Cool tool for trail running

This summer I've really had a great time trail running. The five peaks race series has been fantastic although I had to miss the Whistler race because it conflicted with my fieldwork in Victoria. Booerns. But almost every weekend without a race, with only a few exceptions, my friend Jane and I have been going to the North shore to find some trail. She knows the trails really well as she's been running around these parts for years, so mostly she's been my guide.

Although she's got the experience, I've got the technology. I usually run with my Garmin which is a GPS slash watch slash timer slash heart monitor, etc., etc. Recently I discovered how to upload our runs from the garmin to see them on google maps. THEN I discovered photo tagging on google maps and it just got cooler! Here's a link to our run yesterday around Buntzen Lake out in Port Coquitlam. Open the link then go to the right hand corner of the map image. Those buttons let you fool around with the view, including the option to see photos people have tagged onto the map, or the terrain view that displays the elevation contours. Super cool! Now you can see where I've been running!

Here's another run we did a few weeks ago on Mt Seymour. I screwed up my garmin for the first hour so that straight line across the map is just a default line from where we began on the right to where I turned on the gps unit. We pretty much ran an out and back except...well, see the crazy loop there? That was me getting us lost by taking a superfluous left hand turn. This run is now called The Epic Run because we were out there far longer than intended (due to getting lost) and we both ran out of water almost an hour from the car. To get us home we talked non stop about lemonade and iced tea, and gatorade and powerade. Usually I get through the second half of a long run by describing the lunch we'll have when we're done, but this time it was all liquid, all the time. Anyway, no harm came to anyone and now it makes a good story. Jane likes to let me lead but I'm terrible at trail-finding so we really should work out a better system.

Enjoy the maps! And take a look around at other cities and sites to see the photo tagging in action. Very cool tool.

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