Vancouver Sun Run
By: Lisa Coleman
Location: Vancouver, BC
Date: April 20, 2008
Web Site: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/sunrun/index.html
Now that I am living out on the west coast I thought it would be appropriate to participate in a truly west coast experience; the Vancouver Sun Run. This year was the 24th year of the sun run and this race annually brings out over 50,000 runners. This year was a record breaking year and there were 59,179 racers. The route started downtown Vancouver and went through Stanley Park and the Lost Lagoon, along the English Bay, over the Cambie and Burrard bridges and finished at BC Place Stadium.
I ran this race with my husband and a few friends. We are training for the Vancouver 1/2 marathon and did this 10k race as the first part of a 20k training run. Our plan was to take it easy, take in the crowds, scenery and music. Because of the crowds this is not a race to get a PB. I haven’t been running in this area before and i was amazed at the scenery. Stanley Park and the sea wall are both amazing running spots!! After our 10k run our group took the sea wall route back to the sea bus. The sea bus took us from downtown Vancouver back to North Vancouver where we parked. The race was a lot of fun!! There were tonnes of bands along the way and some great music.
Overall for the size of the race it was very well organised. The start was a wave type start. At registration you had to give your estimated finish time. Based on your finish time you were placed into a certain colour group and your bib was that colour. At the start there were coloured balloon arches over the street to let you know where your colour started. Each colour group started separately and this was great to help spread out the crowd a bit. To get into the first group “elite” you had to provide proof of past 10k race times. This was good to prevent people from trying to sneak up to the front and bypass the crowds. It took us 25 minutes from the official start to get to the start line (and we were not even half way back from the start). Once we got going it spread out a bit, but overall was crowed the whole way. It got a bit more congested and slowed down through some stretches of Stanley Park where the roadways narrowed. The finish was laid out well and there was no back up of runners waiting to have their chips taken etc. We were through the finish in no time and headed into BC place for some snacks before heading back out onto the road.
I talked to lots of people at the race that do the sun run every year, lots with strollers and their entire family. If you are in BC and want to participate in a huge race, take in some west coast spirit and some beautiful scenery then this race is for you. I had a lot of fun and would do it again in a second. At the start of the race the announcer said that next year for the 25th anniversary of the sun run they are hoping to break 60,000 racers. If you are in BC maybe you will be one of them!