Updated – 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 “a fun, organized running event with high energy and community atmosphere providing the opportunity to push a little more than usual, and prove how physically strong and self-willed one can be.” So, going forward, let’s just call it a running EVENT. 🙂

On Sunday, April 8th, it’s the Prince Rupert 1/2 Marathon, two-person 1/2 Marathon Relay, and 8K Road Race hosted by Rupert Runners. Find everything you need to know by clicking the link, and a 2018 registration form specifically, is HERE! Both routes are out-and-back, meaning the finish line is the same place as the starting line. The 21.1km course, which can be run by one person, or shared by two, starts at 10am and the 8km course starts at 11am. The reason this post is focusing on the 8K distance in particular is because the Learn to Run Clinic, hosted annually by Rupert Runners, has been in full swing now since mid-February. Eight kilometres may be a very realistic distance for participants to tackle, come April, whether it’s running, run/walk intervals, or even signing up with the intention to walk and just 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 quarter or half marathon at this point in the year.

So, what can you 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. The registration 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 Tuesdays or Thursdays from 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 the day before the event. Last year, all runners who registered before race day were entered to win this Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap. I am planning another giveaway for this year! OMG what could it BE??

Once you’re all signed up, you can relax until the Saturday before the event, go down to the Civic Centre between 10-noon and pick up your bib (participant number) 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 11am this year. 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.

Common question: Do I wear the race shirt in the run?

Answer: a general running rule is never try anything new on race day. Clothes, food, shoes, etc. But it’s totally up to you!

There is an awards ceremony post-race 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 clearly. Four safety pins will be provided to you.

Bibs also make good keepsakes!

Other things to pay attention to on Sunday morning are staying hydrated and eating breakfast a few hours before hand. Bland is good. You can 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 ten, this is a great opportunity to get down to the Lester Centre nice and early to give yourself time to take in the energy of the event, cheer as 1/2 runners take off, chat with 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 a short, easy jog part way down Wantage Road or even just in the parking lot, then twirl the ankles, try some leg swings front to back and side to side while hanging on to something for support, grape-vine, high knees, butt kicks, whatever gets you warmed up, and then some stretching is okay after your muscles are no longer cold.

When 11am approaches, 8K participants gather in the little undercover drop-off area in front of the Lester Center 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 big timing clock set up and cones and volunteers in vests. Once you begin, you’ll run out onto the highway keeping on the right side of the road, and staying on that side after turning around at the 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, or will before April, if you take part in Learn to Run.

1/6: Lester Centre to BC Hydro

  • try not to fly out of the starting area!
  • 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

[Phuong Nguyen Photo]

2/6: BC Hydro to the SPCA

  • downhill, yayaa! A reward for your initial climb
  • if you’re feeling a little out of breath from that first incline, this is a great place to let your heart rate and breath stabilize. Relax and breathe.


enjoying the descent! [Phuong Nguyen Photo]

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

  • if you are in Learn to Run, you’ll have experience on this hill by April
  • slow and steady, maintain your effort level, not necessarily your pace
  • shorten your stride slightly and use your arms to work your way up the hill
  • don’t hunch – it squishes your lungs
  • there is a water station at the half-way point 🙂

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

  • turn around and run back down that glorious hill you 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 by engaging your core

5/6: SPCA to BC Hydro

  • This is a sneaky hill, not steep, but still a hill. You can do this.
  • 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!!!

  • if you are feeling good, give yourself permission to go a little faster now
  • smile and 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 who may be behind you. Make your way to some water and a snack, usually in the lobby. Giving your body calories within 30 minutes of working hard is important.

Take some pics! Did you know runners are 89.3% more obsessed with Instagram than non-runners? 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 take part in a community event
  3. To get some exercise
  4. There are really awesome door prizes! (local too)
  5. Get out of your comfort zone, it’s good for us all! Do something different
  6. To feel proud and ride an endorphin-high ALL day
  7. Do something outdoors in Spring weather
  8. WHY NOT? here’s the registration form!

If you have any questions that this post isn’t answering, contact me and I’ll find answers for you. Hope to see you there! If you know anyone who may benefit from reading this, please share! And one more time, here’s the event link!prhalf

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


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