Race review: 2014 Vancouver Eastside 10k

Selfie before running 2014 Vancouver Eastside 10k

On the way to the start line

When I first ran this race last year, I immediately fell in love with it. The Eastside 10k has that something that makes it a go-to race to run each year. It could be the route, or the small number of participants, or the late-summer weather. This race has all three.

First, I’ll bring you up to speed on my current training progress. The Eastside 10k marks the halfway point of my training for the New York City Marathon. The week before the race, I finished a 16-mile long run in which I felt comfortable throughout, and didn’t feel too many aches at the end. I’m crossing my fingers that the really long runs (18- and 20-milers still to come) will go just as well.

Also this summer, I started running with the East Van Run Crew (EVRC), a very social group with a weekly run that starts and finishes in front of Parallel 49 Brewing. I couldn’t resist the run + beer combination! The organizer printed up a few shirts, and I wore one of them during the Eastside 10k.

I got up the morning of the race not feeling very well. I barely had my usual pre-race breakfast, and felt nauseated. (Looking back, I think the case can be made for carb overloading the day before.) Nevertheless, I got dressed and made my way to the start area. I wasn’t aiming for a personal best on this race, but I still want to get in a decent time of under 55 minutes. At bag check, I found Sarah, who also runs with EVRC and was also wearing one the crew’s shirts. (She posted a picture of both of us, with our shirts, on her instagram.)

Once I got to the start line, the nausea has mostly gone away, but I still wanted to be cautious. At the last moment, I also made the decision not to look at my watch once I start the timer. I figured that if I wasn’t chasing a PB, I could just run by feel and not worry about time. It was quite liberating, actually. Not once was I even tempted to glance at my watch to check on my progress. The only point when I had an inkling of my time was at the finish, which showed the gun time. My chip time ended up being 56:39, which is off my sub-55 goal, but considering what I had gone through, I’d say that was a decent finish.

I was greeted at the finish line by Alan Brookes, race director for the Canada Racing Series, which organizes the Eastside 10k. He must have seen my shirt, as he stopped me after I received my medal and took a picture of me. I don’t recall saying what he quoted (I did just race 10 km), but I’ll claim it:

NYCM training is now in the 2nd half, and the excitement is building. Let’s get it done!

56:39 (5:39/km, 9:07/mi)
749/1462 overall
478/694 males
82/109 males 30-34

Running in East Vancouver

I’m an East Vancouver boy, through and through. I’ve lived here since 1991, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. After attending the latest #EastVanLove tweetup, I thought about my running in East Vancouver, particularly the long runs. Even within those, I’m thinking of the really long runs that are at least 20 km long. For those runs that start from and finish near my home, most of them extend beyond what’s considered East Vancouver. But I hadn’t thought about creating a long run entirely within East Vancouver. This route, which I ran this weekend, is almost 30 km, and is a decent cross-section of the entire Eastside.

Crab Park, taken at the start of my East Vancouver long run

Crab Park, taken at the start of my East Vancouver long run

I started here, at Crab Park. From here, I made my way along the industrial area and eventually on to Commercial Drive. It was nice to see the produce shops setting up and resisted the temptation to partake some coffee from many of the caffeine dens that line the Drive. After 8 kilometres, I ended up here at one of my favourite running places, John Hendry Park and Trout Lake.

A shot of Trout Lake, taken during one of my runs.

Trout Lake

I also ran next to the SkyTrain line, which itself was built over the route of the old interurbans that went from Vancouver to New Westminster and beyond. And after passing through Collingwood, Champlain Heights, and Everett Crowley Park, I made my way down to the riverfront. This is as far from Crab Park as you can get and still be in East Vancouver.

A shot of the riverfront in East Vancouver.

Along the riverside trail in East Vancouver

This one’s a real revelation, as I discovered there is a riverside trail for about 3 km. I’d previously run on a bike route that was placed further away from the river. I finished my Eastside tour by going through the Punjabi Market neighbourhood, Mountain View Cemetery, and finishing along Main Street to where it meets with Kingsway.

Running this made me realize how diverse East Vancouver is in terms of running terrain. It may not have the uninterrupted trails of the seawall, but for long runs, there is a lot to see. I’ll be glad to give a tour!