This is how that 18 km (11.2 mi) run shook down. I drew the route as point-to-point, which meant I had to get to my start point at New Westminster SkyTrain station. Eager to get the run started as soon as I got there, I started to do some dynamic pre-stretching inside the SkyTrain car. While I was in the back of the car with no one around me, the CCTV cameras made me very self-aware of my drills.
After getting off at New West station (recent construction has connected it with some new shops), and some difficulty getting a GPS signal, I started off. The snow was not what I expected when I woke up for this run. It was sufficiently cold enough that it was sticking, but at sea level where I started it wasn’t that bad. About one kilometre in, I turned onto 4th Street, which was as brutal a hill as they come. Of course, the higher I went, I noticed more snow on the ground. Thinking about it at the time, it might well have been the first time I ran during a snowfall.
My route, once I got into Burnaby, would follow the Midtown bike route, which goes all the way back into Vancouver. I used the City of Burnaby’s bike map [PDF] and followed 4th Street to where I would meet up with the Midtown. The problem was that there were no signs at all indicating the Midtown route. That was a bit disturbing to me, particularly because this is a very unfamiliar part of the region in that I’d never been there. I remembered some landmarks, but I knew I’d be in trouble if I missed a turn somewhere. I perked up a bit when I saw signage that said “Midtown”, but that was only for two distinct, paved, off-street paths.
I somehow managed to follow the rest of the route as I’ve drawn it, and got home in exactly 18 km. But the experience with the lack of signage on most of the Burnaby section of the Midtown route shows that there is a disconnection between what the City has shown on its map, and the reality on the ground.