Posts Tagged ‘north vancouver’

One week into 2019. This is how it begins. With hope and enthusiasm. With expectations and a bit of trepidation. Plans have been made, some plans will change. I’m made a conscious decision to avoid articulating any notorious New Year’s Resolutions because – hey – isn’t not making them all the rage these days? Having said that, a few things have been happening…

Running & Cycling – but No Snowshoeing

Started 2019 right, with a run! Not a long one. But because 2018 ended on a low point, I had to get out on the first day of the year. Then it was my ‘triumphant’ return to RunVan! My Thursday morning crew was there, and I couldn’t believe how much I’d missed them! Never mind that it was the absolute worst weather ever – possibly the wettest run of my life (or, at least, in the top 5!)

This picture does not capture how utterly drenched I am

Later in the week, the West Van Run Crew held a fantastic social run from North Van’s Lonsdale Quay – it was so awesome to catch up with more of my running friends!

Snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain was on the calendar for today – but the mountain didn’t open until 11am because of the weather (which was fine down at sea level). Instead, I took my brand new bike out for a ride along the beautiful North Shore Spirit Trail.

My virgin snowshoes
My fabulous new bike!

Races for 2019

I’m trying to be a bit more fluid with my race schedule this year. Trying to ‘go with the flow’. Still, there are a few things already on the calendar:

January 20Icebreaker 8k in Steveston. Hoping desperately for better weather than last year’s wind tunnel! I don’t feel at all prepared for the first race of the 2019 season, but I’ll do what I can.

February 10First Half Half Marathon – organized this year by the Vancouver International Marathon Society (RunVan). Oh, and it’s their 30th anniversary! Eager to see what the race has in store, even if a half marathon distance is kind of freaking me out right now. (I felt more prepared last year)

February 24Snowshoe Grind Mountain Run at Grouse Mountain. I skipped this race last year because I was so worried about falling down and hurting myself in the lead up to Eugene Marathon. This year – I’m gonna just give ‘er (as they say in the Prairies)!

March 2 & 3West Van Run – as an Ambassador for this awesome event, I’ll be running bot the 5k and the 10k. Haven’t signed up yet? Save 10% at registration with discount code ‘BRADLEY’!!

March 24Cap Crusher. Ack! My first trail run in a few years. But it’s close to home here on the North Shore, and my buddy Jeannine told me it’s a great race, so I’m holding her accountable for whatever happens that day! Ha!

April 14Vancouver Sun Run – my 10th Runniversary! Yep – back in 2009, my first ever race was the Sun Run. It was terrifying and amazing – and then I was addicted.

On the Maybe List

  • Seek the Peak – a run from Ambleside to Grouse Mountain…should I do it?
  • 5 Peaks – not sure which race – or how many races – I’ll do in this series. My first trail race ever was the 5 Peak Seymour in 2015, and I’m ready to try again!
  • MEC Trail Series – one or more of these races might be happening…

nuun Ambassadorship

I’m totally honoured to have been accepted as an ambassador for nuun Hydration in 2019! I always have nuun in the cupboard and pick up tubes of this awesome product at running events. Expect to hear more from me about nuun in the coming months!

What does 2019 have in store for you?

I’d love to have some feedback from my readers on your plans – running or otherwise – for 2019? Please add a comment below!

May 2019 bring you lots of happiness and joy!

Coming up with fresh content for a blog post can often be a challenge. When running lots of races, sure, I have heaps of things to talk about. But as 2018 comes to a close, I realize that I’ve been pretty quiet the past few weeks. And that’s OK. Things start fresh again…tomorrow, right? For now, I’ll reflect on the past year with my ‘Best Of’ for 2018!

Stats for 2018

Total Kilometres Run: 1900km
Total Elevation: 26,646m (according to Strava)
Number of Races: 20
Longest Race: 42.2km (Eugene Marathon)
Shortest Race: 1.67km (Ambleside Mile)
Number of Destination Races: 3
Number of Medals: 12
Number of Weeks Sick when I didn’t run: 6

Favourite Race

Every race has its good points and some have their own challenges. Every race I did in 2018 was awesome. But I think the Around the Bay 30k in Hamilton, Ontario was my stand-out race of the year. In part, this is because it was combined with a family visit; also, it was a training run leading up to Eugene Marathon, and I executed the entire race as planned.

best of 2018

Biggest Change

Although not specifically running related, we moved! After nearly 14 years in the same wee condo in downtown Vancouver, we made the decision to sell and relocate to a slightly bigger space in beautiful North Vancouver. This has impacted our daily commutes, training location and running crew, proximity to the trails and overall lifestyle. All for the best, for sure, but a huge shift for us.

north van run
View from the North Shore

Biggest Disappointment

I got sick. Like, really sick. Nothing that a doctor could diagnose or do anything about, but a cough-turned-chest congestion knocked me on my ass and kept me from running for 6 weeks. The unfortunate consequence was not just one but two DNS (did-not-start) races for 2018 – the Gunner Shaw Cross Country (which I missed last year for the same reason) and the revived Moustache Miler. Fingers crossed I can try again for 2019!

Favourite Medal(s)

This is a tough one because every medal holds meaning. But I have to admit that I’m a bit of a sucker for the bling and a bit of heftiness in a medal. This one is a draw between:

The Hot Chocolate 15k medal from Seattle, which includes a Space Needle keychain and looks like a freakin’ chocolate bar!

hot chocolate 15k seattle

And the Vancouver Scotiabank Half Marathon medal, with its primary colours and slick, modern design.

Scotiabank Half Marathon

Favourite Race Shirt(s)

I’ve got three categories for this one, because I can’t choose just one!

Favourite tech shirt: the Eugene Marathon shirt made me so happy – comfortable fabric and fit by Nike, a snazzy design, and great memories of a successful race.

best of 2018

Favourite casual shirt: the SHLF Run found me a perfect medium-sized shirt – beautiful soft material, soothing colour and a simple logo.

best of 2018

Favourite long-sleeved: the Hot Chocolate 15k had these cozy quarter-zip shirts in a gorgeous teal – ideal for cold-weather running. I also like that it has a wee zip pocket beside the logo to hold keys and/or a bus pass!

hot chocolate 15k seattle

Unexpected Success

I participated the 2nd annual North Van Run 5k and somehow managed to come second in my age group (Male 40-49) with a chip time of 23:11. Running with so many amazing athletes, I am absolutely humbled by this result. Loved the extra medal, too!

best of 2018

Happiest Race Photo

At the start line of the Granville Island Turkey Trot, this little snap of my signature Japanese-style pose for the camera!

Granville Island Turkey Trot

Best ‘Face of Pain’ Race Photo

Thanks to ‘paparazzi’ extraordinaire, Seann Sheriland, for capturing the final, painful moments of the Ambleside Mile.

best of 2018

Proudest Moment

Hands down, Eugene Marathon 2018. With 3 marathons under my belt, I was determined to achieve my goal of breaking the 4-hour marathon in 2018. Thanks to the amazing support of my running buddies at Forerunners and Mile2Marathon – and the expert coaching of Tony Tomsich – I finished Eugene with a time of 3:55:45.

best of 2018

What about 2019?

Great question! I haven’t set any really specific goals for the year, but here are a few things I’d like to focus on:

  • Sun Run 2019 – this will be the 10th anniversary of my very first run! Obviously, can’t miss it!
  • North Shore Trails – now that I live in North Van, the trails are calling. I’ve done a couple of trail runs in the past (5 Peaks; MEC), but I’d like to get into this a bit more.
  • Grouse Mountain – I’ve got an annual pass, we have new snowshoes – I expect to spend more time on / climbing up Grouse!
  • Cycling – our place downtown didn’t have space to store a bike, and I had easy access to Mobi bike share when I wanted to cycle. Getting a bike and doing some riding is definitely on my list.

Thanks to all my readers for the support over the past year! Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2019!

SHLF Run 2018

Whenever I mention to people that I’m running the SHLF Run, I get a lot of funny looks. “Shelf run?” they ask questioningly. “It’s an acronym,” I explain – an event hosted by the Strachan Hartley Legacy Foundation. The SHLF Run 2018 was my third (and favourite) time running the race. And I really want more people to know about it and all the great stuff it represents – and run it with me!

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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!

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SHLF Run

The West Van Run Crew was out in force this past weekend, joining the team challenge at the 2017 Strachan Hartley Memorial Foundation Run – otherwise known as the SHLF Run! Last year, Paula and I both ran the 5k, so I decided to up the ante and tackle this year’s 10k! However, there were a few surprises in store… (more…)

north van runIt was a short race, so this will be a relatively short post. However, the North Van Run was inspired by big ideas, and is worthy of two huge thumbs up! Thanks, as always, to Kirill and Shannon, and their team of volunteers for putting on a top-notch event!

I’ve been a huge fan of – and active participant in – the West Van Run over the past several years. When I first heard about the plans for a North Van Run, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to run as a member of the West Van Run Team!

From what I understand, this is the first road race to be held entirely in the City of North Vancouver. Sure, there are lots of trail races, given the mountainous nature of the area, but they are in the surrounding District of North Vancouver (as is the SHLF Run, which I’ll be participating in again this weekend!). So the inaugural North Van Run is a pretty big deal!

Package Pickup

All day on Saturday at the Capilano Mall, package pickup was also available pre-race on Sunday morning. Fortunately, my friend, Kyla (who lives in the area) was kind enough to grab mine for me.

north van run

Pre-Race

We were a bit worried that there might be rain, but the day was bright and sunny! Debra came by to pick me up, and we stopped at Burrard Station for Sam. The sun was rising as we headed over Lions Gate Bridge.

north van run

The race started near the North Shore Auto Mall, and Level 10 Fitness opened their doors for pre-race preparations, including bag check and late bib pickup. There was also a short indoor track and other equipment made available for the use of participants.

north van run north van run

On the Run

After a quick but energetic warmup, the emcee called us all to the start line, and soon we were off. There was an extremely short out-and-back before things really got going. This – along with a few other loops – allowed Debra the chance to take lots of ‘runner in action’ photos en route!

Loop and another loop, and then we saw a hill, but then we turned left and did another loop and THEN the hill was for real! And by hill, I mean overpass (over the railway tracks) and although it wasn’t a steep hill, it was mentally daunting. It was over fairly quickly.

There was one ‘water stop’ midway through – and this is my only criticism of the race. The very enthusiastic volunteers were handing out huge bottles of water, which inevitably 1) had to be carried or 2) got thrown on the road, only partially drunk. I found this option wasteful, and would strongly suggest having the usual ‘water in cups’ option seen at most races.

The reprieve didn’t last very long, though, because as 2nd Avenue turned into 3rd Avenue, we kept ascending. It’s the kind of hill that you don’t notice when you’re driving, but that seems endless when you’re running. The kid in front me of – maybe 9 years old? – ya, I couldn’t catch up with him. And I thought perhaps I had gone out too fast.

Moments later, the road sloped down towards Esplanade. And, as 5k races go, we were in the final kilometre. There were a few twists and turns before the finish line was in sight.

north van run

This was the most stunning finish line view of any race I’ve ever run! The last 200 metres took us out onto the Burrard Dry Dock Pier, with the City of Vancouver skyline as a backdrop. Epic!

north van run

Post-Race

Everyone gathered at the end of the pier to take photos. How could we not? Lots of cheering and support and smiles.

north van run north van runnorth van run

Then we wandered over to the Shipyards – where a night market is held every Friday in the summer – and joined the festivities. There were multiple vendors, free samples of food and drink, and lots of enthusiasm. Huge thanks to the sponsors of the North Van Run!!

Although I had to leave to get to another appointment, many folks stayed around for the awards ceremony. Those who had parked at the start line got shuttled back for free.

I deem the inaugural North Van Run a success! Looking forward to adding it to my annual race calendar!

Final Results

Chip Time: 23:55
Average Pace: 4:47 min/km
Place Overall: 78/242
Division Place: 10/20

north van run

 

Grouse Snowshoe Grind

The weather was perfect, the snow conditions just right, the company an absolute delight, and the organization a bit suspect for the 2017 Grouse Snowshoe Grind Mountain Run. Running for my second consecutive year, I had a lot of expectations for this event, and brought along my own ‘crew’ to share the experience. By and large, the Grouse Snowshoe Grind lived up to its reputation, but there are definitely some areas for improvement. Having said that, let me talk about all the good stuff – because there was lots of it! (more…)

MEC North Vancouver Race FIVE

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to MEC North Vancouver Race FIVE as part of being a WestVanRun Ambassador. Don’t forget to register for the West Van Run (5k / 10k) on March 4 & 5, 2017. Use the code ‘bradley‘ for 15% off!

Dubbed ‘Haunted Headwaters‘, the fifth and final race of the MEC North Vancouver trail series had both 5k and 10k options. Initially, I threw down and planned to sign up for the 10k, but ended up scaling back to the 5k. Which was plenty long enough for me! The event starts at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – hence the name of the race!

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