We’re heading home today after a super-long weekend trip to Victoria and Vancouver. The purpose of the visit was to check out the University of Victoria (aka UVic) and the University of British Columbia (aka UBC) with our daughter Lindsey.

That part of the trip went really well and she’s made her decision and will call Victoria her new home in the fall. She loved the city, the connection it has to nature and the compact campus and community.

I loved all that too, but also the great running that the city has to offer.

Saturday – 4.5km

On Saturday, I did a short run from the Hotel Zed (funky place to stay, by the way), down to the upper harbour, and then through the new RailYards neighbourhood, across the Selkirk Trestle and back up along a part of the Galloping Goose trail which is a former railway line turned into a bike/walk path. See it on Strava.

Sunday – 24km

Sunday was my long run day. The schedule called for 32km, but I opted to head into the taper a week early thanks to a hamstring strain that I was just about recovered from. I didn’t want to push it and risk re-aggravating it just three weeks from marathon day.

The Galloping Goose Trail.

I ran the Galloping Goose trail again, up to McKenzie Ave. before heading southeast across Cedar Hill Cross Rd. There was quite a few fairly good hills to test out my leg and my fitness. Richmond Rd brought me to St. Charles and down to Dallas Rd. and the Salish Sea.

The neighbourhoods were varied and interesting. Dallas Rd. offers stunning views with rocky shores and blue waters on one side, and beautiful homes on the other. Eventually that gave way to the port area and then the touristy Victoria Harbour and the Empress Hotel. I re-ran a bit of the route from the day before to get back to the hotel in Burnside. See it on Strava.

Monday – 4.0km

We took the ferry back to Vancouver and toured the UBC campus on Monday morning. From there it was a quick exploration of Kitsilano and Mt. Pleasant before checking in at our hotel up by the airport.

My legs were somewhat trashed from the 24km run, a hike up Mount Douglas and a long walk through Mystic Vale to Cadboro Beach and back. I opted for a shorter late afternoon run along the Fraser River to the Olympic Oval and back. That was nice, but a bit windy. See it on Strava.

Tuesday – 10.8km

This run was just going to be about 6km, but I woke up early and so I ended up extending it a bit. I took the Canada Line up to King Edward Station which is where you go to start the BMO Vancouver Marathon which I’ll be running in three weeks.

I ran across King Edward to Ontario St. and south past Nat Bailey Stadium and onto Midlothian Ave. This gave me the chance to run the first 3km of the marathon route and remind myself what I can expect on race day. Rather than making the right turn at 49th, I continued south towards Richmond.

I was planning to hop back on the Canada Line at Marine Drive, but I was feeling good so I opted to run a bit further and swap my Tuesday and Wednesday run distances around.

This let me run across the Canada Line’s North Arm Bridge which is an extradosed bridge over the Fraser River (part cable-stayed, part box-girder). I’ve seen the shared path hung off the side of this bridge many times from the train and I’ve always wanted to run it. From there, it was a couple more kilometres through a fairly ugly area of Richmond to get back to our hotel. See it on Strava.

Back in Three Weeks

I’ll be back in Vancouver on April 28th for the marathon and that will mean more running in my favourite city. I’m staying in Yaletown this time around so I suspect the routes will be mostly along False Creek, although I might use the Skytrain to get to some other areas and do a few point-to-point routes.

All-in-all, this was a great long weekend of running some new streets and trails.