July 5, 2022

Race Recap: West Van Run Summer (Mile + 5K)

Disclaimer: I am a West Van Run ambassador and received a comped entry for this race. Opinions are my own.

This is my second year participating at West Van Run Summer but this is my first year racing. Last year, I was helping photograph the runners. This year, I had other duties on my plate.

The West Van Run Summer pacers!

West Van Run Summer

West Van Run Summer is a mile and 5K race that kick off the annual West Vancouver Community Day festivities. Runners can either run the Ambleside Mile or the 5K or both! The morning starts off with the mile race and then half an hour later, people line up again for the 5K. This year I decided to race the Ambleside Mile as a test to determine my current fitness level. For the 5K, I had an important job of pacing the 35 minute group. I knew it was going to be a fun day since most of my running friends were going to be there and the energy at West Van Run events is always pretty upbeat.

Ambleside Mile

Photo by Dave Mallari Photography

West Van Run Summer was my first official mile race and I was nervous and excited at the same time. I’ve done mile tests on my own before and I can say it’s way more fun doing it in a race setting. Chasing people down is great motivation. My previous personal best was 7:33 so I had that to focus on. Like all previous attempts, my third 400 m segment was my slowest so I really gunned it in the last 400 m. You can tell by the look on my face, I was working hard to the finish. I ended up with a 7:51 chip time which was not far off my PB. I was ok with that as I knew I hadn’t been doing much speed training. It’s nice to see that I’m maintaining my fitness. I know I could still be better. It’s only June and the races that matter are in August and October so… progress is progress! I love mile races. They’re so short but they still knock the wind out of you.

Photo by Dave Mallari Photography

My First Time Pacing at West Van Run Summer

I signed up to pace the 35 minute 5K at West Van Run Summer. I have never officially paced before so I was a bit nervous. Would I be too tired after the mile race? What if I go too fast or too slow? I did one practice run with my goal pace programmed into my watch and that seemed to work. It would beep at me if I was off pace.

Photo by Dave Mallari Photography

A race situation is a bit different though. I definitely started a little hard but managed to keep the pace under control for most of the race. It’s tough when everyone’s excited and raring to go but you can’t chase anyone lol. I checked my watch so many times to make sure I was on the right track.

Photo by Dave Mallari Photography

By the last kilometre, I had to slow down quite a bit since my pace went up again. Eventually everyone around me disappeared and seemed to go for it. That’s great because I finished in just over 34 minutes which meant that they got PB’s. It felt gratifying when runners approached me after the race to thank me for helping them reach their goal. I will definitely be a pacer again. It’s such a rewarding experience.

Quick Recap of West Van Run Summer

Organization – Very informative emails and website. The course is well-marked with marshals at key intersections. Everything went off without a hitch for both races.

Course – It’s a flat and fast course, what West Van Run events are known for. The course runs through Marine Drive, Bellevue, and the Spirit Trail heading to Ambleside Park. It’s a great course to run for newbies up to elites.

Swag – Each race gave out beautiful medals. There were West Vancouver Community Day festivities happening at Ambleside Park, the finish area of the race. Runners could get free food and entertainment as soon as they’re done.

Would I Do it Again? Yes, and I’d probably do the same thing, race the mile and pace the 5K. I had so much fun this year, I’d want to repeat it next year.

The next race… North Van Run!

Come hang with us at North Van Run on September 30th. There will be a 5k, 10k and free kids race, finishing at Burrard Dry Dock at Shipyards. Head over to the website to find out more details and to register. Don’t forget to use my discount code JEANNINE for a 10% discount. Hope to see you there! I’ll be running the 10k (sorry not pacing… unless I change my mind 😛 ). Stay informed and join the West Van Run Crew on Facebook. Join them on Saturdays at 9:30 at their weekly runs.

Photo by Shannon Banal Photography

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