I’m lucky to live in close proximity to so many great running routes. I’m minutes away from Vancouver’s Seawall, where I can run for hours without having to stop for a single traffic light. Vancouver’s greenways and bike routes are also great, traffic-calmed running routes.
My favourite places to run
– Seawall, around False Creek, Kitsilano Beach, and Stanley Park
– Central Valley Greenway, occasionally as far as New Westminster
– Point Grey Road, a joy with the new traffic calming
– Ontario and Heather bikeways up to Queen Elizabeth Park
Interactive heatmap available on Strava.
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I’ve accomplished my last remaining running goal. I’ve finally run 10 km in under 40 minutes.
I’ve been trying to go under 40 minutes since high school and I’ve come close on a few occasions, but it has remained an ellusive target. After I ran the half marathon in May, I knew I was fast enough and fit enough to break that barrier, and that this opportunity might not come again. I quickly signed up for the next 10 km race in Vancouver – MEC Race FIVE , a 10 km loop around the Stanley Park seawall in July.
Two months passed and summer got in the way of training. I didn’t run nearly as much as I should have. Ultimate Frisbee once a week was my best workout, and quick sprints don’t prepare you for a 10 km race.
On race day I had serious doubts about going under 40 minutes. Two weeks before I tried running race pace and could barely maintain it for 5 km. I told myself and my friends that the 40 minute milestone would have to wait. I was going to run a comfortable pace and enjoy the beautifully sunny and super hot morning in Stanley Park.
When the gun sounded, the adrenaline spiked and I quickly found myself racing along just behind the leaders. I ran the first kilometre in 3:26, the second in 3:41. I knew I couldn’t maintain that pace. I was almost a full minute ahead of my goal. I quickly reset my frame of mind. The 40 minute 10 km was achievable. I just had to settle into a steady 4 minute pace and hope I could sustain it for long enough.
I ran the next two kilometres around 4:00/km, but then I started to tire. My pace dropped to 4:13 and the time I had banked in the first 2 kilometres slowly faded away. By the 8 km mark it was all gone and I couldn’t will myself to go any faster. I was kicking myself for not doing more tempo training. I almost gave up mentally, but I noticed that my GPS watch, which I was using to track my pace, was way behind the kilometre markers on the course, by almost 200 meters. Either the course was short or my watch wasn’t tracking properly. Either way, there was still a chance I could run the race under 40 minutes.
That was enough to will me on. I picked up my pace for the last kilometre and crossed the finish line with an official time of 39:48. 8th place overall.
Official race results
GPS watch timing on Strava
What an awesome festival. Kudos to the City of Vancouver for throwing such an amazing free party, and thanks to all the volunteers (especially the energetic folks at the bike valet) who made it happen. On Saturday night we saw the mayor, Gregor Robertson, helping out in the bike valet. Thanks Gregor, you rock!
Emily and I spent most of our weekend in Stanley Park, enjoying the perfect weather and listening to awesome local bands. Most we’ve seen before, but Dan Mangan, the New Pornographers, Mother Mother, and Spirit of the West always put on a good show. My musical discoveries of the weekend were the Belle Game (an up-and-coming young band who have some catchy tunes) and Barney Bentall (and old-timer who can still rock).
Fun coincidence: Winnipeg Folk Festival was also last weekend (and attracted over 60,000 attendees this year). It started in 1974 as a free festival to celebrate Winnipeg’s 100th birthday, but became an annual paid event because it was so popular. If I didn’t think it would destroy the Vancouver Folk Festival, I’d suggest Summer Live become a regular event too. Stanley Park was an amazing venue – the only downsides where the difficulty getting people in and out, and the bottleneck between the two stages.
I was a little peeved that we were almost trampled by douchebags chasing the giant light-up beachballs during Dan Mangan’s set last night, but otherwise had a great weekend.
Vancouver is throwing a free Summer Live festival at Stanley Park on July 8, 9, and 10 to celebrate its 125th birthday. The city has invited the who’s who in the local music scene to perform. I can’t believe how awesome the bands performing are.
Check out this all-star lineup: Dan Mangan, the New Pornographers, Mother Mother, Said the Whale, Hannah Georgas, Neko Case, Kyprios, the Zolas, Hey Ocean, Aidan Knight, Veda Hille, Spirit of the West, We Are the City, and the Be Good Tanyas to name just a few of the bands I’m excited about.
There’s also dance performances, croquet, drum circles, giant jenga, canoe races, wheelchair rugby demonstrations, and loads of other random entertainment.
Check out the full schedule and map (PDF) here.
Bike valet parking is offered, plus a special shuttle from Waterfront station for transit users. Please don’t drive.