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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 RACES: Vancouver+, Squamish, Whistler

Here's a list of Races and Dates for the 2014 Season.
As I get more information or confirmed dates, I will update the specifics.

RD's, if you have a race you want posted, drop me a message and I'll post it up!

March 8: MM Dirty Duo

March 15: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

March 23 (date change): CMTS Cap Crusher - Running

April 5: Diez Vista 50k Ultra - Registered

April 6: MM Run Fred Run (Formerly My First Trail Race)

April 20: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

May 10: 5Peaks Golden Ears - Registered

May 25: MM Iron Knee / Tender Knee - Running

May 31: CMTS Survival of the Fittest

June 1: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

June 7: 5Peaks Alice Lake

June 22: SQ50 Orientation Run - Registered

June 23: MMComfortably Numb (exact Date TBD)

June 21 (date change): CMTS Buck 'n Hell - Registered

July 12: Knee Knacker - Volunteering

July 26: 5Peaks Cypress  - Cheer Squad

Aug 15,16, 17 (Date Change!): CMTS Trail Festival & Squamish 50 - Registered (50k)

Aug 15, 16, 17: MM Fat Dog 100

August 23: 5Peaks Whistler

Sept 14 (CANCELLED): Meet Your Maker 50mile Ultra - Registered

Sept 27: 5Peaks Buntzen Lake - Running

Sept 28: Rubble Creek

Oct 26: MM Hallow's Eve - Running

Nov 16: MM The Phantom Run

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hallow's Eve 2013: Guest Blogger Ms. Marvel

Translated from English

Half Start Line!
This blog is brought to you by my super amazing wife, who has revealed her secret identity of Ms. Marvel. This was her first long distance trail race! Here goes:
Ms. Marvel . . . with a flapping cape indoors!!
Simone: I'm not a blogger, you just have to ask me the blogging questions! Wait, I'm looking up the map.

Ed: Were you nervous?
Simone: So, I wasn't really nervous going into the race. I was more nervous of the hill leading to the graveyard than anything else. Because last time I ran that I couldn't get all the way up [laughing].

Ed: What about your training?
Simone: My training had lots of road training, but I would have liked to have been more on the trails. The hill repeats on Burnaby Mountain trails gave me a sense of how hard I should be going.
Building up my mileage during the week despite being on the road made me feel more confident in how to run without needing to stop.  The final training session of the 14k on the Sunday previous was helpful because I could finally get a sense of what the course was, where to push, and break it down so I didn't push too hard too soon.

Ed: So you're lined at the start, what are you thinking?
Simone: I was trying to control my feelings. To not be nervous and not get excited. Maintain my cool.

Shanthi, Simone and Elaine
Ed: The countdown starts, and the race begins, how was the first section?
Simone: Easier than I thought. I was nervous about that hill for nothing. It was over quicker than I thought and from what I remember last time I ran it (beginning of 2013).

Ed: What was your fueling strategy?
Simone: Maximum of three shot blocks on the race supplemented with water. Sips of Vitargo S2 Orange flavor whenever I needed it. And some sweet potato to get the sweetness out of my mouth.

Connecting to Lynn Headwaters after the Mt. Fromme loop
Ed: Did it work?
Simone: I think so because it took me all the way through until the end . . . at least until the last 2k.

Ed: What happened at the last 2k?
Simone: The last climb which is all stairs now, was slow going. I struggled up the last climb. And when I got closer to the top where Shanthi (aka Wonder Woman) was waiting, a coffee man (a volunteer in a giant coffee cup with his head poking out) was cheering us on!

Ed: Let's go back to the first sections, was Shanthi with you the whole race?
Simone: Yup. She snuck in and registered that morning. We were going easy up until the suspension bridge and 30 foot pool. I felt good because I saw you and the boys there and it was light and fun.
Paris with warning signs!

Ed: At what point did things start to get hard?
Simone: Actually hard was after Lynn Headwaters up to Upper Lynn Loop, but at Old Mountain Highway was when I realized it was just tiring. My foot was hurting at about the 6 or 7k mark.

Ed: What's wrong with your foot?
Simone: I don't know. My toes go numb and burns, and the ball of the foot gets sensitive and hurts. So if I step on a rock, I can feel it come through my shoe.

Ed: Did that effect your climb or downhill?
Simone: Downhill, and straights. Climbs were fine. My right knee had a twinge too, but I accepted it, acknowledged it and then it was gone.

Ed: What was your most fun section?
Simone: Griffin Trail! So fun. It was nice to have only the girls and none of the guys from our running group in this race. It was a neat feeling. #NooffensetoBenAffleck

Carolyn and Maggie of WRM marshaling the course

Ed: Were there any points where you felt like you were in the flow?
Simone: The first section to 30 foot pool because I was so relaxed. Griffin trail also. I was following Shanthi and her steps were short and quick, and I remember the technique of knees up, and kicking the butt, and it was loose and relaxed.

Ed: Did you stop at any stations?
Simone: No, just waved and said thank you. I didn't need to stop, I had everything on me that I needed.

Ed: What about your gear? What was your kit like?
Simone: Nathan running vest, Salomon XT-5 trail shoes, Lulu tights and Underarmor shirt and Sugoi arm sleeves. I didn't get too hot or too cold.

Ed: What inspired the costume?
Simone: Lucien. He said Ms. Marvel, so I googled it, and then I had to decide which Ms. Marvel I needed to be. It was perfect, because she was who I needed to be that day: Super Human Strength, Speed, Stamina and Durability!

Ed: Anything you wish you had done differently?
Simone: Trained more in the trails, uphills especially. It has definitely improved, but more would have been better.

Ed: Anything you think you did super bang on?
Simone: My downhills were efficient, especially on technical, and it was fast. Smooth downhill was super fun, despite not having much legs in the end.

Ed: What about the end of the race?
Simone: After the coffee guy, with only 2k left to go, Shanti said, "Shall we?" and then we would start running. I think I was almost done by then. We saw a dad with his son on his shoulders, and they were cheering us on and the boy was chasing us saying he was going to get us. We saw the road and we were so happy. We saw the Ghostbuster photographers, and we were so close. The graveyard went by and then I just wanted to stop and walk because my foot was burning so much. We continued running and when I saw the finish I just wanted to walk. I was so tired. I crossed the finish line running. I couldn't see anybody. I was so foggy in the head. Then I wanted to throw up. lol.

Ed: So, what's next?
Simone: We Run Mas Anniversary Run in November, and then next year more trail training, a few 5Peaks Runs, all in preparation for the Squamish 50 23k in August of 2014!

Ed: Sounds like you're hooked. Would you do this race again?
Simone: Yes, but I wouldn't mind doing this race with you [wink].

The final numbers: Came in at 3:25:41


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Race Report: 5 Peaks Buntzen Lake Enduro Course

5 Peaks: Road, what road?!
Where the hell is my winter gear?! Yes, Summer has left the building faster than Adam Campbell can run 50 miles (which is pretty damn fast). Speaking of Adam, he’s warming up on the soggy grass beside the beach, and we get to have a quick little chat before he seeds into the 1st wave and I seed into the 3rd wave.

It seems that all the usual suspects have shown up for the race, including some of the elites, the 5 Peaks Ladies of the Trail (Solana’s blog is here), and our We Run Mas crew, today consisting of Darren Gladeau, Joseph Pelle, Jerome Wasilieff, and yours truly. My wife and kids play the photo/support crew, and Elaine Fung is marshalling the course in two areas for the day.

Jerome, Darren, Joseph, Ed
As you can tell from the pics, it’s wet, windy and cold. I overdress with a base layer, sleeves, gloves, a tech shirt and a wind breaker, toque, and calf sleeves. The body heat from the runners generates a layer of steam as the countdown begins. It’s about 50 runners per seed, and Joseph and I are intending for seed #3. We reach the front and I’m already cooking, so as we burst out of the start line, I toss my toque to my wife who captures this great shot; dude beside me is loving life!
Toque Toss

Joseph asking Elaine for directions . . .
The start is fast, and I have one goal, to get ahead of the people who are going to slow me down on the downhill. Tactical issue number uno is that the course starts on the Energy trail, which basically climbs up and then descends before crossing the floating bridge. I push my personal pace (I know, I know, don’t do that) and coast past a few people, fitting into a nice stride with Greg. I notice that Greg has a very nice cadence going, and has calves the size of my quadriceps. I expect to lose him when we hit the hill. Meanwhile, Joseph gets ahead, and I lose him as we approach the bridge.

I keep pace with Greg until we hit the power lines, as the FU George Hill takes a piece of me with it (and yes the FU stands for F**k You because on the Diez Vista 50k Ultra it’s the last climb at kilometer 46 or so). For those following along, I’m not a strong climber; improving but not at capacity yet, and I don’t normally wear calf sleeves. I find them too inhibiting, but changed my mind today so that in case I wiped out on the slick course, I would be able to work a ten hour shift later that day without bandages impeding my career.
As expected, I get passed on the switchbacks heading up to 1700’ feet, and Solana comes up and we encourage each other before she floats off into the distance. I’m not too concerned about being passed here, since it’s all part of the plan. My goal is to ensure that not TOO many people pass me as I don’t want to get jammed up on the single track technical descents, where I intend to open up the gears. On the way up to the peak of the climb, I have taken off my wind breaker since I’m steaming up and getting way too hot. I tie it around my waist, and am trying madly to figure out how to keep the sleeves tucked in so they don’t catch my flailing arms and feet as I start the downhill.

I got picked off by about twelve people on the ascent, and start returning the favour to my gluteus and calf gifted fellow racers as I hit a trajectory somewhere between madly irresponsible and insane on the reckless scale ™. The trail is a jumble of roots, jagged rocks and puddles with questionable interests.
We pass each look out and I’m charging past people, calling out “On your left” as I go. I finally reach Solana again and zip past her , but I don’t think I kept the gap low enough to stay ahead for too long. Regardless, I’m having fun and giver another shout out. We’re not far from the last of the “good” look outs (it’s all clouds and mist) and I know there’s some rolling ups and downs after this section. Solana and another runner (who on the results list is named Sanjay) have been yo-yo’ing me for the majority of the run, and once again get ahead. My calves are hurting really bad. It’s definitely the calf sleeves and I vow to never run in them again. The only other niggly area that hurts is my left arch and ankle, which I sprained the week before Squamish 50. It’s taped, but reminding me that it’s still there. Neither are impeding my progress, but a recovery week will be required.

Diez Vista North Side
The far north end of the Diez Vista is a treacherously steep, jaggedly rocky and less forgiving than the God of the Old Testament in regards to any missteps or falls. So, as I catch a toe and go into a head first dive I decide to jump instead, get my feet underneath me and long jump off a ridge onto a muddy slope, which gives way under my heels and I slide for about ten feet before grabbing a rock and a tree with my gloved hands and straddle my way through a gap, before I keep running. There’s a runner behind me who saw my agile recovery that relied more on luck and complete abandon for my personal safety, and he hollers out if I’m okay. Thumbs up, and still going. As we cross some logs before the exit of this section, he takes a tumble and I hear a sploosh as he hits the puddle. I spin around and ask if he needs help as he dusts himself off. All good, and we kick out of the trail on the north side of the reservoir. I see Solana up ahead, and am pleased I made up some time. However, I don’t have too much pop in my step on the flat and non-technical sections. This is largely due to having run a (flat) trail half marathon at the Trail River Run six days prior to this race where I set a half PR of 1:42:17 (woo hoo!!) and placed 10th overall. Today, I coast along with slightly heavy legs due to that effort and Sanjay catches up and stays just ahead of me as we cross the bridge to North Beach.

Feeling mildly calorie deprived, I take a shot of Vega something or other at the aid station and truck along the beach allowing it to take hold. I’m at 1:33 on my Garmin and I’m sceptical that today is the day I`ll run to the finish in 27 minutes for a sub 2 hour finale. The little climb to the service road before hitting east side Buntzen trail is oddly steeper today than it was a few weeks ago, and I realize I’ll probably be walking the remainder of the hills, of which two small ones are yet to come.
I coast along, pushing on the descents, since they don`t seem to be an issue, running everything uphill that is 75 steps or less, and power hiking the two climbs (which aren`t really climbs in the grand scheme of things, my legs are just fatigued). I catch up to a few other runners who passed me earlier, including dreadlock girl, but with a kilometre remaining, I don`t think I can close the distance since she is clearly in “kick” mode also. Sanjay is a few strides ahead also, and funnily enough I`m thinking, `Too bad this race wasn`t a little bit longer!``

We pass the dog park, I see Elaine, and she snaps a photo while marshalling us to the left with her right hand as she faces north east (inside joke), as we cross the little bridge and run across the grass to the finish line. Cheers from the crowd, the announcer calls me in, and I miss catching dreadlock girl by seconds. Exciting!

Overall I placed 76th out of 143 racers and 23rd out of 35 in the 30-39 age group with a time of 2:04:23.  Yes, my mid-pack race status for 2013 is cemented!
Our fellow We Run Mas crew did awesome also. Darren, who has been having a killer year having run fabulously at Squamish 50 and Meet Your Maker 50 killed the course today in 1:41:48 (and is expecting a baby in two weeks!). 
Darren's Finish

Soon to be parents!

 Joseph finished just slightly ahead of me in 1:57:43, having had some pain in the last few kilometers, and Jerome, who completes his first technical trail race rocks in at 2:22:02.
Joseph's Finish (walking on air)

Jerome's Finish
That was my final trail race of the season (I have the paved Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving), and it was a great way to finish the season. I wish I could do more 5 Peaks runs, as it’s a great event, and I had a blast on one of my favourite local trails.
We be ballin'!

Next up is my wife’s Hallows Eve run on Oct 27th, where she tackles a difficult half marathon in Lynn Valley! This time, I get to play the support crew and the boys and I are looking to spook her when she least expects it!! Expect her post run interview on an upcoming blog post, as well as a recount of the adventure we did in Hanes Valley in September!

Leave a comment and see you next time!