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Could you hear the cheers from hikers across the North Shore last week as Grouse Grind was officially open for business? An extra loud cheer was sure to be heard from Seek the Peak participants as leg three of the race is now available for training.

I was so excited to head up the mountain, so my training partner and I agreed to battle for two consecutive Grinds on Saturday morning. Attempting to nearly replicate the duration and climb of Seek the Peak, we thought this would be a great way to celebrate Metro Vancouver’s announcement to officially open the gates.

Surprisingly, Grind 2 was much easier than Grind 1. Funny how that works, right? With the body already warm and loose, we didn’t face the typical 5-10 minute adjustment your body makes when first starting the Grind.

If you are a new visitor to this trail, or simply need a refresher in climbing this mountain, below are three tips to help make your climb the best it can be.

1. It’s not a race – so have fun! Unless you’re looking to break some personal bests, remember that it’s not a race to the top. There are hikers of all fitness levels who climb the mountain each and every day, and it is important to remember that you will all arrive at the same destination at your own pace. Whether you take 45 minutes or 2 hours, have fun and enjoy yourself on this beautiful trail.

2. Climb on the right, pass on the left. Further to remembering that it’s not a race, understand that some hikers do want to reach the top in a time that feels right for them. Always climb on the right and pass on the left. Don’t be afraid to let hikers ahead know that you will be passing them shortly, so they can be aware of their surroundings.

3. Listen to your body. There are some days when our bodies just aren’t working to their full potential – and that’s OK! Be sure to listen to your body throughout your hike. If you need to rest or simply slow down, don’t be afraid to do so. Hydrate and ensure you have the nutrition needed.

The Grouse Grind is going to be a popular destination over the summer, and I hope that it is on your to-do list as well. Most importantly, get outside and be healthy!

Until next week.