Disclaimer: I was given a free entry to the Big Elf Run; however, it does not influence my opinions on this review.
One snowy day, Cuski and I decided to take an afternoon stroll at Stanley Park. We made our way to Lumberman’s Arch and suddenly we saw a stampede of elves! Turns out it was the Big Elf Run and at that time, I made a mental note to try to make it to next year’s event.
Fast forward to 2017, when I had an opportunity to run as an elf. Some of the West Van Run Crew were going to make an appearance too so it was perfect. I now had to figure out my costume.
My “Elfit” (Elf Outfit) consisted of my West Van Run shirt, green tights and candy cane knee high socks. The Big Elf Run entry included a hat so that sat atop my pigtails. All in all, a pretty decent effort on my part lol (since I don’t normally dress up).
The Big Elf Run is an annual holiday fun run hosted by Running Tours. It’s a 5k single loop or 10k double loop race that is mostly on the seawall. It starts and finishes at Lumberman’s Arch. Aside from the hill right off the bat, the rest of the course is flat. There’s also a 1k kids run for the wee ones.
How Did I Do?
The Big Elf Run was my 2nd group run of the day, having already run a 5k with the West Van Run Crew that same morning. I was planning for it to be a no pressure fun run. It was the last race of the year for me, after all! Kirill, Misa and I made our way to Stanley Park and there we met up with WVR Crew members Bradley (Snoozynose Winterbauble), Karin (with her bébé elf) and Debra as Santa.
We also ran into Uncle Elfie aka Vancouver Sun running blogger Gord Kurenoff all decked out in his holiday best. Love the Gangsta Wrapper shirt. Great seeing you and congrats to your niece Kaitlyn for winning the 1k and then running the 5k right after (with an awesome time). Check out his recap of the race here.
After countless selfies (#Elfies), a stampede of elves were off. I was actually running a pretty good pace, but didn’t think it was PB-worthy. I felt good so I ran as strong as I could; although I did slow down at certain points. My final time was 27:43. Surprisingly it was only about 45 seconds off my personal best! It felt great for a number of reasons… I managed to pull off a solid performance on a 2nd run of the day. By this point I had not been running much nor training for any distance so it was very surprising that I managed to push myself. I should’ve pushed a little harder though, but oh well!
A few days later, I got a surprise in my inbox. It turns out I got the best Elfie by posting on Instagram and getting a ton of likes. It comes with a prize, a 365-day pass for Mobi Bikes! That’s so amazing and unexpected. Thank you!!
Organization – It’s well-organized and same day package pickup was available. They sent out timely reminder emails as well. It’s also on the transit route so you don’t have to drive if you don’t want to. I like how you can customize your elf name if you wish, or have it randomly generated. My random Elf Name ended up being Fudge Hotwrap. Let’s just say I will choose my own name next year 😛
Course – The 5k loop is great. It’s mostly flat and scenic. I don’t know if I would do 2 loops though. Mostly because, I don’t like running loops 😛
Swag – Runners get an elf hat and a little elf toy. There was also a McCafe truck giving out free hot chocolate and coffee.
Would I Do It Again? Yes! It’s such a great end to the running season. I love how pretty much everyone dressed up or at least wore the elf hat while running. It’s a great event to take the kids, kids at heart, or anyone wanting to get into running. The course is easy and beautiful, would you expect anything less from Stanley Park?
Thank you again to Running Tours for having me out there. Check them out and look forward to the Big Fun Run Series: Big Bunny Run, La Gran Fiesta Run, Big Superhero Run, and the Big Elf Run. To stay updated on their races, follow them on social media:
Did you run this race? Let me know in the comments below or write your own review on BibRave.