Cap Crusher 8km Race Report



I ran my official first trail race on Sunday March 20, 2016 over in the beautiful forest on the North Shore Mountains.

My first love for running is on the road, but as most road runners who take that first step off the pavement. You will soon fall in love with everything that the trails have to offer.

Things that I find so beautiful about trail running:

  • The peace and quiet of the forest, I truly believe if a tree fell within the forest you would be able to hear it from far away.
  • The vibrant colours which are mostly green, but so many greens within each glance as you look around.
  • A different form of running to wake up while engaging and strengthening different muscles in one workout.
  • Softer surfaces which in the end give less impact on my knees and less stress on my body.

These are just a few things that I find beautiful and beneficial with running in the trails. Now back to my race report!!

Package Pickup:

You could either pick up your package on Friday evening at The Run Centre (which was one of the many sponsors of this race). Also you had the chance to pick up your bib on the day of the event from 7:30-8:30am which is what we did as I didn’t want to make the drive on a Friday night into North Vancouver. Bib pick up was very quick, no line ups at all as it is a smaller race. At the bib pick up table you were able to buy a Coast Mountain Trail Series hoodie, the hoodies could be purchased for $65 which is a great price for a hoodie. I almost purchased one, but a gal can only wear so many hoodies. T-shirts and buff were available for purchased also that I saw. I had pre-ordered a buff as I really love buffs (read about how much I love buffs on a future post, coming soon to my blog near you)!!

Pre-race instructions:

Pre-race instructions started at 8:45am which provided a very nice quick description of the routes for the runners of the 13km and the 8km race. It was made very clear to which direction a runner was to follow to which race they were running.

The 13km race started at 9:00am with the 8km race started at 9:15am both times were very respectful and not too early in the morning, there also was a kids race that started a little earlier.

The Course for the 8km Route:

The start of the race for both the 8km and the 13km started at the Cleveland Dam. A very big thank you to all the volunteers that set up the flagging for the route the day before, never once did I feel that I was or could become lost in the forest. Also a HUGE thank-you to all the volunteers on route who were all very cheerful and providing “high-fives” and friendly route directions on the paths. While I am at thanking those, a big thank you to everyone behind the scenes of the race, and to all those that helped in any way of volunteering their time to help make this race a successful and fun race.

Back to the route, it truly wasn’t what I expected for a trail race. And what I mean by that is I didn’t expect so many stairs on the route. Now that I am thinking about the route as a whole, looking back those stairs going up were not as bad as that last hill OMC (oh my calves)!! My calves were on fire, or at least they felt like there was something going on with each step up the last hill in the trail. Happy to take that last step to reach the top and everything was back to normal.

Coming back out of the trails you need to cross-over the dam as you make your way up to the finish line, running over the dam is on pavement. I found that a tad hard running on the surface with my trail runners (I almost wanted to take the shoes off and run in my socks). I was happy to know that the finish line was in sight and it was over, the wave of happiness and the inner acknowledgement that I just ran my first official trail race, and came in dead last but going into the race I knew that is where my placement was going to be and I didn’t care as in the trails and with any race it isn’t about winning the race or placing in the top 5, 10 or 20, it is about the overall fun and the experience of getting out there and running in the trails and stepping outside one’s comfort zone and not having a care in the world expect to find peace and joy and of course running at my happy pace!

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Overall thoughts:

I would highly recommend running this race to anyone that is new to running/walking in the trails, it was in some spots a little challenging only because we didn’t really train for this, we knew going in that we would basically walk up hills and I pretty much walk down them also as not to slip and injury myself. I still haven’t found that comfortable inner confidence in myself, but I have no issues with that as I am so happy that I am able to just get out and try something new. Will I run this race again, yes I would run it again. I plan on going back over the summer time and walking/hiking/running it with my son as I think it is such a wonderful place to visit and share with my son. Hopefully he will enjoy it as much as I do. Heck I might even bring my husband out to enjoy the trails in and around the Cleveland Dam in Capilano.


The morning of the race was wet, windy, cold and the only two things it was missing was the snow and the warmth of the sun.

As normal due to the weather before the start of the race I over dressed and was wearing the following:

  • Lulu lemon Cool Racer Back and a 5 Mile Long Sleeve
  • Sugoi Versa Jacket with removable sleeves
  • Injinji toe socks
  • Oakley tights that I received from the Tone it Up Retreat
  • Plus, yes count them 3 buffs. Call me crazy but it was windy and cold. Two around my neck and one over my hat which was covering my ears!!
  • Hat was one that I purchased from Run Like a Girl (Live Love Run)
  • Salomon Speedcross 3 CS W
  • And lastly the very famous BMO gloves.
  • Non-clothing item was my two share the Spark momentum jewelry The Motivate Wrap. 

Needless to say, within the first 15 minutes I was taking off my buffs, my jacket sleeves and my mittens and just shortly after this I dropped my Garmin watch, I had taken it off while taking off my jacket, and I thought I had fasten it  back on but obviously I hadn’t as when I looked down at my wrist I noticed my watch was missing. I knew pretty much where it came off so back I went and I found it, it had fallen off the trail and down into the side of the ditch. My friend took notice of the time we turned back and it was an extra 7 minutes that we would have finished faster if the watch stayed on my wrist.


Finish time:

1:35:45 for 8 KM

For more information on upcoming races with the Coast Mountain Trail Series please head over to their website and check out the remaining trail races for 2016.

Final thoughts:

As I am really new to trail running and the ins and the outs, I would love to hear from friends and fellow trail runners/readers who have run/raced in the trails for a few years. What tips can you offer me to help me adjust and feel more at ease while running in the trails?
And lastly how as a road runner do you fit running in the trails into your training schedules? What run during the week do you drop to fit in a run in the trail? I guess it really depends on where I want to go with my trail running, to answer that for you I would just say at this point I would like continue with running up to an hour once a week. So which road training run would I drop to add in an easy trail run?

PS.. Loving my new Salomon trail shoes!!



XO, Jacki






  • Congrats on your first trail race! I’m not sure where you live but there are a few nice trails that I find more convenient to run during the week (as compared to driving to the North Shore): Buntzen Lake loop, Delta Watershed, Houston Trail in Fort Langley, and Campbell Valley Park in Langley, and Tynehead Park in Surrey.

    • Hi Brie, thanks for all of your suggestions. I live over in Maple Ridge and I have ran Buntzen lake loop a few times over the years, not sure about the Houston trail in Fort Langley I normally ride my bike over the bridge and stay on the road. My friend and I bounce between trails in Golden Ears and then over at UBC research forest. I liked the challenge of the North Shore route this past weekend. I go up to the North Shore at least once a week to hike the Grouse Grind, it might be a nice switch to hike the stairs in and around the Cleveland Dam. I didn’t realize that Tynehead Park had trails to run, I always just thought of that park with walking trails. Really good to know as all the suggestions are really near where I live.

  • Thanks for this! I think I’m going to sign up for the Cap Crusher and run it as my first ever trail race, so great to read a report from someone who has done the same! I’m prepared to come in dead last, I just want to finish it 🙂

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