Distance running can be a bit overwhelming to get started with, in terms of making it a priority, but also pushing yourself to stay motivated and consistent over time. If you are a woman in North Vancouver you can join up with the fun and very active Sole Sisters Run Club they offer ongoing short, medium and long distance runs for ladies and girls of all skill levels. In an inclusive and fun manner. We met them on Instagram and have been chatting with them and are excited about this feature as it encourages locals to get out and unify with others who have similar interests in running. Vancouver’s North Shore is literally filled with trails and paths for enjoying runs together and with a strong group of ladies behind you, the sky is the limit.
In this feature we got to chat with Emily Bell to get to know her and the women’s running group better for the community. So you can decide if joining up is right for you. They also work closely with Kintec here in North Vancouver so you can get the best quality of footwear and consultations on running shoes that will work with your specific needs. The combination of an active and supportive community along with world class footwear will set you up for success in your desire to going running as a hobby or in a more competitive format. Checkout what we discussed below and consider connecting with them on Instagram at the bottom of the article to take part in their group runs. Always remember to let someone know where you will be going running, how long you will be gone for and wear appropriate clothing as well as bring water.
How did you get started with Sole Sisters Run Club and what do you like about North Shore running?
My name is Emily Bell, I created Sole Sisters Run Club to inspire anyone who self identifies as a woman, to give trail running a try. I have been trail running in the North Shore expansive trail system for about two years now, and have found a whole new side of confidence through it. I wanted to share this with more women. It can be an intimidating sport to get into, being out in the trails by yourself, so I started thinking about getting a group of girls together to get through the darker days ahead. I just decided to start an Instagram page for it and it kind of took off. We’ve been running for about 3 weeks now and have a lot of interest! It’s pretty cool that it started as a small idea and now we have a bunch of beginner trail runners trudging through the trails in the pitch black with headlamps on just absolutely loving it. It’s been really empowering for all of us.
Trail running on the North Shore is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. You totally feel like a kid again, ripping around, up and down. Sometimes I am running by myself out there and just catch myself laughing to myself for no reason. It’s just that fun. We have so much terrain to explore, we’re so lucky. And at the end of every run, no matter how big or small I feel so at peace and in love with where I get to call home. There’s something about connecting with nature here, we have it all. You can trail run by the ocean, up mountains, or along the rivers. That’s pretty cool.
What do you offer ladies in the community who want to enjoy running?
Sole Sisters offers a completely judgment free, safe space for ANY woman to get out and get sweaty. All paces, all ages. I offer 1-3 runs a week, usually a beginner – advanced series each week. We stop at all intersections, and no one is ever left behind. It’s a super supportive group, we are always yelling and cheering each other on and laughing our butts off. It’s also a great space to meet like minded women, my hope is there can be some long term friendships built within the group, and that the ladies start doing stuff outside of running together. I think we already have a bit of that going on, which makes me so happy.
For ladies who are new to running, what do you recommend to get started and for equipment?
For anyone new to running my advice is to keep it fun and keep it light. Take the pressure off of yourself and just get out there. Don’t make it just about running, make it about getting out of your comfort zone, you’ll be surprised at how much potential you have once you’re out there.
To physically get started, you will need a pair of trail running shoes. I like to shop for mine at Kintec in North Vancouver on Marine Drive. They are super helpful in getting you sized up and in the right shoe for your foot. Also, now that we are entering the rainy season, it’s best to have a shell of some sort so you don’t get drenched, and a hat is always nice!
I also love a good buff! They are seriously so handy. They can be used as a headband, neck warmer, hat, or even a snot cleaner (if you know, you know! haha). You don’t need to run with much, but if you are entering the trails it’s important to remember that you should always be prepared to be bear safe, prepared for a weather change, have a first aid kit handy and always let someone know where you are going and when they should expect to hear from you.
What are your favourite areas on the North Shore to enjoy runs with your group?
We love running up in Lynn Valley, on the Baden Powell Trail and around the Cleveland Dam, as well as at the waterfront in the Lower Lonsdale Shipyards District and across the Spirit Trail. Stopping for a bite to eat after or a beer is also something we enjoy doing.
Outside of operating Sole Sisters Run Club what do you for activities in your free time?
I spend a lot of time hiking with my dogs, fishing with my dad and in the winter I love to go skiing. I think all the ladies that have joined the running group would agree that we all just love to be outdoors and take advantage of the beautiful North Shore.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like the community to know about you?
Sole Sisters is a community, if you have something you like to do, we want to know and we want to try it with you. Eventually, as a group of women we are hoping to do all sorts of fun things together. Rock climbing, snow shoeing, running clinics with the pros, mountain biking, beer drinking. So I guess what I am trying to say is if you want to meet like minded women, make some friends, get sweaty and have some fun, please come join us! It’s going to be a long cold winter, we might as well make it fun and get out there, together!
For more info and to join some of their group runs follow them on Instagram.
You can also send an email to Emily at – email@example.com