At last year’s Moustache Miler, I was fortunate enough to win an entry to the Shaughnessy 8k. I always hear great things about it but never got an opportunity to run it until now. It’s a small but mighty local race put on by the Lions Gate Road Runners. The day before the race, I had to run Survival of the Fittest so I knew that I wasn’t going to be breaking records. That didn’t mean I wouldn’t have a great time. I’m so glad I got out of bed and made my way to Kerrisdale as this turned out to be a very surprising and memorable day.
The Shaughnessy 8k Course
The Shaughnessy 8K course is a looped course. It is a certified 8k route which tours the historic, residential streets of Kerrisdale and Shaughnessy. Runners start just north of W 41st Avenue on East Blvd and have to run about a kilometre to the start of the first loop. You do this 3 km loop twice before returning back to the finish. The transition from the first loop to the 2nd can be quite challenging as it involves a hill that’s about a mile long (Angus Drive from 29th to 40th Avenue). The neighbourhood you run through is tree-lined and gorgeous. I would’ve loved to live here but it’s a little too rich for my blood. Coming for a visit is good enough.
How did I do?
My legs were completely shot and I was still very fatigued from my long run. I definitely wanted to stay in bed. But the sun was shining and I wasn’t going to miss running the Shaughnessy 8K for the first time. I took the bus to the start line at Kerrisdale and quickly met up with some friends. I even saw an old friend/colleague who I hadn’t seen in more than a decade! Small world.
The field was small, only 126 people toed the line. The start was fast and furious along the East Blvd. straightaway before turning right onto a hill. The course was definitely hilly but it was on and off. It wasn’t too long before you get a break. Heading back towards the start of loop 2 was a bit of a doozy. The hill seemed endless, but especially for me since my legs felt so heavy. I did have to walk a few times so I just enjoyed the beautiful tree-lined streets and took photos.
Cars on the route
There were so many friendly volunteers and course marshals along the way, cheering for us. What wasn’t nice to see were at least two cars who ignored the barriers and drove along the race route. I didn’t get a photo of them but fortunately, they were on the road when there wasn’t a lot of runners around. It was selfish and could’ve put people in danger. Drivers need to respect the barriers.
The last kilometre is a downhill and a straightaway, perfect for making up for the time spent walking. I finished in 52:21, not my best 8k time but not my worst. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I headed straight for the Nuun because I was parched from the hot weather. It was a good race, nice and short but very lively.
We stuck around for awards. I was just chatting with Bradley, Jonathan and Debra watching awards get handed out. My first surprise was that I won a door prize! It was a BeetleBag by CA5 Athletics. It’s a light and comfortable mini pouch that hugs your back. It’s not bulky and you can beetle around town with it on foot or on two wheels. Check out their website here to see what else they make.
With a small race comes the likelihood of a podium finish for slower runners like myself. I did check with Margaret of LGRR and she said I finished 4th in my age group. Cool, but not good enough. I didn’t think I would be on the podium for being so slow that day lol. It turned out that there was a mistake and a guy was put in our category. I won 3rd in my age group by default! I didn’t even hear my name announced but my friends started freaking out and told me to go. Thankfully I was wearing sponsored gear for my second podium ever! LOL. I was also happy to share the podium with a friend and amazing athlete Tamasin who placed 2nd woman over all and won our division.
If you are looking for a great community event, sign up for the Shaughnessy 8k next year. The Lions Gate Road Runners put on a fun race that packs a punch. The course runs through a beautiful residential neighbourhood so I hope you like house hunting. The loops could throw you for a loop but it’s all a mental thing. If anything you’ll have a better race strategy on your second go.
Package pickup was available on-site which is very convenient. Subway brought post-race snacks but I didn’t get to it because I started talking to people. I did get free sunglasses from them though! I love that Nuun was there hydrating everyone. It meant I didn’t have to bring my own.
Medals were only given out to overall and age group podium finishers. Overall and age group winners received an extra gift, branded stemless wine glasses. I thought that was pretty cool. They also handed out lots of draw prizes so it’s worth sticking around and socializing, as you had to be present to claim your prize. Lots of people standing around me won something.
Again, my only complaint was not even the event’s fault… it’s the drivers who crossed the barriers. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was an annual problem.
I’d definitely run the Shaughnessy 8k again… but with fresh legs this time! Thanks for having me out!