One of my favourite ways to prepare for a race is by getting to know the course. I would do a training run on the course or on parts of the course that I’m unfamiliar with. I’ve decided to do some work for all of you who’s planning to race the West Van Run 5k on March 3rd. It was also a great opportunity for me to run since I won’t be able to run with all of you that weekend 🙁 Either way, I’m glad to at least experience a portion of it 😛 Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Using the RunGo app, I went straight to the start line on Marine Drive and 21st Street. I took the 250 bus to get here so it was quite convenient. Just check for road closures/transit disruptions that day to make sure you can get off at the right stop. The start line is the same block as the West Vancouver Community Centre. The race starts heading westbound towards Dundarave. Runners will be off to a great start as it is downhill. I had to run on the sidewalk so I didn’t get the benefit of that but I can clearly see it will be a fast start. Enjoy it!
From Marine Drive, you make a left onto 24th St and a quick right at Dundarave Lane. Find the right line to get through these 2 quick turns. Run the stretch of Dundarave Lane which is lined with small businesses and you’ll be making another two quick turns. It will be a left at 25th Street and almost immediately, a left onto Bellevue Avenue.
Once you’re on Bellevue Avenue, you’ve started making your way back to the finish. You will first be greeted by a mile long gradual incline. It’s not steep but it’s enough to make you notice you’re working harder. Once you hit 20th street, you will be treated to a nice downhill before it flattens out again. Be aware that there’s a little detour on Argyle Street to break up the long Bellevue stretch.
Marine Drive and the Finish
Keep running on Bellevue until you make a left on 13th Street. It’s a short hill which leads you back to Marine Drive, where you’ll be making a right. Head back to Park Royal South but you’ll be giving yourself a mini tour of the Village at Park Royal before the finish. Once you enter the parking lot, you’ll be making a left and running towards a main road. You’ll make a right when you see Shoppers Drug Mart and another right when you see the Starbucks. After that you’re just a few hundred meters away, so gun it! Congrats, you’ve just earned yourself a West Van Run medal and a free beer at Village Taphouse. Well done!
My thoughts on the course
This is a fast course. Total elevation gain according to Strava is 50 m which is not too shabby. It gives you a tour of residential and commercial areas near the water. You do not run along the seawall though, these are all on the road. The one challenge of this route (which really isn’t that bad) was a big chunk of Bellevue with the gradual incline. However, once you hit 20th Street, it goes downhill drastically and you can make up the time you lost “climbing” and let the momentum propel you onto the flat road. If you’ve been running with the West Van Run Crew on Saturdays, much of this route is familiar.
Thanks for joining my run. I’ll be covering the 10k course as well. Stay tuned within the next week or so. For more information on West Van Run, check out my blog post here. You can sign up here and don’t forget to use code JEANNINE for 15% off.
Feature photo by Ivan Lusinyan, all others were taken along my course recon.