Latest reviews by Paul
This was the second time I've run the Seek the Peak race at Grouse Mountain. My first experience was in a team event, in the race's inaugural year. That was quite a while ago now! This time, I ran the entire distance with my partner, Sandra.
Signing up was super easy and there's even a discount for Grouse Mountain annual pass holders, of which I am one. That makes it even more affordable and who wouldn't love that? The package came with a black and pink Columbia tech-T. It wasn't my cup of tea, but it's a quality shirt considering how much it cost to enter the race :)
Race day was perfect. The weather was great and spirits were high. Parking was awesome. We left the car at Grouse Mountain and then took a special shuttle down to the start line at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. We took part in a mass warm up, just before heading out and that got the lungs going and the heart racing!
The first part of the race follows Capilano Canyon and comes out at Cleveland Dam. Sandra doesn't run at the same pace as me, so since we were doing it together, I slowed it down for her. Had I been running my own pace, I would have found this section quite difficult. You basically go up and then some more up. After pausing briefly at the Cleveland Park aid station, we continued out onto Nancy Greene way and up some more towards Grouse Mountain. This is a very steep road, which I have cycled up a few times in the past. Man is it steep and very difficult to run up! When you get to the top of that, there's another aid station. This one had Vega gels, which was pretty impressive.
Then, it's the infamous Grouse Grind. It's only 2.9k long, but it has an elevation gain that is too big to even think about right now :| I decided to do this in my own time and wait for Sandra at the top. After the climbing we'd already done, this was a nightmare. My back hurt, my legs hurt, even my fingers hurt.
I finally made it to the top and waited for Sandra. Boy was I glad for that rest! When she finally arrived, we had to wait for her to have a brief rest (that's only fair, right?). But, that's not it. You're not done yet. What? Yes, you still have to go all the way to the Grouse Mountain summit. Even then, you're not done. You still have to descend back to the chalet. THEN, you're done. Phew!
We were given a medal at the finish. A basic one, but it's something. There were hot dogs and burgers as an offering to those who had survived, but all I really wanted was a tall glass of cold water. They had that too!
So, that was it. We took the gondola back down to the parking lot where our car was waiting. Great to sit down in that, I can tell you!