Today, in our continuing series of things to do outside in Vancouver, we walked the Vancouver Sun Run. The Sun Run is a 10 km race through Vancouver that has grown beyond a typical 10k. For one thing, many people — like us — simply walk the course. For another thing, I think it’s grown way beyond what they had originally intended and almost beyond what the organizers are able to handle. This year, the largest ever, had 54,317 registered participants. The route (view it in Google Earth >here<, captured by my new GPSr) winds its way from West Georgia Street near the Art Gallery down through Stanley Park, along the north side of False Creek, over the Burrard Street Bridge, through Kits near Granville Island, along 6th Ave to the Cambie Street Bridge and over False Creek to B.C. Place. We’d done the Sun Run before, in 2004, but that was before we had Aidan. CIMG1038.JPG

So, we pulled our sorry selves out of bed early on Sunday and walked down to Granville street to see about catching a bus. Aidan was in the jogging stroller and our intention was to grab a 98 express, but the first one that came was waaaay overcrowded. Next along, however, was a #10 trolley that had plenty of space, and we wheeled the stroller on without any problem. So we arrived on West Georgia around 9 am, and made our way to our corral. And stood. And waited. It wasn’t until about twenty to ten before we started moving! By this time Aidan was starting to get a little antsy, but since we were jammed so tightly there was no room for him to get down and explore.

Waiting for the startWe didn’t end up crossing the start line until about 10:20 am. The “race” portion of the event started at 9 am, and by 9:30 am the “elite” runners had finished. By 10:20 am, some of our “runner” friends would have finished as well.

It was good weather at least, and to be in the middle of such a crowd is always interesting.

Starting the Sun Run

Despite the crowds, we kept a pretty good pace. Kilometre by kilometre whizzed by and soon we were almost halfway done — crossing the Burrard Street Bridge. As you can see, the crowds haven’t thinned yet.

Crossing the Burrard St. Bridge

Crossing the Burrard St. Bridge

We wound our way through Kits with Gwen pushing the stroller now, and incredibly our pace increased. This might have been because there was a little more room to manoeuvre the stroller, but inexplicably Gwen also tends to get faster towards the end of these things.

Walking along 6th Ave

As we came along 6th Ave along the south side of False Creek, we seemed to catch up to another big pack of people. We saw Carla as we hustled back. It looked like she had finished the run and was on her way back home. She cheered “Yay Aidan!” as we went by. Shortly after, Aidan decided he had enough of the stroller and I ended up carrying him on my shoulders for the final 2 km.

We met up with Ali at BC PlaceFinally, we came to B.C. Place, the finish line. I don’t know what our time was, but it was somewhere around 2 hours. I don’t recall what our time was in ’04, but I think we were faster this time. Certainly we both felt better at the end of it this time. We met up with Ali and some of his friends inside.

After rehydrating and chowing down on some oranges and bananas (well, the boy and Gwen had bananas) we walked home (yeah, another 2 1/2 km walk). Getting transit back from B.C. Place just wasn’t going to happen. For one thing, the roads were still shut down for the race. For another thing, the Canada Line Sky Train construction has throttled traffic on Cambie St beyond belief. When we left the stadium, we could see a Canada Post truck on the bridge. By the time we got to the other side, and up a couple blocks to head home, it still hadn’t made it to the middle of the bridge!

We arrive home tired, but satisfied. A quick change, feeding, and rehydrating of the boy ensued and then we put him to bed for a well-deserved nap. The parents ingested some quite-needed Ibuprofen, and then plopped down in front of the TV. What adventures for next weekend?