My First Trail Race


It was a warm weekend in Vancouver! I’ve really been enjoying running for fun, without settling into a training schedule early in the season. Because of that, I was able to jump into a race this past weekend without worrying about how it would affect training. Woohoo! I was hanging out on the internet on Wednesday morning and came across the 5peaks Golden Ears trail race, which was held on Saturday. I didn’t have plans, I had never done a trail race, and it was supposed to be a beautiful day. I texted Jan to see if he was up for a trip, and hit register.

Wednesday night I headed into the Stanley Park trails to make sure my trail shoes still felt good (first time putting them on this year!) and figured that would be fine. We had dinner plans on Friday evening, and I came home really tired so I crashed right away (the red wine may have helped..)

I didn’t really know what to do or bring for a trail race (yes, I googled it, no it wasn’t that helpful), but it turns out that you can just bring the stuff you’d bring to a normal race, as long as you’re not planning on any extreme distance. I never carry water or food on most courses, and this race was only 13k. The one thing that gave me pause was that Jan said trail running would be harder on me than running on the roads, like I’m used to. I decided to go with a handheld water bottle (both my bottle and my trail vest are Ultimate Direction), and I tucked a gel into the pocket just in case.

In total, I brought:


  • Lululemon speed shorts
  • Lululemon swiftly tee
  • Lululemon Flow-y bra
  • Bandana – this was so key for the VERY sweaty uphills, keeping the sun off my neck and also the odd sniffle from the tail end of my cold. Gross, but useful :)
  • Lululemon warm up jacket (the closest thing they have now seems to be the Gather and Sprint)
  • Extra pants, shorts, tee, bra to wear home – don’t forget about the water crossings!


  • My trail shoes – Saucony Peregrine 5’s
  • Flip flops to wear home


  • Garmin
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Trail vest (didn’t wear this, but it has lots of pockets so I like using it as the bag I take to races)
  • Handheld bottle
  • ID + 20$ (I know this isn’t gear but I didn’t know where else to list it)


  • Espresso Love gel (is there a better flavour!?)
  • Nuun tablets

Things I did not bring, but you might consider:

  • Compression socks/sleeves to protect your legs from the trail
  • Sunglasses (it was shady enough in there)
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Actual food, depending on what your body likes (dates + salt, Nibs, or pieces of pb+j sandwich are some go-to’s for me)

Saturday, I woke up early to eat, and packed the camera, lenses and a bunch of snacks (mostly for Jan). When I had everything ready, I woke up the sleeping Belgian. We grabbed the obligatory caffeine and muffins at Whole Foods and hit the road a few minutes after 7.

We got to Golden Ears Park in about an hour and I grabbed my race package. The swag at 5peaks is a buff – now I’m a real trail runner!

Stay tuned for a full race report coming soon!


3 thoughts on “My First Trail Race

  1. Pingback: Race Report – 5peaks Golden Ears – HappyCrazyFastLife

  2. Pingback: Happy New Year! Looking Back at 2016 and Welcoming 2017 – TriGirlMD

  3. Pingback: Race Day Checklist – Road Race Edition – TriGirlMD

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