First, fuel up
In Vancouver, runners know that you can’t let a little rain stop you (otherwise you’ll never get out there). If you’re heading out on this route in fall, winter or spring, make sure you have the right waterproof-breathable layers, and if you’re heading out on a hot summer day, be sure to wear a hat for instant shade.
If you’re not properly equipped yet, don’t worry. This run starts at MEC for those who need assistance prior to heading out in the city’s almost always runnable, but sometimes fickle, climate.
First bridge: Cambie Street
As you’re heading north over the Cambie Bridge, you’ll be able to look down on Olympic Village to the right. There are a ton of hidden gems here, including the pop-up pianos in the summer that passers-by play, giant bird artwork, sunny patios for pastries or beer and popular locals’ hangouts like Habitat Island. Take it all in from above while you’re getting a sweat on.
Second bridge: Granville Street
After heading west off the Cambie Bridge, weave your way up to the Granville Bridge to head south, passing over Granville Island. It’s one of those routes that makes you think about how much Vancouver has changed over the years. It will also make you think about dropping in mid-run for a quick refuel at Lee’s Donuts in the public market on the island.
For now, resist and take West 3rd Avenue through the Armoury District, a small interesting part of the city where local businesses cater to Vancouver’s luxury automobile and interior design industries. Soon, you’ll be heading to the beach.
Kitsilano Beach Park
Turn right on Yew Street and you’ll link back up with a trail that runs along the water. Don’t stop yet, even though lounging on one of the logs overlooking the water or dipping into Kits Pool is pretty tempting. Keep your feet moving through the beach traffic, all around the peninsula as you make your way to the third and final bridge. If you need a water break to take in the North Shore mountain view, there’s a nice fountain near the washrooms.
Final bridge: Burrard Bridge
The historic Burrard Bridge offers fantastic views of the city as far as the eye can see. With a wide running lane, those who don’t love heights don’t have to be scared of being too close to the edge. Take a peek down mid-bridge span to see kayakers and water taxis jet across False Creek. Best of all, inviting beach logs await you when you wind off the bridge on the other side. End the run with a hangout at Sunset Beach and a cold drink from the concession stand before you make your way home.