May 11, 2016

St. Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with a bunch of my girlfriends to run in the inaugural St. Patrick's Island 4k Fun Run! I was lucky enough to win an entry for the race from Ange, but either way, I would have ended up signing up for this race as it sounded like a lot of fun!
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
This run took place in the East Village of Calgary, an area I have yet to explore. The East Village has been undergoing some major changes and redevelopment lately, in efforts to turn it into an Urban Village. St. Patrick's Island was revitalized in 2015, and is accessible from the East Village by a short walk over the George C. King Bridge. The island consists of 31 acres and hosts playgrounds, running and biking paths, picnic areas, a spot to wade in the water, as well as a "Rise", which offers a great view of the city. It's absolutely beautiful down there and I will definitely be returning to explore more!
The view from the Rise on St Patrick's Island YYC
The logistics of getting to the race though, left much to be desired. Unfortunately, there was minimal information on the race website about transportation to the run and parking. It was recommended that people utilize the C-Train, as the stop at Bridgeland is just a short walk away from the race's starting line.  I had no idea what the parking situation would be like down at the race (I assumed there would be none, and if there was, it would be full or outrageously expensive), and since Becky and Liam were travelling down with us, I suggested we take the train.

Of course, the train was a big hit with the two young boys, but when we got off the train, the overpass over the freeway to access St. Patrick's Island was closed! Cue massive frustration on our end. We ended up having to backtrack on foot along the freeway until we came to spot where we could actually cross over. In all, it took us an extra 30 minutes to get to the race start. Not fun in almost 30 degree weather and when one of you is piggy-backing your kid.

Once we made it to the race start, we met up with the rest of the girls and pinned our bibs on our shirts. Race package pickup wasn't convenient at all unless you lived downtown and didn't work regular hours, so thank you to Leigh for picking our packages up for us! The race start was at 11 which was nice, since it can be tough to rush out the door in the morning with toddlers! Jim ended up taking both Sully and Liam to the playground on the island while we ran.
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
The race started on the bridge, which was silly, since we immediately turned right onto the path once we crossed the start line. The first half of the race was an out and back portion along the river, and then we crossed over the George C. King Bridge and ran into the park. The finish was right at the Rise. This event is untimed, so Becky, Ange and I fell into a comfortable pace together and chatted while we ran.

I really didn't feel like running at all the day leading up to the race, but I ended up running the whole thing and was glad I did! I remember why I like running with my friends so much! It makes the experience so much more fun!
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
At the finish line, every racer was awarded with a lei and a popsicle stick with a number on it which was meant to represent your finishing place since the race was untimed. We figured we ran it in just under 30 minutes though. After grabbing some water (which they actually ran out of!) and a banana, we started lining up at the food truck for our free hoagie from Jane Bond BBQ! The food was delicious, but it took about 30-40 minutes to get it. Not cool, especially when there was no shade to stand in. My biggest suggestion about the food truck would be, don't offer so many options! When food is free, offer a meat option and a veggie option and be done with it.
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
St Patrick's Island Fun Run Race Recap
Our group enjoyed our food while sitting in the shade and chatting, before we started the long journey home. I was exhausted from the heat and ready to get home to relax. That's the only downfall of a later start time in the summer - you end up running when the sun is hottest and you lose most of your day.

St Patrick's Island Fun Run Calgary Bloggers
{Leslie//Ange//Becky//Me//Kaella//June//Leigh}

Overall though, I had a great time, and I will definitely do this race again next year! 4k is a great distance when you want to run and chat with your friends.

Local peeps - this race is a great one for the whole family! There were tons of kids walking/running it and people pushing strollers. Mark your calendars for next year!



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