The run is part of the Big Fun Run Series which includes the Big Easter Run in the spring and Big Elf Run a few weeks before Christmas. All of the runs in the series are fun and non-competitive. The focus is on fun, not finish times (and everyone gets a medal for participation).
The Big Jungle Run at Burnaby Lake
The first edition of the new Big Jungle Run event happened in 2022. It took place on March 19th (which was the Saturday after St. Patrick’s Day). The event included three different distances to choose from. There was a 1 km Kids’ Run as well as both 5 km and 10 km distances for everyone.
This event is meant to be a fun one for people of all ages. The routes themselves are flat and go through pleasant, wooded areas. Everyone who participates receives a medal. There are also prizes for various categories (most of which don’t have to do with speed!).
In 2022 the most impressive costume, in our opinion, was a person dressed up as a T-Rex dinosaur. It was a hot day though, so part way through he had to take some of the costume off. He looked pretty cool though waddling along with his family on the trail!
The Big Jungle Run will likely happen again at around the same time in 2023. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.
Location and Registration
The Big Jungle Run happens in Burnaby Lake Park. The runs begin and end at the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club at 3760 Sperling Avenue. The gathering point is at the edge of the big field on the other side of the Rugby Club’s building from Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
(TIP: There was a lot of construction in the area in 2022. As a result, the best way to get to the venue was to access Sperling Avenue via Joe Sakic Way.)
The routes are all set up so that participants run a certain distance away from the starting line, and then when they reach the halfway point they turn around and run back on the path they came.
Early bird pricing for the event in 2022 started at $15 for the Kids’ Run and $30 for both the 5 km and 10 km runs. As of mid-March, the last-minute pricing for the runs were around $22 for the Kids’ Run and $40 for the two longer runs. The longer runs cost a maximum of $25 for youth under age 18. Groups of four or more people received a 15% discount.
Each participant received a race kit that could be picked up the day before the event at Burnaby Kintec at 3787 Canada Way. Those who registered more than two weeks in advance could also choose to have their kit mailed to them ahead of time for an extra $6.
For those who chose neither of the above options, the kits had to be picked up on the day of the run itself. It was recommended that runners arrived at least an hour ahead of their run times to do so.
What to Expect at the Big Jungle Run
The first run of the day in 2022 was the Kids’ Run which started at 1:00 pm (with check-ins open at 11:30 am). This lasted for around 40 minutes while both of the longer runs started at 2:00 pm. The entire event ended at 4:30 pm so participants had two and a half hours to complete the longer distances (which was more than enough time even if you chose to walk the whole way).
The same as with all Big Fun Run Series events, before each event there is a group warm up where everyone stretches and gets limbered up for the run. There is also a DJ playing music which helps pump people up and adds to the atmosphere.
The runs are meant to be a fun activity for folk of all ages. The race kit includes a personalized running bib emblazoned with a custom name of your choosing. Examples of names are things like “Running Gorilla”, “Wild Frog” or “Crazy Kangaroo”.
All participants receive a finisher’s medal at the end. There are also prizes for categories like Best Costume, Best Photo and Best Custom Name.
Dogs are welcome to join in as long as they are on a leash. Strollers are also permitted. The routes are pretty flat with both gravel and woodchip trails at points, making them accessible for most everyone. The majority of people run. A few participants though walk most of the way.
Big Fun Run Series
The Big Jungle Run is one of a collection of similar running events. They are the Big Fun Run Series and the Jungle Run is the first of a few runs planned for this year. There’s also the Big Easter Run on the Saturday of the Easter Long Weekend at Jericho Beach and the Big Elf Run in December in Stanley Park.
These events are meant to be fun and family-friendly for everyone in Metro Vancouver. There are variations between them in terms of what kind of extra activities there are on offer, but they all have the same three distances to choose from. Each event has a 1 km Kids’ Run, a 5 km run and a 10 km run. With the Big Elf Run though there is usually a 15 km option too.
For more information about the newest event in the Big Fun Run Series, visit the Big Jungle Run webpage.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Big Elf Run
- Big Easter Run
- Vancouver Marathons and Running Races
- Vancouver’s March Calendar
- St. Patrick’s Day in Vancouver