3 Reasons why you Should Run the Gunner Shaw Memorial Cross-Country Race

The Gunner Shaw Memorial Cross-Country Race Day: Annual race on the first saturday of December  
Time: 11:00am   
Location: Jericho Beach (literally)  
Distance(s): 5k & 10k  
Type of Race: Cross-Country | Trail

The Gunner Shaw was my first 10k race , I have not missed this event once since then. This race has all it takes to make it an unmissable event: it is unique, well-organized, has good and friendly competition, an exciting route, great volunteers and great post-race food and drinks. I have yet to meet someone who has regretted trying it and many others have become addicted to it after their first taste. Here are the key reasons why I believe you should run this race:

1. Puddles  

Running through a patch of soggy grass is not much fun when you are not expecting it, but if you go to a race knowing that it is part of the "adventure", then you will enjoy jumping in puddles as much as a 5 year old child. The Gunner Shaw is the race to get wet and dirty, with grass fields, more puddles than I can even remember, a creek and, some years, even a pond to run through. 
2. Sand

 This is one of the very few races in BC that include a section of running on sand by the ocean. It is quite tough, but also a very peaceful and beautiful running experience, especially if you are not wearing headphones and can listen to the sound of the waves crashing. Also, since your shoes will already be wet from the puddles, you will not mind running very close to the water, where the sand is more compact and the waves will come to kiss your shoes. It makes me feel like writing poetry just to think about it!
Click on the image to view a video of the 2013 by Keith Dunn Videos
3. The post-race social

When going to a race where you know the weather will be cold and wet, you definitely would not want to get straight back in your car or on transit dirty, cold and hungry.  No worries, after the effort comes the comfort with this race. The post-race social is set up inside the heated facilities of the Jericho Beach Sailing Centre and includes pizza, hot soup, juice, and more snacks. There are also changing rooms, showers, seats and an official award ceremony. I have met so many nice and inspiring local runners at this post-race social, some of whom have become good running friends with whom I have stayed in touch and attended other events.

I hope to see you there next year, I know I will do all that I can to not miss it!