West Van Run is just a few weeks away, are you ready? In the last blog, I took a look at the 5k course and gave you a little preview. That same day, I ran the 10k course as well. I’m happy to say that it’s very different from the 5k and will present its own challenges.
Disclaimer: I used RunGo to follow the course; however I missed a couple of turns due to glitches and had to double back so my elevation stats may not be completely accurate.
Start Line / Tour of Park Royal
You start at Park Royal South by this landmark.
You head east until you hit Taylor Way and that’s where you make 2 quick right turns. You’ll end up in a narrow road heading west again in between the Park Royal South buildings.
The Park Royal stretch is very flat. The two straightaways will help you build up to the pace that you want. This is a good window shopping route but don’t dawdle! You’ve got a race to run. You can always check out the mall once you cross the finish line… in another 10 km 😛
Marine Drive to Bellevue
If you are running the 5k on March 3rd as well, this will look familiar. Once you exit the parking lot onto Marine Drive, you’re basically running the 5k course backwards. This means you’ll be making a left onto 13th Street and a quick right onto Bellevue. But here’s where it gets interesting…
You have to run along Bellevue all the way to 25th Street. Remember that nice downhill from the 5k course? You have to climb that this time. It’s shorter, steeper and can catch someone off guard. The hill starts at about 2.4 km into the race (around 18th Street) and lasts ~300-400 m until 20th Street. Once you get over that, it’s smooth sailing until you get to the end of the road. You will need to do a hairpin left turn at 25th Street so plan accordingly. As you can see on my map, I ended up near the water. DON’T GO THERE. lol That was a glitch. Make a hairpin turn on 25th and again to take you back to Bellevue again.
The Centennial Seawalk
Run a block east on Bellevue before you have to make a right on 24th Street and a left onto the seawall. This is my favourite part of the course and also the most scenic. It’s flat so it’s time to kick it into gear and increase your pace. Try for a negative split!
When you reach John Lawson Park, you’ll be getting off the seawall by making a left at 18th Street and then a quick right onto Argyle Avenue. This is also the Spirit Trail so just keep heading east and you’ll hit Ambleside Park.
Ambleside Out and Back
Once Argyle Avenue hits Ambleside Park, stay on the Spirit Trail for a little bit of out and back. If you run with the West Van Run Crew on Saturdays, this is also a very familiar site. Resist the urge to make the left heading back to Caffe Artigiano 😛 That’s not where your race ends 😛
Once you leave this section you’ll eventually make a left onto Argyle Avenue again, heading east towards the finish line. Not until you run past Ambleside Beach though.
Capilano Pacific Trail to Park Royal
You will probably remember this section from past West Van Run races, except you’re going the opposite direction this time. Once you hit this trail you’re about a kilometer away. It’s time to push.
Once you see this bridge, you’re almost at Park Royal so gun it. There may be a little hill on the way to the parking lot but it’s minimal. Follow the markers through the parking lot, make that final left at the Starbucks and sprint towards Village Taphouse.
My Thoughts on the Course
I love this 10k course. It’s mostly flat with lots of scenic spots. The second half is mostly along the water or surrounded by trees. It’s definitely not a copy of the 5k course and then some. You do run a portion of the 5k course but you run it in the opposite direction, which presents a whole new challenge (that hill on Bellevue). Those running both races will be satisfied with how different they are. This course is definitely more scenic than the 5k because it takes you to the Centennial Seawall and Ambleside Beach. I love running along the water so it’s no surprise that those are my favourite parts of the course. The out and back is still there, I remember it from my last West Van Run race. It’s not my favourite but it’s definitely a mental test for me. The good news is that once you’re done that section you’re only about 2 km away from the finish.
So sign up already!
Feature photo by Lisa King, all other photos were taken on my course recon.