Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MEC 5km Squamish Run: Smoke Bluffs

In the spirit of spontaneity and fitness, my best girlfriend and I decided to (last minute) join a 5km trail run up in Squamish this past Saturday, April 4, 2015. 

I've been running quite a bit over the last two months and lately I'm averaging my pace anywhere from about 6min10sec per km to about 7min50sec per km. Obviously some days are worse than others, especially if the dog is having an off day and needs to stop like 6 times for random pees and sniffs, but overall I feel I am building strength, endurance, and mostly confidence in my running capacity. 

So I eagerly signed up for this 5km run (which was open to beginners, intermediate and advanced runners) and didn't look back. Little did I know though, that I was in for a big surprise!

Here's what happened:

I was up at about 5:30am and hit the road with the hubby and the pup by about 6:15. I needed to stop for coffee on the way, and I wanted to be at the run site in Squamish by about 8:30am so that I had time to pick up my race bib etc. without worrying about traffic or line up delays. 
(Here I am ready to leave the house by 6:15am)

The drive up the sea-to-sky highway was gorgeous, as per usual, and we arrived to the run site (Squamish Adventure Centre) with plenty of time to spare. My friend Sarah and I pinned our chip filled race bibs to our shirts, jogged in place for a brief few minutes to get warm, I gave the hubby and Capt'n some hugs n kisses and before we knew it, Sarah and I were lining up at the start line. 

By 9:15am we were off the start line and heading up the trail which apparently they call the "Smoke Bluffs."

Now this is where I tell you I was in for a biiiiiiiig surprise. Here is a map, including elevation of the run:

That's right, in the first 2.5km, we went over 200metres up. This run, or better described as hike, was sooooo friggin steep! Obviously I was not mentally or physically prepared for this, so it really slowed my pace down significantly. Sarah handled it much better than I did, she was such a good motivator!

Thankfully eventually we got to start heading downhill, but to be honest, it was almost just as difficult because it was so steep that I had to grab a hold of trees and branches, etc. to brace myself from slipping and falling down. 

All in all though the scenery was beautiful, the weather turned out perfect, and really the run was a total blast. My final time was 46min36sec, with an average pace of 9min19sec per km. Click here for the official results. I came in 19th place out of the women in the 5km group. Not to shabby for my first 5km event!

Here are some more photos from the day:

(Start line)

(Me coming up to the finish line)



Here are some pics that Mark managed to get while him and Capt'n were waiting for us ladies to finish our run:

Even if you are not a runner, I definitely recommend this area for a nice walk/hike. It was absolutely beautiful!



  1. Aaah, this looks hard! Running hills is torture. So great that you did it!!

    1. My calves were on fire!!! Sarah kept telling me to go more on my toes, but I felt like that made it worse - I think I need to work on my posture/technique lol!

  2. Wow it looks like you had a blast! I've tried SO MANY TIMES to get into running - I even managed to do a 5K in about 22 minutes during my "GetFitInFebruary" challenge! But regardless, I just don't enjoy it :/ I'll stick to the stairmaster, elliptical, etc. haha. Maybe I just need a puppy to run with me?
    Way to scale those heights! Woo!
    ~ Samantha

    1. Holy smokes 22minutes! Speed demon!
      And the pup actually makes it pretty tough to run sometimes (he's way faster than me so he pulls a lot, which messes with my breathing, and he is very easily distracted! lol, usually once I hit the half hr mark though he tends to slow down a bit).
      Running definitely isn't for everyone (and the hills definitely aren't for me)!