Local runners talk about running on Vashon
By Lucy Wing, Reporter
From flat roads to winding forest trails, steep hills to pebble beaches, Vashon Island is a runner’s dream. Creating new running routes is as simple as adding a loop through the forest here, or a challenging hill there. VHS cross country captain Ella Yarkin and McMurray Middle School cross country coach Bruce Cyra weigh in on how they create their routes.
Cyra stressed the importance of having variety in running routes, and how Vashon’s four major parks provide the much appreciated break from flat roads.
“Usually my running routes incorporate one of the parks on the island,” Cyra said. Island runners can choose between Island Center Forest, Dockton, Shinglemill, and Burton Forest, which all have a multitude of loops that can be made.
“I usually know where I’m going to start and where I’m going to end, but I don’t know what’s going to happen in the middle.” Cyra said on creating his routes.
Yarkin, however, plans out runs in advance.
“I make a lot of new routes, especially because I’ve been running the VHS cross country practices, so I map out all the long runs. I like to try different things.” she said.
Yarkin noted that she gets bored easily, and likes to change up her route frequently, something Cyra agreed strongly with.
“During the week I use my commute as a run, so it’s usually pretty boring. On the weekends I get to mix it up and go exploring.” Cyra said.
Neither Yarkin nor Cyra said they had a favorite route, though Cyra mentioned that because most people do not like to drive to run, many have a favorite neighborhood route.
“I don’t have a favorite route, more like preferred routes,” Yarkin said.
While most runners enjoy creating and running new routes, Cyra has gone beyond the average runner’s scope.
“I’ve been running here for about 30 years, and I think I’ve ran on just about every road.” Cyra said, concluding that he is happy to keep running on Vashon because there is an opportunity for so much variety on a single route.
Yarkin, a senior this year, is looking forward to leaving the island and finding new places to run.
“I like running on Vashon [and] I think it’s a good place to run. But at the same time, I’m ready to find somewhere else.”