When I first ran this race several years ago, I found out that Fort Langley was the founding place of British Columbia, and it also served as the former fur trade post of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Fort has been preserved as much as possible, so inside there are many artifacts including an old canoe, an old log cabin, and then a building which houses replicas of artifacts of the old soldiers and their living quarters showing how they lived in the old days. This race starts right at the Fort, giving runners the opportunity to see it for themselves!
The Fort is considered a Canadian Heritage Site and it is situated in the township of Fort Langley, a quaint little town with a lot of character. I sense a very tight-knit community, one where its citizens are proud of Fort Langley’s rich heritage. I love the coffee shops and all of the specialty boutiques. The buildings are all designed a certain way to maintain an old feel. I can’t remember how many times I have run in Fort Langley, but every time it has felt like being transported back a couple centuries!
The morning was a bit chilly; it was that kind of February morning where frost covered the lawns, and breathing in stung your lungs a bit. But the organizers had a little campfire set up in the far end of the Fort so runners could gather around and stay warm.
A few runners volunteered to lead the race warm-up. Those guys were full of energy, telling us to stretch, move our arms, our legs. When it comes to warming-up, I am quite lazy. I followed about half the moves only then stopped.
I love this race because it combines the challenges of a number of long hills, and a rather rolling course. The view is gorgeous, you see the mountains on the far end, and the valleys closer by. Some of the homes along the course are mansion-like. They are huge and come with their own stables.
A part of the course includes the Telegraph Trail. According to google, the character-defining elements of the Telegraph Trail include: topography of the road, expressed in its winding characteristics, dips & rises, narrow width of the road, lack of road shoulder, shallow ditches, edges lined with grass & shrubs. And scenic vistas experienced along the road. If you are interested in learning more, you can google Telegraph Trail in Langley, B.C. for more details.
The race was fun as I got to meet many runners: a father & daughter team where the dad was leading his daughter with her first half marathon. The dad was so sweet & proud of every single step his daughter took, while the daughter was so proud her own dad was her coach. I was so happy for them. The daughter later told me that they will run the Vancouver marathon, and it will be her first. I totally wish them well. And I talked to other runners who ran this course for the first time and did not expect Langley to be so hilly.
All in all, I had a good day. The volunteers were nice, and runners were supportive of each other. It was such a positive environment. For me, the best part was having our old neighbour, who moved away to Langley last year, and his daughter come out to cheer me on at the end. It was a very nice surprise to see them and it was so nice to catch up. This race is always a memorable one, mostly because of the scenery and the history of Fort Langley but also because it is so well-organized by Try Events. Thanks to everyone involved!