Posts Tagged ‘West Van Run’

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Post-Race

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

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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

REMINDER! The West Van Run weekend will be held March 3 and 4, 2018. Sign up now, and save with discount code ‘bradley’! The 2018 race will feature finisher shirts AND medals!

north van run

 

West Van Run

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the West Van Run weekend races as part of being a West Van Run Ambassador. Be sure to join the West Van Run Crew for social runs on Saturday mornings, and Thursday evening training!

With just over 48 hours before our departure for a 2-week vacation in Japan, the epic West Van Run Weekend 2017 launched in full superhero force! I’ve written about all of the enticements to run West Van Run, and the anticipation paid off with a fun, well-executed two-day event. Costumes, friends, PBs and a lot of goodies made the weekend a huge success!

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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…)

I’m very excited about what 2017 has in store. While I’ve already written about some of the races I’m looking forward to this year, I’ve only mentioned in passing the three organizations that I’m proudly representing. So, without further ado, let me tell you about my 2017 Ambassadorship Trifecta – West Van Run, BibRave, and Run Laughlin! (more…)

Steveston Icebreaker 8K

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Steveston Icebreaker 8K 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!

*Also, special mention to Shannon Banal for the amazing race photos in this post!

With bitter memories of my most miserable race of 2016 swirling in my head, I ventured out for my first race of 2017 – the Icebreaker 8K in Steveston, BC. And whereas last year the weather involved a cruel combination of wind and rain, and I was suffering from a lingering man-cold, this year there was a chill in the air but the skies were clear. And if this race is at all indicative of what is in store for running in 2017, I’m not going to be disappointed! (more…)

West Van Run

With less than two months to go until race weekend, my Spidey senses are tingling. That’s right – the West Van Run Superhero edition is just around the corner! And if you haven’t signed up yet, it’s time for me to convince you to pull on your tights, whip out that cape, and get people asking: “Who is that masked runner?”

There are a few new things in store for West Van Run 2017, along with the usual awesomeness you expect from this event! (more…)

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Big Elf Run 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!

*Once again, special mention to Debra Kato (aka Toffeefruit Wintertree) for many of the photos in this post – despite the wacky weather, she kept taking pictures! And also to Misa Ko (Scarletfrost Greentea) for some of the scenery shots!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not really into costumes. Debra – who faithfully dresses in some of the wildest and most appropriately-themed race outfits – has consistently tried (and failed) to get me into something other than my usual gear. However, I made an exception for the Big Elf Run!

Big Elf Run

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RuntoGiveYVR

I’ve done charity races and fund-raising before. As many of you know, I’ve been running the Scotiabank Half Marathon on behalf of the BC Cancer Foundation for the past four years. Early in my running career, I did some fundraising for The Underwear Affair. The West Van Run Crew did fundraising for the Vancouver Food Bank as part of our Eastside 10K team run.

But this was my first participation in a ‘casual’ run for the specific purpose of raising cash for an important charity.

On Sunday, I gathered with about 75 local runners for a fun, informal run – the second annual Run to Give YVR (#RunToGiveYVR). I missed the inaugural run last year, but made sure this one made it into my calendar!

While the forecast called for rain, the clouds held onto the Vancouver sunshine for most of the run, which started out at the Giant Birds in Olympic Village. Rather than bike or drive, I ran the 5k across Burrard Bridge and along the south side of the False Creek Seawall to join everyone – and that everyone included epic marathoner Rob Watson (“for our thousandth photo together”):

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And Debra Kato (thanks for the photos!), who represented the West Van Run Crew with me!

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At 9am, the crowd of runners from multiple run crews gathered for introductions – of both the organizers, and the charity we were running for. We were welcomed by Mabel Nipshank, a First Nations matriarch and representative of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre – who acknowledged that we were running on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She had us form a huge circle, and we joined her in a traditional song – video here (courtesy of @RunGo).

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Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

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The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (DEWC) is a vital organization in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood – the Vancouver DTES. The mission of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for women from all walks of life, who live and/or work in the Downtown Eastside. To achieve this goal, the Centre provides supportive surroundings with meals, counseling, advocacy and programs which nurture and empower members. Among the vital services the Centre provides is a hot lunch program every day of the year.

You can make a donation to the DEWC here or click on the donate button.

#RunToGiveYVR

This event was started last year by Kate Gustafson (@atrueworld), who is a volunteer at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. She combined her passion for that organization and her enthusiasm for running. I had a chance to run with her a bit – and we talked about the local running community. There are lots of runners in Vancouver, and we all have groups / clubs / crews that we run with. Kate wanted to organize an event that would bring all these people together – to collaborate for a good cause.

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And Run to Give YVR was born!

The Run

It was a big group. Lots of runners, lots of skill levels and speeds. We all headed out together – and some folks would end up running further, some turning back sooner. It didn’t matter. This was about gathering, and running, and making a difference.

We headed out around Science World. Although most of the snow has melted on the streets, the Seawall was extremely slushy. I was glad I had decided to wear my trail shoes! We continued around False Creek until we reached Burrard Bridge (hey – I’m almost home!) – and at that 4k mark, we headed back the way we had come to finish off the 8k route.

I ran into Debra on the way by!

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Back at the start/finish, I had a quick chat with Kate, Kim Doerkson (@kdoerks), and Sabine – all part of the organizing committee for the 2016 Run to Give YVR.

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Kate & me

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Kim & Sabine

And then I ran home. Glad that I came out. And happy to share that, in total, over $5,000 was raised on behalf of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre! Looking forward to what is achieved in 2017!

What are your thoughts on charity runs?