Every year in April since 1985, the Vancouver Sun newspaper has been hosting the Vancouver Sun Run - the largest 10km run in the country and the 9th largest race in the world. Anyone can sign up for the Sun Run whether they want to race it competitively, run it, jog it, walk it, or even wheelchair the 10km.
The route starts downtown on Georgia & Burrard. Colourful balloon arches divide up the different starting groups - racers at the front, runners behind the yellow balloons, joggers behind the green balloons, slowpokes behind the white balloons, etc. Guests staying at the Hyatt and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver get a rude awakening on the morning of the race as 50,000+ people await on the streets below.
When the run starts, thousands of people - a sea of white Sun Run t-shirts - pour down Georgia Street towards Denman. They take Denman to Robson and then follow along the edge of Stanley Park to Beach Avenue on English Bay. They cross over the Burrard Street bridge (which exhausted runners learn by experience is over 1km across), then take a left at W 2nd Avenue before heading back downtown over the Cambie Street bridge to the finish line outside of BC Place.
I've been running this silly run for almost every year since 1994. Needless to say, for myself, my dad and my sister, it's become a family tradition regardless of how active or fit we are. This time around I'm not nearly as active as I was when I first started at the age of 13! As a result, I decided to join the corporate Sun Run team at work and we had our first training clinic a few weeks ago. But due to unruly weather and other spontaneous events, we skipped the subsequent training sessions.
I admit that I haven't been very good about training, although who am I kidding? I never am! I simply hate to train for the Sun Run. I guess I'll just wing it again this year and see if I can beat my 58 minute record while being a good 15 pounds overweight.
So watch out Vancouver! Just you wait. I'll be one of 50,000 white t-shirts flowing through your downtown streets this Sunday morning wondering what the heck I'm doing, yet again.