- BC Games
Headbands, stirrups and neon leg-warmers wanted for West Van run
West Van Run organizer Kirill Solovyev was immersed in the world of professional sports while growing up.
The 23-year-old Capilano University business and marketing student’s parents are national team coaches in Kazakhstan, a landlocked country bordering Russia and China.
Watching his parents work with triathletes, Solovyev travelled to sporting events throughout Europe and Asia.
After moving to West Vancouver, graduating from Sentinel secondary and with just one more year of university left, he’s now the main organizer of the West Van Run on March 2, which is open to walkers and runners of all levels.
The five-kilometre walk/run and the 10-kilometre race starts at Dundarave Park and weaves along the Seawall to Ambleside. There is also a one-kilometre kids’ race.
“We had 300 people last year and this year we’re expecting 700. I’m trying to grow this race really fast,” said Solovyev as he jumps on a bus after class.
This year the theme is ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Think retro clothing: Tie-dye T-shirts, hippy flowers and paisley prints for the ’60s; peasant blouses for the ’70s; and neon headbands, stirrups, leg-warmers and “MC Hammer” pants for the ’80s.
“Every year will have a different theme. We want to keep it fun,” says Solovyev, who volunteered with the Special Olympics while studying at a college in Vancouver.
The fond experience stuck with him and the organization is now supported by the West Van Run, along with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada and Sole Girls, a program based in the Lower Mainland that aims to empower young girls.
“I run almost every day,” says Solovyev, who would like to remain on the North Shore after he completes university.
His favourite races are five and 10-kilometres but for training he usually runs eight to 15 kilometres a day on the West Van Seawall or along Capilano River towards Cleveland Dam.
“The trail is great, it goes up and down. It’s perfect.”