Race recap: Vancouver Eastside 10k

TL; DR, Sunshine, PRs, and one big ass hill.

I’d picked out my race outfit about a week in advance, which is very typical me. Of course, I needed that flat lay picture of my race kit once I had my bib. 🙂 Instagram is life. On race day eve I packed a bag and went to my boyfriend’s place so that I could be within a warm-up-jog’s distance from the starting line.

Flat lay of running gear and a race bib.
I decided to represent my new November Project family, and it’s a good thing I did because I didn’t see any other tribe members there! That VEGA drink was gross and I didn’t finish it.

On race day I got up at 5:30 am to eat my eggs and drink my coffee and have time to digest enough. I checked the weather forecast for the 100th time and saw that it was still expected to be beautiful running weather.

I danced around my sleepy boyfriend with excitement while I waited until it was time to head out the door. One thing that was notably absent was my pre-race nerves. I think that’s because I purposely wasn’t putting any pressure on myself. I set a really low-pressure goal of 1:05 or less, which I knew I could do easily.

I gave myself a really fun race mantra which I’ve never done before. I wrote it on my body in Sharpie which I’ve also never done before.

When I felt like it was hurting or I was feeling down about being slow, I looked down at my hand and remembered my mantra. It worked! I’m definitely doing this at all of my races going forward.

The race was delayed by about 10 minutes due to a police incident, and I started to get a little nervous because I had timed my warmup for the posted start time. I usually don’t even bother warming up properly, so I didn’t want the first time to go to waste!

Anxious and excited and ready to GO!

The race proceeds and charity pledges went to three charities that benefit Vancouver’s most vulnerable populations in the Downtown Eastside; The Greater Vancouver Foodbank, the Portland Hotel Society, and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. It’s such a good cause and it’s why I’ve loved running this race. I ran as part of the Fraser Street Run Club charity team and together we raised almost $1000 for Portland Hotel Society, who do amazing work in the DTES. The course took us through the DTES and the communities that we were running for. It was just as emotional as it was the last time I ran it. I gave out as many waves and smiles as I could.

At the sixth kilometre, there was this hill. This hill was not just any hill. This hill was so long that they decided to make a segment challenge within the race by tracking your time up the hill and giving a prize to the fastest hill runners. This hill was (I think) more than half a kilometre up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I. Love. Crushing. HILLS!

This doesn’t do it justice. It goes up there, and then you turn right and you’re still going uphill for a block. Then you turn left and you’re still going uphill for another block. Then you turn left again and YOU’RE STILL GOING UPHILL FOR ANOTHER BLOCK! But at the end of that block is the top of the hill and a water station. I RAN THE WHOLE THING!! I made a very quick water stop and then I rocked that sweet, sweet downhill making up for my slower pace going uphill.

After that, it was mostly downhill the rest of the way with a little bump getting up and over an overpass. I was able to really pick it up and finish strong and fast. I was passing people left and right and I felt like the strongest woman alive. I even had a little energy to smile for the cameras on the course.

Big thanks to Under Armour for providing the race photos for FREE! And they actually look good for once! No crazy race face, unfortunate gravity shots here.



For the last two kilometres I ran all out, and by the time I crossed the finish line (still smiling!) I was about ready to puke! But then I saw that my boyfriend had made it to the finish line in time to see me cross and that made me so happy! I usually don’t make him come out because it’s so early and he’s not really a morning person, but seeing his smiling face right after an already great race was the cherry on top, and I may have to make him come out more often. Sorry, honey! 😀 ❤

I finished well under my goal and even set a new PR, which was not even on my radar for my first race in over a year! My chip time was 1:02:35, and my average pace was 6:14/km, way faster than my goal paces!

Jessica posing at the finish line of the Vancouver Eastside 10k with her finishers' medal.
This was the biggest smile I had the energy for, but I promise I’m way happier than I look.

I’m going to call this a perfect race, and maybe the best race I’ve ever run!

Hey, I have a question for you!

I’m running a 10k again in about three weeks and I’m wondering, is it possible to shave three minutes off my time in three weeks to finally get that sub 60 I’ve been dreaming of? If you have any experience or tips for that, please let me know! I’m not really experienced in goal-specific speed work. I know I can look up the workout options, but I’m not even sure it’s possible to get that fast that quickly.


  1. I would say it’s possible to achieve that sub-60 finish, but it really depends on the course! If it’s easier or similarly challenging then you’ll probably nail it with a tiny bit of extra oomph, but if it is harder (more hills, etc.) then it may be a bit more challenging. Try throwing some speed drills into your runs over the next couple of weeks – but nothing too crazy. You’ll have ample opportunity to get that goal in the coming months!!!


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