Training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon? Here’s What Kitsilano Means to a Local Ultrarunner


Chelsea enjoys a sunny break on Kits Beach during a run

Chelsea enjoys a sunny break on Kits Beach during a run

As a runner, having access to pathways, views, and coffee shops is key. Now that I am a new Kitsilano resident, I feel a sense of excitement and euphoria when I run past Kitsilano Beach. “Do I actually live here?” is a thought that often crosses my mind when I look out over the beach, into the ocean. It’s an slightly euphoric moment interrupted by me forgetting to pick my feet up, coming relatively close to tripping, and reminding myself that I need to be looking in the direction my legs are going. I may not know many people here yet, but I definitely don’t want to be known as “that blonde girl who trips a lot.”

I am a runner and Kitsilano is a hub for like-minded people. I look down Broadway and someone is bouncing across the street in their crop pants and runners. Standing in line at Whole Foods Market on West 4th, I glance down and notice someone wearing the same Montrail shoes as me. When darkness falls, reflective gear and headlamps bob up and down in clusters, like fireflies dancing along Cornwall. It’s great to see (not to mention motivating).

When I mentioned my address to a long-term Vancouverite he replied “oh, you’re SOFO.” Pardon et moi? It means South of Fourth. More significant, he pointed out every run I do will end straight uphill. So, I’ve made a pact with myself to run up that hill every time I get to it, as opposed to what I usually feel like doing – hopping in a car2go vehicle for the last few blocks.

As a long distance ultrarunner I’m looking forward to starting and ending my long running days at Kitsilano Beach. It’s the perfect starting point to go in almost any direction. Over the bridge and around Stanley Park. Along Point Grey Road towards Jericho Beach and the UBC Trails. Basically any direction (except straight into the water!) leads to a beautiful run. And that’s what makes Kitsilano the spot to be for us runners!

See you out there.

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Chelsea is a Kits-based ultrarunner. Read more about her adventures on her running blog Have a question about running in Kits? Post a comment and she’ll give you a hand.

Last modified: June 30, 2021

2 Responses to " Training for the BMO Vancouver Marathon? Here’s What Kitsilano Means to a Local Ultrarunner "

  1. juls says:

    I lived in Kits for 9 years now SOFO and still feel like I won the lottery and everytime I run along the beach and seawall I also pinch myself and say “I get to live here?!” The best is when you go out at an odd time on a not so perfect day, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve made it all the way to G. Island without passing a single person. It’s even more amazing when it all yours. Wear your SOFO badge proudly, there’s no back yard like it.

  2. Chelsea says:

    Thanks Julie! I’m going to have to aim for one of those out-of-the-ordinary times, I always seem to be close to running into someone or tripping over a dog. Glad to hear the surreal feeling doesn’t wear off after 9 years. SOFO 4 Life 🙂