The Camosun Street climb is the big beast of the BMO Vancouver Marathon course. Coming after the long, gradual downhill stretch of 49th Avenue and a couple of rolling kilometres on SW Marine Drive, the hard right turn onto Camosun Street is like a kick in the BLEEP, followed by a punch in the BLEEP and finished off with a BLEEPING BLEEP in the BLEEP.
In truth, the Camosun hill isn’t all bad, but at over 1.2 kilometres from SW Marine Drive to 29th Avenue, with an average grade of 4%, the climb is long and steep for a road marathon and runners will surely be asking themselves why the BLEEP the race doesn’t take an easier way to University of British Columbia. And why they stuck the BLEEPIN’ hill in the race’s first 10k.
Thanks to a bend in the road at the foot of Camosun Street, the hill isn’t immediately visible from SW Marine. The road quickly straightens and eases upward past Southlands Elementary School on the runners’ left. Just past the school at 37th Avenue, runners begin the steepest part of the climb, a 600-metre-long grind with an average grade of about 7% that begins to level out after 32nd Avenue. From there, it’s only a slight climb to the left turn at 29th Avenue and Camosun is done.