On the Run in…
You are standing on the bow of the B.C. Ferries f lagship, Coastal Renaissance. The salty breeze blows back your hair as you stare at the misty horizon. The mist clears and you see the rugged coastline of Vancouver Island with the city of Nanaimo gleaming in the sunlight. Behind it is Mount Benson, rising almost 1,100 m above the city. This is what you’ve come for – to run the single track that leads to the summit, before twisting through the surrounding rainforest. Nanaimo is a trail runner’s paradise with some of the best single track anywhere. The area has a vibrant running community with several running groups. These clubs are happy to share their playground with newcomers and visitors alike. If you prefer pavement, Nanaimo has plenty for road runners as well. Its varied geography offers a good mix of urban, rural and waterfront running routes. Of course there is more to Nanaimo than just running. It is a growing centre, but maintains a small-town feel. The main draw is its natural beauty and the opportunity to experience West Coast life at its best. Pipers Lagoon, Neck Point and Newcastle Island are just a few of the highlights not to be missed. Nanaimo is also strategically located to serve as a base from which to explore the rest of Vancouver Island.
Steve Crabb runs trails in the beautiful rainforests of Vancouver Island. He splits his time between writing, running and photography. Follow him on Instagram at @crabby.steve
b e f d
OPPOSITE Overlooking Departure Bay and its Ferry Terminal TOP Nanaimo's view to the mountains RIGHT On the Harbourfront Walkway in Maffeo Sutton Park