Today is a rest day (read: no event to attend), so I thought it was a perfect time for a run. Having watched Biathlon and Cross Country competitions this week, I would have preferred skiing but there isn’t any snow in North Vancouver right now.
As in any new city the trick is knowing where to run and how to get there. I have wanted to run in Stanley Park, so it seemed like the best choice. Once I figured out how to get around the highway entrance onto the Lion’s Gate Bridge, I had to locate the pedestrian underpass that brings you to the crossing lane.
The truth is that I probably could have crossed on either side of the bridge but I noticed everyone else was going the direction of the traffic so I thought I better comply. Personally, I prefer seeing the bicycles coming towards me rather than be surprised by their cry of “on your left” as they whiz by.
The view from the bridge was spectacular and for a brief moment I thought about bungee jumping before I crested the center arch and started down the other side.
At the bottom of the bridge I again found the pedestrian underpass and made my way down to the Sea Wall trail. I couldn’t have asked for much better February weather with the sea birds squawking, the sun shining and only a few other runners sharing the path.
I did notice that they were all going the other direction but nobody indicated that I was going the wrong way. At what seemed to be the farthest point, I came upon a lone rock in the water with a single tree growing from a precarious perch on the top.
A few more minutes and I reached Third Beach and turned up into the trees. As I ran alone and in silence through the massive moss covered forest I have to admit I had a brief “Twilight” moment but I knew that I had my cell phone with me. Oh yeah, I left that in the motel with my camera in order to cut weight. I adjusted the volume on my iPod and picked up my pace, motivated by the narrator’s reading of “Born to Run.”
Circling around the park brought me back to the bridge and I started the last uphill leg. I set my sights on the bike rider ahead and slowly reeled him in. The reeling was made much easier when he stopped at the crest to take a picture of North Vancouver and the mountains above. I was breezing comfortably down the other side when the voice rang out “on your left” and the rider whizzed by me.
I cooled down as I waited for the crosswalk light to change and then jogged into the parking lot. Now I just need to answer a string of emails, make a bunch of phone calls, do a load of laundry, buy some food for the weekend, and my rest day will be complete.