Posts Tagged ‘West Van Run’

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.

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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!

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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West Van Run Summer

How time flies! A month ago I was running West Van Run Summer, and now it’s already July! I’ve even run a half marathon in the meantime! Life has been full and fun and fulfilling, and included a trip back to Ontario for my cousin’s wedding – so blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. However, I had such a great time at West Van Run Summer that I wanted to get my thoughts down on paper (so to speak) before an autumn chill was in the air!

West Van Run Summer started last year, but I missed it because I was running the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon. I was stoked to be able to run this year, and participate in not just one but two races on the same day – the West Van Run Summer 5k and the Ambleside Mile!

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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.

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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.

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.

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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

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…)