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Help choose the #ScotiaHalf shirt!

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

We need your help to choose the 20th annual Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon shirt design!

Participants in both the 5k and the Half Marathon will again receive excellent Asics tech-shirts in both unisex and women’s sizing. Help us pick the final design by voting on your favourite option below, or by commenting on our Facebook post. The winning design will be announced on Friday.


Haven’t registered yet? Come run with us on June 24, 2018 in the Half Marathon or 5k!

Course Preview – Under Armour Eastside 10k

By | Eastside 10k | No Comments

This year’s Under Armour Eastside 10k features a brand new course as well as a new start/finish area outside the Woodward’s Development on Cordova St. Check out the course map as well as course preview photos below. The run is now SOLD OUT but we still have some volunteer positions available or just come out to cheer runners on!

Photographer Rob Shaer snapped a couple photos over the weekend to give you a preview of some of the new course – check them out below!

#UAeastside10k Training Program

By | Eastside 10k, Training Tips | No Comments

With the Under Armour Eastside 10k fast approaching, our friends at MapMyRun have put together a well-structured training program to set you up for success. There are four parts to the program: Strength; Movement and Mobility; Running and Endurance; and Recovery. Here’s how it works:

The Strength program is designed to meet the demands of a runner looking for a more competitive edge. It isn’t designed to build muscle, but rather enhance your stability and mobility to runstronger.

Movement & Mobility
This routine will prepare your body for running by increasing mobility at the ankles, hips and T-spine. It will also activate your body for the twice weekly Strength sessions.

The Running & Endurance program is built for beginner- and intermediate-level runners. You will be introduced to tempo running, fast hill repeats and long slow runs, and you’ll develop the discipline for recovery runs.

This routine is based on Under Armour’s belief that today’s recovery is tomorrow’s training. It is essential to attempt to restore movement quality after a run and the program is designed to hit the areas of the body that need the most attention.

All you need is eight weeks, a foam roller, and a firm commitment to get fast, strong and ready for race day. Are you ready? Read on for more details and download the official Under Armour 10k training plan here!

Get fast, strong and ready to toe the line come Race Day!

Whether you’re running your first 10K or your 100th, having a well-structured prepared training plan is your best bet to set you up for a successful race day. From mobility and endurance to strength and recovery, this plan provides everything you need to have your best race yet—and maybe even snag yourself a PR along the way.

Are you ready?




Recovery Routine

Recovery Grid

Race Day Tips for #ScotiaHalf

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Every year we’re joined by hundreds of new runners at both the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and the 5k. For many people, it’s their first time participating in an event of this size. We’ve taken some tips from the seasoned runners out there and come up with the ABC’s of how to set yourself up for a great race – both before and after the event.

While this guide is primarily aimed at new runners, it’s always good to refresh your memory even if you’ve been racing for decades! Also be sure to check out our Race Etiquette Page.
Confirm your registration here.

Before the Race

A – Know where you need to be and when

This may seem obvious, but it’s so often overlooked. You can save yourself tonnes of stress on Race Day (and the days leading up to it) by knowing where to go and when. This includes knowing where to pick up your race package and bib number in the days leading up to the race, as well as how to get to the start line.

  • Expo – ALL participants must pick up their race package and bib number at Package Pickup before Race Day. Package Pickup is located on the Second Floor at the Vancouver Convention Centre East (999 Canada Place) and is open on Friday, June 22 from 11am to 6:30pm, and Saturday, June 23 from 10am to 5pm. More details here.
  • 5k Start Line – the 5k begins on Stanley Park Drive, just west of the Fish House restaurant. Red corral begins at 9:15am, Blue corral at 9:20am, Green at 9:25am, and Purple at 9:30am (more on corrals further down the page). Make sure you leave plenty of time to get here, as there is NO PARKING near the start line – you will need to either take transit and walk, or park at the Rose Garden lot on the other side of Stanley Park and take our shuttle to the start (leave an extra 45 minutes for this). Details on this, plus maps, are here.
  • Half-Marathon Start Line – the Half begins on East Mall at UBC, near Thunderbird Arena. Race start is 7:30AM SHARP – leave extra time to get here due to road closures. Translink has increased service on the 99 B-Line and 25 bus routes for the morning, but if you are driving we recommend carpooling and parking at Thunderbird Parkade. Full details and maps are here.
    ***Important*** Make sure you leave plenty of time to find and use the washrooms before the run starts, although there are some washrooms available on course. Start Lines will CLOSE 10 minutes after the scheduled start times, meaning you will not be permitted to start after this point! Also note that there are construction closures on SW Marine Drive this year, so please use West 16th Ave, West 10th Ave, or Chancellor Blvd to get to UBC.***

B – Don’t do anything new! We mean it!

A common mistake is to try something new just before or on Race Day. This could be anything from wearing a new pair of shoes during the run to changing up your diet the day before. If you typically eat a simple pasta the night before your training runs, don’t try out that new Mexican Food Cart on Saturday night. If you don’t usually have coffee before your training runs, don’t go for a double espresso on Sunday morning. Stick with what works for you – from your meals to your running clothes to your morning routine.

C – Start in the right corral

When you pick up your bib number, you’ll notice a coloured corral box on it (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, or Purple). This colour matches up with the corral you’ve been assigned to and there’ll be coloured corral flags at the start line to show you were to line up.
But what’s a corral? In order to give everyone their best experience on Race Day, we assign all participants into a corral based on their predicted finish time. This way, speedsters can start at the front of the pack while walkers start further back. Please be respectful of other runners and line up according to your expected finish time. Please also be mindful of other runners who may need to pass you on course – if you are running with children encourage them to stay close or hold their hand. Corral details for Half-Marathon and 5k.

BONUS – use our Gear Check to store a bag of warm, dry (and less-sweaty) clothes for after the race. Your $2 donation will go to our Featured Charities.

During the Race

A – Make sure your bib number is on your front and visible

We use a bib-tag timing system, which means your timing chip is embedded in your bib number. In order for it to work properly and have your time recorded:

  • Do not remove the “bibTag” or foam spacer from your bib.
  • Do not fold your bib or excessively bend or twist the “bibTag”.
  • Wear your bib on your chest/abdomen. Do not wear on your back, side, leg or arm.
  • Do not cover your bib with clothing – always make sure it is completely visible.
  • Make sure you cross over the timing mat at both the Start Line and the Finish Line.
    ***Start Lines for both the Half and 5k will CLOSE 10min AFTER THE SCHEDULED START TIME

B – Start slow and stay even

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Race Day and start out too fast. Do the opposite – start a little slower than your normal pace and gradually pick up your pace over the first kilometre. After that, try to keep an even pace throughout the race and save your extra energy for the final push to the Finish Line!

C – Stay hydrated out there (and wear sunscreen!)

It can be pretty hot in June, so make sure to keep hydrated while on course. It’s a good idea to bring your own water, but we’ll also have plenty of aid stations on course, serving up both water and Gatorade. If you are using one of the aid stations:

  • When approaching a hydration station, move to the side of the road, grab your fluid/nutritional needs and keep moving. There will be multiple hydration tables so if the first table is busy KEEP MOVING.
  • Throw your used cup to the side of the road as close to the hydration station as possible, ideally in one of the marked bins. Drop your cup down by your waist so you don’t hit/splash another participant.
  • If you plan to stop at the aid station, move past the tables and pull off to the side of the road.
  • Say thank you to the volunteers!

After the Race

A – Keep moving

Collect your medal as you cross the Finish Line, then keep moving through the chute until you get to the Post-Race Recovery Area. Keep moving for at least 10 more minutes afterwards to gradually bring your heart rate down and help your legs flush out that lactic acid (this will prevent you from being stiff tomorrow).

B – Refuel and rehydrate

Right after the finish line we’ll have water and Gatorade for you to rehydrate with. Grab a cup and keep walking – there will be more in the Post-Race Recovery Area. A variety of snacks will be available in the Recovery Area, including bananas, bagels, KIND bars, cookies, raisins, juice, and yogurt. The carbs will help replenish your energy stores while a bit of protein will help rebuild your muscles. Make sure you eat something within 30 minutes of crossing the line.

C – Get warm and enjoy the Finish Area

After you’ve fueled up, stop by Gear Check to collect your spare clothes. Even on a sunny day, your core temperature will drop fast once you stop moving, especially when you’re still wearing sweaty clothes. Once you’ve done that, check out the live band, our Charity Village, and Awards Ceremony (10:30am).

If you’re looking for a place to meet your friend and family after the run, our five Charity Village tents will be labeled A, B, C, D, and E – pick a letter and meet in front of it. Full map of the Finish Area is here.

Congratulations! Now it’s time to start planning your next race – join us at the Under Armour Eastside 10k on September 15, 2018!

Course Tips from the Front

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Some of the top athletes share their insider info on the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon course.

Catherine Watkins:

Scotia Half is a fun scenic net downhill run but don’t let that deceive you into thinking it’s an easy course. You can definitely have a fast time on the course but it is important that you remain patient for the first 15k and don’t get carried away. The long downhill from UBC can take it’s toll on your legs if you go out too fast and that can make the final climb up Burrard Bridge a long slog if your legs aren’t feeling good. This is a course where you want to be able to pick things up after the Burrard climb and feel strong on the downhill towards the finish.

Melanie Kassel:

I always warn first timers not to get sucked into hammering down that lovely hill early on in the race in order to bank a few seconds – whatever time gains are made at that point are invariably lost (plus some!) when your quads go on strike in the latter stages of the race. Enjoy a nice downhill coast but don’t shoot yourself in the foot!

Katherine Moore:

I have run a negative split on this course and my PB. With the downhills in the first half, on this course it is easy to get caught up with running too fast in the beginning. If you hold back a bit in the beginning you hopefully feel good at 10k to feel strong for the second half which has some uphill, the Burrard Bridge, and at this time of year it can start getting hot.

Dayna Pidhoresky:

So this will be my first time running Scotia Half, hence, I am looking forward to reading the tips of others!  In the past I know it has been quite hot so I think taking full advantage of the water stations from the get-go would be advantageous in the latter stages of the race.

Rika/Tatsuya Hatachi:

I try to break down 21.097km to several ‘sections’.  When I actually run the race, I try to clear them one by one, so that I won’t feel the entire course is too long.

  • From start until the ‘turnaround’ on Marine Drive (approx. 3km point): nice & easy on slight and almost unnoticeable downhill.  You can grab your good rhythm here, but do not overrate your easy feeling at this point.  Do not rocket-start or speed up. Keep the pace steady and save your energy as much as possible.
  • After ‘turnaround’ ~before long downhill to Jericho: You may start feeling ‘tired’ suddenly and already! But it’s natural to feel heavy after the slight downhill  and it’s a little bit going up.  If you are challenging and aiming for PB, expect that you may feel heavy on your legs here but you will recover later for sure. So don’t worry.
  • Downhill to Jericho: One of the feature points of this course.  Some runners like trying to keep your pace ‘down’ on downhill to reduce the impact, while other runners like ‘running like flying down’ the hill.  Believe it depends on how you’ve been training on downhill.  If you are not well-trained/prepared for this downhill, you may end up paying back later on if you go aggressive on the downhill (even for ½ marathon distance), so be careful. But if you are confident in training downhill, this is where you can save some time here for PB, so go for it!
  • After the downhill ~ Burrard Bridge: ‘Flat’ road after the downhill will definitely feel like ‘uphill’.  Small updowns and turning lots of corners just before Burrard Bridge may drag you down, but, try to think that it is ‘natural’ to feel ‘heavy’ or ‘slow’ right after the long downhill, and the half-point has passed .  Anticipate, be prepared and plan for the fatigue you will get in the second half of any race.  Re-fuel yourself constantly to maintain steady performance.
    Try to recover and get your body used to the running on ‘flat’ road.
  • Burrard Bridge: Much harder and longer than crossing it by driving, of course.
    However, be positive by thinking that the mild downhill is waiting for you toward the end of the bridge, plus, it would only be about 2km left after crossing this bridge.
    Prepare for the ‘last spurt’ after reaching the top of this bridge.
  • Pacific Blvd to the Stanley Park Finish line:  Nice and slight downhill where you can go for the last spurt! Lots of cheering crowd on both sides of Pacific Blvd will help you all the way to the Finish Line! Enjoy your moment!
Kip Kangogo:

The best course with wonderful volunteers and great cheering crowds and don’t underestimate Burrard Bridge as things can get interesting there.

Dylan Wykes:

10-15k is the toughest part of this course in my mind.  Everyone expects to come off the big hill from UBC to Spanish banks and just be able to keep rolling.  It hasn’t worked that way for me.  Expect to need a kilometre to get your groove again after the downhill.  Don’t underestimate the hill around Jericho Park.  It stings big time.  If you can stay mentally strong through this part of the course, you’ll set yourself up for a good last 6k.

Chris Mulverhill:

If you have time, I recommend running or walking parts of the course that you aren’t familiar with or that you are curious about. It’s better to know how steep a hill is or how far it seems between points before you’re many kilometers deep on the pain train.

Whether it’s your first half or your 50th, have fun. There are very few opportunities where you get to take to the streets of a beautiful part of a beautiful city with thousands of people without being considered a riot. Make the most of it.

Craig McMillan:

I have run this quite a few times before. My main point about this course would be that most people forget how much uphill / rollers there are. 3-7km are all slightly uphill and the rolling terrain after Spanish banks to Burrard Bridge can take it out of you if you went too hard in the first half. Overall, a fast and great race.

A full course description can be found here or check out the course preview video. See you on June 25 at #ScotiaHalf!

Course Preview – Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon 2017

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Our friend and Asics athlete Justin Kent did a quick course preview run of the 2017 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon course a few weeks back. Check out some videos of the preview run along with photos from last year’s race!

You can find more course info on the Half-Marathon as well as the 5k here. Looking forward to having you join us this June!


Five Cross Training Activities from Allison Tai

By | Training Tips | No Comments
Article by Allison Tai

Cross Training. It’s Time.
I know you know. You should be cross-training. Just like you should be getting eight hours of sleep every night, drinking at least 8 glasses of water and eating clean. It’s definitely hard to get it all in – and still run.

But cross-training goes a long way. Not just in terms of lowering the number on that finish line clock, but also making sure you can get to it in one piece. These are my five favourite cross-training activities for runners and my solutions for making them happen.


When I was in my  twenties, I thought yoga was a punishment for over-doing it on the miles. Run too much, break yourself, downward dog. Being of a more mature age, I realize the reason my coach sent me to yoga when I was hurt. Yoga is restorative and has amazing potential to heal and realign the body. You can do it before huge injuries crop up when they’re little and manageable, or after, when they’ve swallowed up your ability to even walk pain-free.
Solution: Unlike when I was in my twenties, yoga is easily accessible. You can find a reputable studio on nearly every street, or stream a quick video right to your computer screen. If you are a social person, commit to a class that fits your schedule once weekly to start. If you’re the homebody type who’s pressed for time, upload a short video and commit to doing it after your easy runs for the next month. (Related article – five easy yoga poses for runners)

MyoFascial Release

In case you haven’t heard this term, it’s the fancy pants way of saying “roll around on stuff where your body hurts.” It’s my belief that people should be able to address problems in their own bodies, and see them coming for a long time out. I find out very quickly whether my ankle is tight or my hip is full of trigger points when I dig around with a ball.
Solution: Buy a lacrosse ball and a roller. Then, commit to spending at least 15 minutes per day, every day, all month, to helping your body heal. If you miss a day, that’s fine. But aim for every day. Just make sure to roll gently, never roll over bones and never go to the point of pain. If you cannot relax while you’re rolling, you’re not doing any good. Again, there are a plethora of video guides on the internet. Find what works for you.


We are lucky to live in one of the best cities in the nation for cycling. Cycling not only builds your legs and lungs without the impact, it does so while maintaining a very similar cadence or turnover rate as running. When I was coaching triathletes, I would constantly see runners who had reached a plateau transition to triathlon out of frustration and see huge gains. Just be clear on what you want out of the ride, if you are going for a nice easy spin on an active recovery day, go easy… and if you are substituting a hard workout, put in the same effort.
Solution: Bike to commute. Start by riding once or twice a week on easy days. Just make sure you plan your route on bike paths, prepare for all sorts of surprise BC weather, and bring a bike lock.


Vancouverites are spoiled by easily accessible world-class hikes throughout the lower mainland. In my opinion, there is no better way to build single leg strength or hip drive than climbing a mountain. Many runners struggle from “lazy glute syndrome” because it’s relatively easy to leave your bum out of the firing pattern when you’re doing most of your mileage on relatively flat terrain. It’s a lot more difficult to get to the top of a mountain without your hips working hard to fight gravity. That increased hip strength and facilitation will likely carry over into your running and into your stride.
Solution: Organize a weekly hiking excursion with friends. The Grouse Grind is a quick, easy and relatively safe way to get in a lot of elevation. Just make sure you wait until it opens.


It’s a big word for a simple methodology: body-weight training. From air squats, to push-ups and pull-ups, to plyometrics… any time you are using your own body weight, you are doing calesthentics. As a runner, your go to should be things like planks, upper body focused exercises, hip strengthening and single leg work. It’s been shown time and time again that upwards of 90% of injuries are correlated with weak hips and/or a weak core. Even 15 minutes dedicated to your core, hips and your under-utilized upper body will make a big impact on your performance – and longevity – as a runner.
Solution: Make some non-running goals like being able to do a pull-up or 10 push-ups with good form. I have several doorway pull-up bars positioned through out my house. That way I can do chin-ups and hanging leg raised while making dinner or watching my kids take a bath. It’s easy to build calsthenthics into your routine: stand on one leg while brushing your teeth or work toward your pull-up goals between emails. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be consistent.

Allison is a coach at Vancity OCR and a competitive OCR athlete, placing second at the World’s Toughest Mudder 2014.

Avoiding the post-race blues

By | General | No Comments

Post-race blues are commonly experienced after any big goal has been accomplished.  From running your first 5k, to obtaining the elusive Boston Qualifying time, there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into the buildup for a race.  The same questions bounce around in everyone’s head: “What now?”; “What’s next?”; and “Do I want to do this again?”.  Similar thoughts and feelings are experienced when a race is unexpectedly cancelled.  All the hard work and effort that was focused on this one event can feel as if it was all for naught.  So when a race doesn’t go according to plan due to poor pacing, subpar weather conditions, or injury, it leaves people disgruntled, especially when it’s something out of their control.  If this is something that sounds familiar, here are a few ways of getting over the post-race blues:

  1. Debrief.  After any race, it’s always a good idea to go over the pros and cons from the race.  Start by listing off the good things that happened as it’s instinctive to leap onto what went wrong.  When analyzing the problem areas, you’ll learn about what did work, how to rectify any problem areas, and what you can do to improve next time around. Write down these notes, and visualize how to make the next training cycle better, faster, and more fun for smoother sailing into the next event.
  2. Set a new goal. Once a race is said and done, it can be hard to find the motivation to run again. Having just put your body through months of training, your body requires ample recovery time post-race and this is the ideal time to set a new goal.  There are so many great races throughout the year that signing up for a race in a different distance, city, or sport is an easy way to keep the training momentum going.
  3. Mix it up. After debriefing, the dos and don’ts that were experienced can spark some training changes when building to the next race.  Incorporate different training regimes like spin classes, strength sessions, and swimming, or find a group to train with that may provide new ideas for different running routes and workouts.  By keeping training fun and exciting it helps to keep the motivation up, and the blues at bay.
  4. Keep things in perspective.  Things typically happen for a reason. The reason may be unclear initially, but when you look back down the road there are things that point out why something did or didn’t work out as you had planned.  It’s important to remember that although sacrifices are made to execute a training cycle properly, there is a lot more to life than that one race.  This isn’t meant to downplay any goal that’s been achieved, big or small, it’s just a way to keep it in perspective.  At the end of the day, friends and family will be cheering and supporting you no matter the outcome; there will always be another race to sign up for, and you’ll have learned something about yourself that you didn’t know before the journey began.

Post-race blues are likely, but not inevitable.  Keep moving forward, sign up for your next event, and keep that training routine rolling!

Looking for your next event? Find the next Canada Running Series event near you!

Council for Responsible Sport – Inspire Certification

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Canada Running Series has a longstanding commitment to producing sustainable events in our community and is excited for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k‘s invitation into the Council for Responsible Sport‘s Inspire program! The new Inspire program recognizes the sustained commitment of events that have been certified multiple times and challenges them to mentor industry peers and share their stories. The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k is the fourth event to earn Inspire status and the first to do so in Canada. It is the second event to earn Inspire status at the Gold level.

“The Inspire program grants events and organizers with proven records of hosting certified responsible events a position of exemplary leadership within the community of organizers positively influencing the sports events industry,” said the Council’s managing director Shelley Villalobos.

“We are pleased to welcome the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k to the Inspire program this year. We hope to elevate the level of attention to the exemplary work organizers have been doing for several years now with regards to zero waste, procurement, access, and community legacy at the event.”

Highlights of achievements in the past include:

  •  98% Waste Diversion Rate for our Expo, Start Area, Finish Area, and course with Green Chair Recycling
  • All discarded clothing from Start Area collected and donated to shelter programs
  • Majority of food purchased is locally and/or organically produced, with surplus food being donated to local food banks
  • Striving for Carbon-Neutral – all event operations and 50% of local participant travel was offset with carbon credits in 2015
  • Free post-event shuttles and bike valet reduce two-way trips and car drops
  • Marketing materials are printed using biodegradable inks on FSC certified paper

In 2017, the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k will expand upon these achievements by replacing all generators at the start/finish venues with pollution-free power stations and solar panels. Recycling and waste reduction initiatives will continue to be fine-tuned and the event will expand upon the bike valet program in Stanley Park.

Events may opt into the Inspire program on an invitation only basis after earning two consecutive certifications from the Council (certification is good for two years). The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k earned an invitation in 2017 after first becoming certified in 2013 at the Silver level, and earning a recertification at the Gold level in 2015. Program participation entails three core requirements including annual reporting on key performance indicators, mentorship of another event or organization on a specific aspect of their responsible sport programming and sharing the event’s responsible sport story publicly.

2017 #ScotiaHalf Shirt Options

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

We’ve just received our tentative shirt designs for this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k participant t-shirts and now we need your input! Take a look at the two options above, then vote on your favourite style. The most popular version will chosen for the 2017 Asics race shirt that all participants will receive.

Voting closes at midnight on January 12.

Shirt Options

Click to enlarge