Vancouver is just entering April, and that means outdoor running is back! Finally, Vancouverites can get some fresh air and sunshine to get our cardio in. Taking to the streets is a great way to let off some steam, or get some new perspective by admiring the city. When it comes to running, there’s one attraction that has the rest beat – the popular tourism magnet – the Vancouver Seawall.
There’s few things as breathtaking as taking in the scenery around the shores of Vancouver. Did you know that the Vancouver Seawall is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path? Bigger is better, right? Step into running season by taking any of these five great running routes to keep your seawall sprints feeling fresh:
Stanley Park Seawall / Chilco Loop – 12.08 km
Here’s a standard run for all you joggers to enjoy the beautiful nature, wildlife, and people watching a jog along the Stanley Park section of the seawall has to offer. It serves as a great place to get started for the season and stretch your legs. It’s also is great in the hot months of summer, since you can duck into the woods to get some shade when you need to cool down.
Vancity Bridge to Bridge – Cambie to Burrard – 9.32 km
Take in the urban sights with this route. Taking you across the water of the Georgia Straight not once – but twice – gives you a look into all the character the city has to offer. Fight a seagull or pet a dog during a rest; there’s plenty out there. Plus since this neighbourhood is home to Vancouver’s most stylish athletes, you can get a little fashion show from the local population. A little eye candy helps with that last km.
The “Why Did I Do This” - Jericho Beach, False Creek, Stanley Park Seawall – 32.37 km
Feel like a challenge? Start by dodging the dog-walkers and families at Kits Beach to make your way around the Stanley Park loop and round the bend around the stunning scenery near Science World and Creekside Park. Take this route to get the best out of the what the seawall has to offer, but also be prepared with some snacks and plenty of water – it’s a doozy and definitely not for the faint of heart! And when you’re done you can head up to Rain or Shine for an ice cream when you get back to Kits ;)
Spanish Banks Run – 6.45 km
Take a foray into the forest with this route, giving you some shade if you want some natural beauty to bask in. Sunbeams will pop between trees as you make your way down through the UBC Endowment Lands and up around Spanish Banks to take in a less populated but visually unrivaled beachside view. This one is a little further out from Vancouver proper, but this run will leave you feeling refreshed and is great to tag onto the beginning or end of a day.
False Creek Seawall – 5.73 km
A standard for most seawall runners, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! It’s one of the most iconic routes for Vancouver runners, allowing runners to enjoy beautiful views of the city by following around its edge looking either into it or out across the water. This is less of a loop than the other runs, so have a gameplan for when you get to the other end – have a day at Granville Island, meet a pal for a beer, or meet the missus over at Costco for a bit of a wallet workout as well.
With all the excitement of work and life, keeping your head clear is important. The sun has finally come out to say hello, so make soaking up vitamin D a priority! Get out of that dank gym and keep training to put a little spring in your step all season long.