A Rookie’s Guide to the Rupert 8K Road Race and 8 reasons to participate!

First and foremost, let’s get something straight – the term “race” can be very intimidating for anyone who isn’t super competitive, experienced or confident in the activity at hand. BUT, what many new runners aren’t aware of, is that “race day” is totally synonymous with “an exciting, organized running event with high energy and community atmosphere that gives the runner an opportunity to push a little more than usual and prove to themself how physically strong and self-willed they can be.” So, going forward, let’s just call it a running EVENT. πŸ™‚

This Sunday, April 9th, is the Prince Rupert 1/2 Marathon, two-person 1/2 Marathon Relay, and 8K Road Race hosted by Rupert Runners. You can find everything you need to know by clicking the link, but for extra simplicity, HERE is the registration form! Both routes are out-and-back, 21.1km course starts at 1pm and 8km course starts at 2pm. The reason this post is focusing on the 8K distance in particular is because as you may or may not know, the Learn to Run Clinic has been in full swing now for seven weeks, and eight kilometres may now be a very realistic distance for participants to tackle, whether it’s running, run/walk intervals, or even signing up with the intention to walk and testing out a few short jogs along the way. That’s right, WALKERS ARE WELCOME! Come one, come all. Also, lots of other runners are coming out of their winter hibernation and 8k is a sweet distance if you aren’t down to run a half marathon at this point or split it with someone.

So, what can one expect if deciding to participate? First, I advise you to register before hand. This simplifies things for you, and it’s a huge help for the event directors and volunteers. This form can be filled out and given with cash or cheque made out to Rupert Runners to any of the club execs, dropped off on Tuesday or Thursday this week between 5 – 5:15pm at the CHSS track before Learn to Run starts (even if you aren’t participating) or, you can mail it in. There will also be an in-person sign up and bib/shirt pick-up from 10am-noon at the Civic Centre this Saturday, April 8th, the day before the event.  All runners who register before Sunday will be entered to win this Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap for yourself or to give away as a gift. #swag

Once you’re all signed up, you can relax until Saturday, go down to the Civic Centre between 10-noon and pick up your bib and souvenir shirt, or you can get it on race day. Again, it’s easier for you and everyone else to grab your stuff before the day of the event. If you don’t live in Prince Rupert, see you Sunday!

Sunday Runday!

The 8K begins at 2pm on Sunday, so sometime prior to that you’ll decide what you want to wear on your run, taking the weather into consideration and planning to leave something in your vehicle/a friend’s vehicle for after you finish. You may want to bring your own water bottle too, even though there will be water and snacks provided after. There is a big awards ceremony for overall and category winners, plus TONS of door prizes, so stick around! Once your body cools down you’ll want a hoodie or jacket, and maybe some sweats. When you’ve decided what top you’d like to run in, you’ll pin your bib onto the FRONT of your shirt (or shorts/pants if you prefer.) The bib goes on the front because as you are finishing the course, the volunteers in charge of timing need to be able to see it. Four safety pins will be provided to you.

Bibs also make good keepsakes!

Other things to pay attention to on Sunday are staying hydrated before and after you run, and eating something decent a few hours before hand. And use the bathroom before, washrooms available inside the Lester Centre as well as the Civic Centre.

Since the 1/2 marathon and relay start first, at 1pm, this is a great opportunity to get down to the Lester Centre (where it all starts) nice and early to give yourself time to take in the energy of the event, yell really loud as 1/2 runners take off, chat with your friends, and warm up. Oh, and to park, if you’re driving. Please, don’t think that warming up for a race means you are “super hardcore” and trying to win or break records or something. Warming up is necessary to prevent injury, feel ready, and so that you don’t give your body a rude awakening sending it from resting to a high heart-rate in just a few seconds! Try an easy little jog part way down Wantage Rd or even in the Lester Centre parking lot, then twirl the ankles, try some leg swings front to back and side to side while hanging on to something for support, the runners’ warmup that Kerrie demonstrates sometimes, and then some stretching is okay after your muscles are no longer cold.

When 2pm approaches, 8K participants gather in the little undercover drop-off area right in front of the Lester Center main entrance. This is the same place the first race started, so if you are there early you can see how it goes down, but it’s nothing fancy or complicated whatsoever. You’ll see a giant timing clock set up and cones and volunteers in vests. Once you begin, you’ll be running out onto the highway keeping to the right side of the road, and staying on that side after turning around at the 4km half-way point, which is just a little further than the turn off to the Industrial Site. There is no crossing of the highway. WOOO. If you think you’re nervous, try converting it to excited.


The Course!

Think of this course as SIX parts. Six manageable chunks, many of which you have already run if you take part in Learn to Run. /  \  /  \  /  \


1/6: Lester Centre to BCHydro

  • not the time to giver’, this is a time to see how you feel, settle in, find your breath
  • yes, it starts on an uphill, but you got it

first part

nice work Cookie aka Superman [Phuong Nguyen Photo]

2/6: Hydro to the SPCA

  • downhill, yayaa
  • if you’re feeling a little out of breath from that first incline, this is a great place to let your heart rate and breathing stabilize. Relax. This is fun. Unclench your jaw and fists haha.


enjoying the descent! [Phuong Nguyen Photo]

3/6: SPCA to the half-way turnaround point

  • there is a water station here! Have some! and thank the volunteers πŸ™‚
  • if you are in Learn to Run, you’ve already run this hill! Yep, you did it last Tuesday! I was there.
  • think about maintaining your effort level, not your pace. Shorten your stride slightly and use your arms to work your way up the hill.
  • keep a tall posture, don’t hunch – it squishes your lungs

4/6: Half-way mark back down to the SPCA

  • turn around and run back down that glorious hill you just tackled!!
  • look around, take it in. We live in a beautiful place! and this is fun.
  • stay in control of your body on the downhill. Engage your core.

5/6: SPCA to Hydro

  • This is a sneaky hill, not steep, but still a hill. You can do this. Clinic runners have already defeated this hill. I was there.
  • Tell yourself it’s the last uphill
  • Once you get to that Hydro turn off, which is now on your left, it’s all downhill to the finish-line.

coming back

6/6: Ya buddy. Back to the Lester Centre! DOWNHILL TO THE FINISH!!!

  • getter done
  • smile! Phuong will probably be taking pics!
  • be proud of yourself!


half marathon finisher killin’ it [Phuong Nguyen Photo]

Cross the finish line, which is exactly where you started, and keep moving so you don’t get in the way of any runners behind you. Make your way to some water and a snack. Take some pics! Do some stretching, walk around, and find those warm clothes you packed for after you finished kicking ass. That’s right, YOU KICK ASS!


Jamie’s 8 Reasons to Run the PR 8K Road Race

  1. Because you are stronger than you think.
  2. To be part of a community event
  3. To get some exercise
  4. There are over $1500 worth of really awesome door prizes! (local too)
  5. Get out of your comfort zone, it’s good for us! Do something different
  6. To feel proud and ride an endorphin-high ALL day on Monday
  7. Do something outdoors now that Spring is here
  8. WHY NOT?


If you have any questions that this post isn’t answering, contact me! Hope to see you on Sunday! If you know anyone who may benefit from reading this, please share! And one more time, here is the registration form πŸ™‚


cross your fingers for weather like 2016! [Phuong Nguyen Photo]


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