I lived in Vancouver for three years but wasn’t a runner then. I ran. A bit. But like three or four klicks. Never much, and definitely never enough to have run anywhere exciting in the City.
While visiting Vancouver this time I had it on my bucket list to run (at least a portion of) the Stanley Park sea wall. We made the morning arrival at the park a priority and rushed out of the hotel into rush hour traffic. Half way I realized I’d forgotten to pack a change of underwear. Small thing… were we not planning on spending the rest of the day doing tourist-type things. In public. Around people.
It wasn’t getting away from me that easily. No problem, I thought. I’ll just run commando and change back into the same pair I was already wearing. Small problem: adapting as required.
Mad, but life goes on. If life leaves you a pair short… save the clean pair for when you don’t want to smell like you just ran five klicks.
Well, that all seemed to work out okay, and we parked down by the Vancouver Aquarium and hobbled down to the nearby spray park where there was a swimming change room that I could use. I suited up, started up my watch, and headed off counter-clockwise around the park.
And it was great. A fresh ocean breeze. The light at my back. Not many people out but enough to feel like I wasn’t out on some lonely trail. A good city-park kinda run.
I’d pulled out my phone and was pausing to snap some photos and this old guy comes up to me and says that there is a grey whale breaching out near the shore just up around the corner and I should save some film for that. I don’t bother explaining about iPhones and digital photography and instead thank him and keep running.
A short whale photoshoot ensued and I dodged the dozens of people blocking the path for the next klick all standing along the sea wall watching for this one little puff of water in the ocean every couple of minutes.
I ran past Siwash Rock and then did an about face. My legs have been good and I had a phone (in case of emergency) but I figured I’d keep it relatively short, skip the full loop (sadly) and not kill myself on my bucket list run.
I met the girls most of the way back to my start point. They’d been picking up seashells on the beach and opted to start walking in the direction of my return trip. So I stopped a bit short of a full out and back and walked back to the change room with them.
Of course, the run couldn’t be completely uneventful: I changed back into my street clothes and .. what was that smell?? In my haste I’d jammed all my clothes into my bag and not noticed the juicy smudge of Canadian Goose poop all over the bottom of my shoe… a pair of smears that were now smudged down the side of my street shorts. I did some impromptu laundry in the bathroom sink and wore wet shorts to the Aquarium.
But at least I ran the seawall.