It's been over 2 weeks since the last 5 Peaks trail race, and life has been so busy that I've not had the opportunity to write about my race in Canmore, Alberta!
This was my first trail race in the mountains. The weather in the days leading up to it was very unsettled and I wasn't sure what to expect...so I packed for all four seasons. That's right, I wore shorts for summer and a long sleeve tee for spring. I packed an Icebreaker sweater and a Brooks running rain jacket and even Mizuno running gloves "just in case". I dithered for a long while about bringing capris along but decided that with my CEP compression socks I had enough coverage to keep me warm enough. If it was really that cold...just run faster, right?
It was overcast and grey when we left Calgary. On the Transcanada Highway, it rained and poured cats and dogs almost all the way there. But it was cold and misty up at the Nordic Centre in Canmore when we finally got there. Hard to tell whether I should even change my running outfit or what.
In spite of the weather I was very excited. My family was able to come out to this one, and even better, my daughter registered to run the free 1k kids' race. Given that she has found running to be "hard work" and less exciting that swimming or biking, I was happy she wanted to run.
After checking out the vendors and the day lodge, chatting with old and new friends there, it was time for the kids' race. Unlike the first race, there were A TON of kids (and actually a lot of runners, period). A whole horde of them had already run the 3k race and now, it was time for the 1k kids' race to start. I ran with my daughter (although quite tall, she is only six) and my hubby took this pic. Two observations: (1) lots of kids running; and (2) lots of parents running with them:
|1k kids' race. Me and my daughter are somewhere in there.|
Then it was my turn to run the Sport course. It was a 7k course. If I were to summarize it, I'd call the first half "hell" and the second half "heaven". The first half consisted of about a km of straight uphill gravel path, followed by another km or two of steep switchbacks. Many people walked a lot in the first half...and so did I. I kept cursing myself for not doing more hill repeats and trail running. I finally understood what people meant by the trails being "technical": lots of roots and rocks and slipping and tripping. There were also a couple of "bridges", meaning boardwalks with chicken wire stretched over them for gripping. Steep slopes and rolling trails. All this made it tough.
In spite of that first half of the race, in which I wondered to myself several times if I could actually complete it, given that I had not trained or run much leading up to this race, I found the second half so much fun!! While the trails were still technical and the trail still rolled up and down, it was generally downhill but stunningly beautiful. I really wanted to stop and take pictures but I wanted even more to just experience the joy of running down the red, earthy trails under the lush, green trees, inhaling the fragrance of the evergreens. By the time I raced to the finish line, I was so glad that I pushed through my fears and suffering. The smile here at the finish says it all:
|Finish line - nothing better than being high fived by a row of kids!|
As my hubby was here, I was very fortunate that he took a video of the start of the sport race:
Not long after I finished my race, the skies opened up and just poured. Lucky me! Not so lucky for some of my friends running the 16k enduro race. I give them props for being out there.
All in all, a fun race!!