Captain’s Cove

There is a street, a cul-de-sac, that is infamous among the runners of Vancouver: Captain’s Cove. If you are trying to run every street, it is one that is particularly hard to get. It is at the south end of the city, at the bottom of a hill, on a dead-end street. The entrance overlooks the Fraser River Park, so it is nice and scenic. But most crucially, it has a gate. I assume that rich people live behind that gate. It is also small enough that the gate is probably not going to open very often.
I know of only three other runners who have successfully completed it, one by sneaking in with a mail truck. A few others have “completed” it, but that was more based off of GPS trackers not being precise enough and the error margin putting them beyond the gate. I might be willing to go that route, but it would feel unethical.
Today, I decided to do something about it.
I ran across the entire city and staked out a place in the Fraser River Park. Then I waited and watched. I was hoping to tailgate a car going in, so every BMW, Lexus, or Porsche gave me hope, but none turned into the cul-de-sac. Eventually two people came out walking their dog. I asked if they would let me in to run the street, but they wouldn’t accommodate me.
I continued to wait, keeping my Garmin ready to spring into action at any time. I tried to amuse myself by reading on my iPhone, but it failed to charge overnight so I didn’t have full-power.
After a half hour, the two people came back. I asked them again, but this time I described the issue. I’m trying to run every street. “It’s barely a street.” But, according to CityStrides, it still counts. “Our neighbours wouldn’t like it.”
I don’t know if I impressed my problem on them, but when they went back inside, they went through the car gate. And then started talking to someone just beyond. That gate is wide enough that two trucks could pass each other at speed. I took my chance, started my Garmin and sprinted it. I went through the entire street and back out in less than a minute. Success!
I was probably waiting an hour for this opportunity. Was there a better use of my time? Probably. But it was worth it. Since I announced I was near the top of the Vancouver CityStrides leader board, the others have started climbing again. I am very competitive; I’m not proud of this. But the thought of losing my position depresses me, so this was important for my mental health.