As the Vancouver Sun Run draws near, SportMedBC and the Vancouver Sun are featuring Sun Run InTraining Leaders and Coordinators and their favourite trails and runs.
Erin Smandych is a SportMedBC clinic coordinator in Port Coquitlam.
"In January 2004, I was overweight and out of shape. In desperation, I signed up for a Sun Run InTraining clinic. The first few months were truly a struggle. But the people I met, both leaders and participants, kept me motivated and wanting to come back for more.
Fast forward seven years and I weigh 30 pounds less! I can't imagine my life without running. I've completed 17 half marathons, one marathon and numerous 10Ks. I run three times a week with a fantastic group of people, many of whom I met at that very first clinic.
With a variety of route options, we're really fortunate in the Tri-Cities. One of my favourites is the Traboulay PoCo Trail. It's a 25-kilometre route that encircles Port Coquitlam and has easy access to Minnekhada Regional Park.
My friends and I meet at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre in Port Coquitlam and head out on the PoCo Trail over to Cedar Drive. We connect on the Coquitlam side of the dike, jogging into Minnekhada Park. A quick run through the park brings us to the Quarry Road parking lot. From there, we tackle the climb up Victoria. The challenge gives us a great sense of accomplishment when we reach the top. We then work our way back to Hyde Creek, all the while exchanging stories, having some laughs and giving each other advice on plenty of topics."