Monday, July 11, 2016

MEC 5k Trail Race: 1st place female

Run a 5k they said... it will be fun they said!! LOL!!  AND IT WAS FUN!!!

So, I don't really consider myself a short distance runner, I prefer races over 50km.  The idea of a 5km trail race scared me... terrified me actually.  I knew that I normally don't start to feel good until about 20km into a race!! What was I thinking?!?!

We arrived at the race site bright and early, as I had offered to volunteer and hand out race bibs the morning of the race.  What a blast that was!  I got to chat with other runners and answer their questions about the course and about what to expect.  Shortly before 9am I headed outside to line up with the other runners... all I could think was "man, some of these people look speedy, what the heck have I gotten myself into?!?!" UGH!

The RD had a volunteer lead us in a group warmup, which was really nice and fostered a really fun community feel to the race.  Everyone was laughing and having a great time!  We then lined up and the horn went off signaling the start!  Eeeeeeek!!! I tucked myself pretty far back, behind some other women, I wanted to get my legs rolling before starting to push.  As we rounded some technical trail I decided that the pace was a little to conservative for me, and I pushed past the women that were ahead of me.  I settled into a comfortable pace as we entered a long steady climb. The 9k race was coming back in the opposite direction, so I got to high-five friends and cheer others on as I headed out! AWESOME!

We turned a corner and entered into some awesome trails, I was moving and feeling great!  I emerged from the trails and headed back down that first out and back section.  I got to cheer on runners in my race and  high-fived some awesome kids who were KILLING IT!

The volunteers on the course were awesome and they definitely made me laugh a few times!!  There was a unique community feel to this race, I absolutely loved it.

After a brief jaunt on some flat-ish trails I entered a climb! YES!!! I FREAKING LOVE CLIMBING!! it was here that I was able to really hammer and pass some of the guys that were ahead of me.  There's something about that burning in my quads that makes me smile :)

Then a LONG technical downhill!!!! WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!! #acceptthedownhill

My favourite part of the course was "Brian's Trail" which started with a wicked, technical climb! I loved it and felt right in my element.  I emerged to the final 300m stretch to the finish with one man, we battled hard to the finish - a full out sprint! (I beat him! Heee heee)

What an amazing race!!

1st place female, 5th overall!!  I was stoked!! SO happy that I jumped for joy off the podium!

A few notes about the race:
AMAZING COURSE!!! Beautiful trails: technical, hilly, varied terrain.
PERFECT COURSE MARKINGS! I never once questioned whether I was on-course! ;)
AWESOME VOLUNTEERS!!  They were so encouraging  :)
SUPPORTIVE RUNNERS!  Everyone cheered for each other, a real community event!

Huge thanks to Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) for the amazing race, and kudos to RD Chris Chapman for another successful event. 

As always, thank you to my amazing sponsors Salomon, Suunto, Bearded Brothers, GU Energy Labs, Julbo, Drymax and Bellefleur Physiotherapy.  

After the race Corey and I hit the trails with our wonder-pup for some extra miles.  My legs were toast! LOL!

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