a pacer, and keep the birthday boy company in his first race since November’s Fall Classic.

Modo 8K

Start Line selfie

On the Course

In previous years, the Spring Run-Off took us clockwise around Stanley Park – skirting Lost Lagoon, and following the Seawall to Lumberman’s Arch. However, the race always ended with a short but steep uphill and a fairly sharp turn just before the finish line. This year, the course reversed direction, allowing for a smooth and speedy decline at the start. Inevitably, there was still some uphill at the end, but it was straight and (to my mind, at least) not as steep.

Modo 8K

As the gun went off, the rain stopped and we had pretty much ideal race weather – cool, overcast and dry. The views over the ocean were breathtaking, as they tend to be on the Seawall. Lots of cheering and friendly faces on the course. Although we didn’t stop to take advantage of them, there were two well-stocked water stations with particularly enthusiastic volunteers on hand. The course was fast and flat – and then we were done!

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Lots of goodies – cookies, bananas, yoghurt, Oasis juice boxes – and a medal! The rain started to fall soon after we finished, so we headed inside to enjoy live music, socializing, and awards. There were also some pretty substantial door prizes, drawn from boxes into which we had dropped tickets with our bib numbers. And here is my only complaint – when someone didn’t claim their number, rather than drawing a new number they simply chose the closest number. I didn’t feel this was completely fair, but there you go.

We snapped a few more finisher with friends, including the Kirill from West Van Run!.

Modo 8K Modo 8K

Then we went for birthday brunch!

Modo 8K

A huge shout out to the race organizers, volunteers and sponsors who made the Modo 8K a success yet again this year! I have to say that I loved the colour of this year’s race t-shirt, as well as the totem pole medal design!

Modo 8K

You can read about previous Modo 8K races here: 2015 and 2014.

Final Results

Chip Time: 49:05
Average Pace: 6:08 min/km
Place Overall: 494/962
Age Category Place: 28/39


It’s been a few weeks, so I’m glad to link up again with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for their Weekly Wrap!

modo spring run-offFor this race report, I’m going to try something new – I’ll start by sharing my personal thoughts on the experience, and then provide a more ‘objective’ summary of the race (jump to it here). Please comment to let me know what you think of this format!

I started the morning by icing my right foot. Something about my run yesterday caused my foot to tweak a bit, and stepping off it felt a bit sore. One of the good things about the Modo 8K (which also has one drawback…please read on) is that it doesn’t start until 10am. As such, I was able to sleep in until 7:30, and still have time to laze around while eating my oatmeal and chilling my woes minor pains.

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Prepped & ready

I managed to swing a free race entry for one of my friends thanks to Elinor at Goodbye Clutter (follow her on Twitter @goodbyeclutter), and it was nice to have some company as we set off toward Stanley Park and arrived well in advance. Ah, spring in Vancouver…

Cherry Blossoms

Fortunately, because the Stanley Park Pavilion is race central, we were able to huddle inside and stay out of the ‘cold’. It wasn’t really cold at all, just a chill in the air when one is standing about, so we waited until the last minutes to check our bags and get ourselves into the corral.

The Canadian Running Series puts on really well-organized races, and the Modo 8K is no exception. Announcements were timely and clear, and everyone was ready to go when the elite runners arrived on scene. Countdown was prompt and the fun began!


I always find the first kilometre of this race challenging – it loops around the building, and adrenaline-rush speed combined with a sharp turn and fairly steep downhill makes for some risky business. Plus I started out too fast, a tendency of mine in the shorter distance races. Once we reached Lost Lagoon, it’s a flat course around the Seawall, typical of many Vancouver races, and I got myself into a pretty decent rhythm.

BUT! Because the race starts at 10am, tourist and runners and cyclist and dog walkers are out in full force. The Seawall is not closed for this event, so the racers are not the only ones there. And because much of the Seawall is basically a path between a rock cliff and the ocean, there’s really nowhere else to go. Fine, no problem, we can share the space.

Processed with Moldiv

What made me laugh for a few kilometres, though, was buddy running just ahead of me. He tended to veer left, to the ‘sea edge’ of the Seawall, right into oncoming traffic. Rather than simply dodging the pedestrians, however, he kind of groan/wailed at each of them, doing a weird jazz hands sort of thing to express his annoyance. I wish I could write the sound he made…something like, “Eeearrgh…!” but more guttural – you’ll just have to imagine it, or ask me the next time we meet. Personally, while I could understand his frustration, I thought it was a bit of a waste of his energy. I hope he ultimately enjoyed the race.

Processed with Moldiv Processed with Moldiv

I already knew (from last year’s race) that the final kilometre would be a killer. We disembarked the Seawall, and started up the small but killer slope. I really tried to eke out some more speed, but it wasn’t happening. At the final stretch, with the finish line clock in sight visible as a red blur because I’m getting old and can’t see as clearly without my glasses, I did my best imitation of a ‘sprint’. The guy who crossed the line just ahead of me was waving his arms in victory, so I had to pull back slightly to avoid a black eye. Despite the risks to my person, I still made a time I am proud of and a 30-second PB!

As with a lot of these local races, it was awesome to connect with folks from my Forerunners training clinic, and Twitter friends both new and old (including the ones I hadn’t met in person before). We even ran into an old college friend and her family, a wonderful blast from the past!

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And the foot didn’t bother me again!

Final Results:

Chip time: 37:36
Average pace: 4:42 min/km
Place overall: 167/1067
Age category place: 16/66


A consistently well-run event. This is my fourth year running this race, and I feel like it just keeps getting better. I like the fact that it’s ‘big enough’ to be really professional, but not too big to lose its local charm. Keep it up!

Packet Pickup/Expo
No expo, just pickup at the local Running Room store. And although they discourage it, you can also get bibs the morning of. Suggestion for improvement: option to pick up on Friday night. I understand it comes down to volunteer availability and likely other organization factors, so this is not a major issue.

The men’s shirt is baby blue, not my best colour, but I like the simplicity of the design. Very good quality technical shirt from ‘The Authentic T-Shirt Company’. I wish they had an ‘extra-small’ option, however, because the shirts fit a bit large and loose.

As noted above, tight and twisty downhill for the first kilometre, and then flat along the Seawall until 7km. Then it’s a not-too-steep but consistent uphill to the finish line.

Aid Stations
I didn’t use either of them, but there were aid stations with energetic volunteers at 3.5km and 7km.

Fantastic finisher medal – substantial and well-designed, with a very bright and attractive lanyard. Great addition to my bib board!

Food included: water/Gatorade, juice boxes, cookies, bananas, bagels, yogurt, granola. They were also selling breakfast wraps (both turkey & veggie) for $5, with proceeds going to the Take a Hike Foundation. And if you were so inclined, there was beer available.

We stayed around for the awards – they recognized the top 5 female and male winners, while age group winners could claim their medals themselves. It’s nice when they recognize all the winners, but I also appreciate it when they keep it short and sweet. There were also some great door prizes (be there to claim yours!).

Race Management
As mentioned, Canada Running Series does a phenomenal job (they also manage the Scotiabank Half and the Eastside 10K) – and Modo as the title sponsor for the second year did a great job with branding and involvement.


Today was a chance to put my “run-a-long-run-the-day-before-a-race-and-get-a-PB” philosophy to work. Again. But I really shouldn’t start there…

Back in November, I signed up for the Canada Running Series ( Combo Pack, including:

  • Spring Run-Off Vancouver 8k (a.k.a the Modo 8k)
  • Scotiabank Half Marathon
  • Eastside 10K

As I’m all about the earlybird and combo discounts, I took the plunge and committed to these three races. That was before I had decided to run my first marathon this year (but – and I promise – I’ll tell that story later). And the first of those races, the Modo 8k, was held on Sunday, March 23.

Spring Run-Off

Modo – Title Sponsor

I’m a long-time Modo member. For those of you who don’t know or aren’t local, Modo is a local car-share here in Vancouver – one of the reasons I don’t need to own a car! When I heard that Modo was sponsoring this year’s race, I was even happier I had signed up.

From early on, the social media about the Modo 8K was top-notch. There were regular Facebook and Twitter campaigns and updates, and even an Instagram contest. #modo8k became one of my trending topics. Back in February, on a snowy Sunday morning, Modo even sponsored a course preview, complete with coffee and brownies. And finally, there was ‘Team Modo’ – a group of Modo members running the race.

This race also has an emotional component to it. Last year at this time, my Mom had just been diagnosed with cancer. The morning of the 2013 run, I remember calling her at the hospital while I was standing under a big Stanley Park tree. She was already feeling weak and wasn’t able to say much. My Dad was there with her, and I told him to tell her that I was running the race for her. She left us a month later.

Race Day – Modo 8k

So, I woke to this day with mixed emotions. But the morning dawned sunny and chilly, and brought about the age-old conundrum of ‘what to wear?’ In the end, I opted to dress fairly light and bring along a bag to check-in, giving myself a few extra options. Since parking in Stanley Park is at a premium, I snagged a car2go (another local car-share) and zipped down near Lost Lagoon.

Arriving at the Stanley Park Pavilion just after 9am, things were already in full swing. Booths getting set up, bag check operating. I headed to the ‘Solutions’ table, where I was able to get my age updated (it was only a year off) along with a new start corral. I was told that the corrals were ‘soft’, but I was aiming to get close to my 2013 time, so I wanted to be close to the front of the pack. Quick, efficient customer service from one of the many awesome volunteers!

Per instructions, Team Modo gathered near the Modo booth at 9:30am to do a quick warm-up run. Because the last 1km of the course is mostly uphill, reminding ourselves what was in store seemed like a good idea. We did a bit of dynamic stretching, and then ran out about 500m, and back along the last leg of the course. Oh yes, there IS a hill – it doesn’t look steep, but looks can definitely be deceiving!

Modo 8k

Start line countdown


I had shed most of my gear, sticking to a cap, t-shirt, arm warmers, gloves (which I discarded around km 6), and shorts. I lined up about 2 metres back from the starting ribbon, and then the elite runners gathered in front. I wasn’t feeling the confidence about this race that I felt last year. In 2013, I managed a sub-40 PB, which surprised and delighted me. This year – well…as part of my marathon training, our Saturday workout involved:

  • a 3km warm-up jog
  • a 9km tempo workout (3 loops near Jericho Beach – 1.5km at 10k pace; 1.5km at half marathon pace)
  • a 13km ‘slow’ run (we ended up doing 8km, since everyone was exhausted)

So with 20km from the day before under my belt, I wasn’t sure if my ‘philosophy’ would pay off.

As the run started, I could feel the tiredness in my legs, and was discouraged. Then, at the 1km mark, I had a horrible realization: I had forgotten to change the setting on my Nike+ Running app on my iPhone, the setting that gives me 1km updates letting me know my time and pace. So, although I had music, I was running without my ‘crutch’. How would I know how fast I was going??

The course took us along the east side of Lost Lagoon, around the 2nd Beach pool, and onto the Seawall. One of the biggest ‘distractions’ of this race is that the Seawall isn’t closed to…everyone else. And since the race started at 10am, it was busy. We encountered bikes, rollerbladers, runners (going in the opposite direction), and lots of walkers. I say distraction because, ultimately, no one actually got in the way. We probably got in their way.Route map

At 4km (the halfway point), I heard someone behind me say, “Well, that’s 22 minutes” and I knew I wasn’t going to break the 40-minute mark. Even if I managed a negative split, I just wouldn’t have the energy to make it happen.

But I forged ahead. I was still determined to do the best with what I had. Moments before the 7km mark, where the course turns off the Seawall and south toward the Japanese War Memorial, a runner coming in the opposite direction tried dodging between the racers and some walkers, and nearly took a header right in front of me. Thankfully, he righted himself and went on his way.

The Last Kilometre

It’s amazing how ‘undulating’ feels like ‘hills from hell’ when it’s at the end of a race. My lungs were burning, and the sun was making things hotter than I expected. There was sweat in my eyes. About 500m from the end, a managed a smile for the photographer, who called out a ‘Well done, Bradley!’ I didn’t know him – our bibs had our names – but it gave me a wee burst of energy.

There were lots of volunteers cheering. And the path inclined. There was a corner, more incline, another corner…and then I could hear the announcer calling out names – but I had no idea about the time. Unlike the West Van Run, where you can see the finish line from nearly a kilometre back, this race has a wee curve and you can see your time just seconds before you reach the finish line.


What? A better time than last year? A whole minute faster than last year? How the heck did that happen?? I can’t even express how happy I am about this!

Modo 8k

Bib & medal!


Why I loved the Modo 8k:

  • Amazing volunteers
  • A sponsor I know well
  • Great branding – good quality t-shirts, excellent social media presence
  • Finisher medals!
  • Beautiful route, amazing day!

Yes, I still feel a bit of sadness, remembering so vividly what was happening in my life – and the lives of my family – one year ago. But I’m dedicating each success to the memory of someone special, and that makes it all the more meaningful in the end.