40 days of running, 40 days of challenge, 4 historic Vancouver International Marathons… 40 charities, 40 volunteers… 40 reasons & people that matter to a community event: 1972-2011 THEN, NOW, NEXT…. a 40 day journey to challenge oneself, inspire volunteerism and support to community events and charities

DAY 40 – Steel Glass Canyons

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“You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” – Chris (“everyone needs a punch in the Face”) Lyston: Americorps Colleague– ’93 inaugural Oregon Chapter – National Assembly Speech

Hello All

Today marks the last run… and although a brisk day… as you can see by the photos of the run… and the jog over the Cambie at Sunset the day was gorgeous, and a great bookend for “40.”

My thoughts today were ever present of my colleague and my aunt both fighting a life & death battle with cancer… and how inspired I am of their continued choice to live purposely and with courage & positivity in the things they are involved in daily. And although this 40 project was inspired by a discussion amongst volunteers… it is because of these two amazing women I decided I would go through with this… even if it would be a “couch to marathon” program.

I can only hope that this journey, this celebration of community over the last 40 days… my re-discovery of Van… the profiles and stories I have shared of the volunteers and non profits sparked an interest in you to consider making even a small contribution to smthg, anything where you live.

Thank you all for reading. I again can’t express my appreciation for the continued emails and comments I continue to receive locally and internationally, as well as the support. A special thanks to all those locally that came out on runs… especially the non marathon days when we could hook up (MCB “The Mayor”, Quinton, Newton, Linda, Ray, Joc, Alain, Sean, Patti etc etc…) thank you…. And finally, most importantly thanks to my daughter and my ever patient wife Janis.

…I will have a “LEGACY” post in the near future about this project… too much to cover today.

Thank you again for reading, I hope you enjoy it



Today’s run I was joined by Quinton. Was happy to have the company between my last mtg and picking up Kaia, and had a great discussion as we played tourists in our own city. The pace was casual as I soaked up the last of the experience… I wanted today’s run to be in a word…EPIC but instead of going for distance or speed, I thought I would simply run down the biggest streets and take photos of some of the largest buildings in the downtown core of Vancouver along Georgia and Burrard street. Glad Quinton didn’t mind.

Burrard Street is a major thoroughfare in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is the central street of Downtown Vancouver and the Financial District. The street is named for Burrard Inlet, located at its northern terminus, which in turn is named for Sir Harry Burrard-Neale.

The street starts at Canada Place near the Burrard Inlet, then runs southwest through downtown Vancouver. It crosses False Creek via the Burrard Bridge. South of False Creek, on what used to be called Cedar Street before the completion of the bridge in 1932, the street runs due south until the intersection with West 16th Avenue.

The intersection of Burrard Street and Georgia Street is considered to be the centrepoint of Downtown Vancouver, along with the more tourist-oriented and upscale shopping-spirited intersection of Burrard Street and Robson Street to the south. At and due northeast of the centre is the heart of the Financial District.

Further down closer to Vancouver Harbour stands the historic Marine Building, an Art Deco masterpiece, opened in 1930, two years before the Art Deco pylons of the Burrard Bridge at the opposite end of the street. Finally at the Harbour lies Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Georgia Street was named in 1886 after the Strait of Georgia, and ran between Chilco and Beatty Streets. After the first Georgia Viaduct opened in 1915, the street’s eastern end was connected to Harris Street, and Harris Street was subsequently renamed East Georgia Street.[

Georgia Street is an east-west street in the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Its section in Downtown Vancouver, designated West Georgia Street, serves as the one of the primary streets for the financial and central business districts, and is the major transportation corridor connecting downtown Vancouver with the North Shore (and eventually Whistler) by way of the Lions Gate Bridge. The remainder of the street, known as East Georgia Street between Main Street and Boundary Road and simply Georgia Street within Burnaby, is more residential in character, and is discontinuous at several points.

There were many notable buildings but three in particular stand out for me… Marine Building, Hotel Vancouver, and Hotel Georgia. Although I love the lines of newer buildings, especially those of the Shang-Ra La, I am in love with classic 1915-1940’s architecture… especially of the art deco of the Marine Building. I would encourage you to do a search on these buildings, there history is immense.

By the numbers… 53:05/7.34km


Today’s organization I am running to support is Vancouver is Awesome

Vancouver Is Awesome is a community based organization dedicated to spreading a positive message about
the city of Vancouver, BC and the arts and culture within it. Founded, edited and maintained by folks who live
here and who truly love this city of ours, the bulk of what they do occurs through their three-pronged online presence
(web site, Twitter and Facebook) that delivers light-hearted fun daily. With a mantra of “no bad news” they only
report on positive happenings and leave the “real” news to traditional media and other web sites. They’ve got ears
to Vancouver’s streets and are happy to serve as it’s cheerleaders, perpetually delivering a celebratory message.

After building a healthy community resource and a following of tens of thousands of residents incorporated as
a not-for-profit in July of 2009 and have been operating for the past year almost exclusively on revenue generated
from advertising. Though a vital part of the equation, this does not cover their annual costs and is not a realistic
fundraising structure for us in the long term.

Their mandate is to foster a sense of civic pride within Vancouverites. So far they have achieved this in part but they are in need of financial support to help them maintain – as their reach and impact has been steadily growing their resources have become strained almost to the point of buckling under the pressure.

Please check out the website and please send a donation and support this Vancouver resource.

For more info: http://vancouverisawesome.com/
Donate/Volunteer/Support online: http://vancouverisawesome.com/2010/11/30/why-are-we-even-asking-for-donations/


Today’s “Legacy Volunteer,” the final person mentioned on this list (which doesn’t include countless others) is one of the original founders and participants of the Vancouver International Marathon is Dr. Jack Tauton.

When Dr. Jack Taunton combined his love of sport and interest in medicine to practice Sports Medicine in the 1970s, it was still a rare specialty. Since then, he has been at the forefront of the field, pioneering its development and helping countless athletes to avoid injury and enhance performance. He is now considered one of North America’s leading practitioners.

He established Vancouver’s first sports medicine clinic in 1977 with fellow practitioner Doug Clement. It had humble origins in the office of their family practice in Richmond before moving into new premises on UBC’s campus, where Taunton is a professor in the Faculty of Medicine. A subsequent move into a larger building established the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre. As director of the centre for the past 25 years, Taunton has worked with athletes as both as a doctor and a coach (he was a nationally-ranked marathon runner) and with students as a graduate supervisor, clinical teacher and mentor.

Alongside his practice, Taunton has committed many volunteer hours to providing medical care for national sports teams in major competition. He was a medical officer for Olympic Games in Los Angeles (’84), Seoul (’88) and Barcelona (’92), and Chief Medical Officer at the Sydney and Vancouver Olympics in 2000 and 2010.

I have known Jack for several years, and had the opportunity to work with him in a medical capacity with the World Police & Fire Games and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. I have also as a Lions Gate Road Runner had the honour of running with Jack, he even started Saturday’s event, ran for 2 hours, after only being back from a trip from Hawaii the day before…. What continues to impress me is his ease with talking about events of 40 years ago, but of also his running then & now… he doesn’t brag or boast, but simply hearing him describe some of the 30 marathons under 2:30 is truly impressive.

Below is a self introduction & a few comments on the marathon, and tips for volunteering that Jack prepared, thank you for the continued support and time/ efforts to this community event.

o My name is Jack Tauton, I’m from Vancouver BC
o I have run 62 marathons, approximately 30 under 2:30,2 under 2:20 (but they were long-at the Olympic Trials). My PR is 2:25 when I had pulled my hamstring on the Tuesday before the event. Rested and ran that race.
o I have been involved in Vancouver Marathon since the start
o The worst volunteer moment was when we had a false start at the Sun Run and had to move back over 20,000 runners behind the start line!
o The best thing about involvement with the race is working with so many runners, but also so many friends, or people that have become friends over the years
o The biggest change is the race is that when we started it was almost an entire elite filed by today’s standards with a total course cut off of 4 hours, with few women. Now it is about participation and there are equal # of women involved in the event.
o Best tip for volunteers – is to have passion for what you’re doing


One response

  1. Have really enjoyed following your runs……many thx for your ongoing inspiration ! JB

    February 10, 2011 at 04:47

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