Friday, 3 April 2015

Whiplash

Race Report: Dirty Feet Trail Race 21km - Batchelor Hills,  Kamloops

So a day later I'm crawling into bed early with an ice pack strapped to my right knee thinking, "Gee that was fun, don't know why I hadn't tried a 21km trail run sooner?!"
It has after all been nearly 3 years since my first half marathon ever and in those passing years I have managed to complete a total of 6 more 21km races. (Several other training runs at or beyond the distance) But until Sunday I had yet to do a 21km trail race. Thank-you to my dear husband for making the decision for me and completing the online registration.
Oh what to wear!


 I won't lie, the weather could have been tweaked a bit. The winds were pretty strong and directly aimed at the Batchelor hillside, event organizers had to hammer tent spikes in extra deep and strap water jugs to tables to prevent blowing over during the event. Temperatures for the run were good though, starting at 6C @ 7am and getting up to about 16C midday. Trail surfaces were all completely dry and packed compliments of the wind and slight rain lately, racers were perfectly set to have fast times out there.
21km Elevation Profile
At 9:30am with a quick count-down the 21km runners were off.  Started with a lap around the 5km race loop, that was smooth enough 28:xx. Next up...up, up, up the great big hill that's been giving me nightmares since January.  What can I say, hills are still my kryptonite.
That next 5km took me 33:xx, I took a moment to shed my jacket and stuff it in my Camelbak before enjoying a long downhill.  Funny how the winds tried to take that away from me, headwinds all the way down the hill.
Then oops, at 12km I was feeling so good I thought I could fly.  I took a very short flight up the trail, crash landing on 5 points of now bruised and dirt blasted skin. Ouch!  Dusting myself off I did a systems check, nothing broken but pride.  Got going again as quickly as I could, still finishing that 5km segment in 35:xx.
16km down, 5 to go - Photo: Dina McLeod
I was very happy to pass by the Start/Finish area for the final time leading me into the final 5km loop, minimal climbing and the promise of banana bread at the finish line quickened my pace. It lifted my spirits to hear friends who had finished their races cheering me on as I passed by.  Crossing the finish line at 2:12:44 and seeing the crowd of completed racers and friends made all my anxiety of running this 21km gauntlet dissolve. I was done and upright, with a reasonable completion time, and only had the St. Johns Ambulance volunteers to contend with now.  I couldn't resist laughing aloud when I realised that my GPS was still running and I was sitting in the Ambulance receiving first aid. They did a good job fixing me up.

Crash Damage
Bandage in place, gravel rinsed off the other 4 points of landing, and beer in a sippy cup, I headed back to the crowd of racers and spectators to cheer in those still coming in across the finish.  Among the crowd I checked in with my father and husband, found out that Dad beat Brian across the 5km line by about 15 seconds!  Great finish line photo with both of them in it :)

Dad edging out Brian at the finish.
My bestie Elsie placed 1st Female 5km in her first trail race since baby. So proud of her but it does mean that I have to fight to keep up again.

 Dirty Feet Races have one thing unmatched by any other race I've been to, the overflowing prize table.  Racers and volunteers drool over the shoes, jackets, t-shirts and water bottles, all manor of running swag coveted by gear junkies. I walked away with a sweet new pair of TNF shorts this time.

Another great event by the Dirty Feet peeps.  Thanks to all their volunteers on course for being so encouraging too!
Just a few of the great people I get to run with.