Monday, September 27, 2010

Buntzen Lake Trail Race – 5 Peaks Series

Saturday was the last trail race of the 5 Peaks at Buntzen Lake.

I was a little anxious because since the Mount Seymour Race in late July I have been on the trails exactly once

August was just a hectic month and I was completely focused on the training for Gran Fondo and New York so the Saturday trail runs were shelved. We did not even go preview the trail so we were going in blind. …. Special K and Pam were feeling the same way – they each got 1 more run on the trails than I and Special K needed to take this race to win the series for her division – Athena.

So all told we headed out early to make sure we got a parking spot – yep we were like the first ones there – now to wait for 2.5 hours…. At least there was free coffee. Oddly the time went by quick and then it was go time.

They start the races in waves of 2 minutes just so we are not all tripping over each other. Special K went to the front and Pam and I took our customary spots near the back in one of the last waves. I mean we have timing chips so time starts when we cross and I don’t like 200 runners having to try and pass me while I am inching my way down some goat trail trying not to break my neck! Best they start off in front and then I can have a peaceful enjoyable race  - Pam agrees with me.

The race started off uneventful at about 10 minutes in I felt humble as I was passed by the first half marathoner – they started an hour prior to us. That means that he was 15 km in to his race in the trails in an hour – wow that is one fast peep.

Next came the climbs and as usual I zipped up along passing everyone – I love climbing – but as always what goes up must come down and I was like get up as fast as you can so you have a time cushion for your cautious climb back down. The climb went on for quite a while to the point where I was even starting to think yeesh and then it flattened out nicely for a bit. The flat was great it was pretty wide not a lot of rocks or divots more like a big field so I was happy and could keep a good clip going.

Always at the back of mind that the next corner would be the downhill well it was and to my surprise it was a nice wide trail no big rocks, roots, divots. It was like the trails we run in Stanley Park all the time – YEEHAH - I actually laughed out loud and started booking it. Look out Special K here I come.

It was like they made this course for me – Finally a course I could run hard on in all sections! I passed so many people coming down the hills; I flew along the flats and climbed like a little mountain goat. I have to say it was nirvana for me. I mean every other race in this series I had been solidly whipped by the downhills; I finished near the back of my age group and the overall race. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the races and new it was a learning experience for me so I was not upset by it but being as competitive as I am it was humbling to say the least. So this was a nice treat after a whole season of eating humble pie.

Final time – 51:46 – YEAH. No I did not catch Special K her time 50:55 – she used to be a downhill ski racer so I am not sure I will ever be able to catch her on a trail race just because of that but I am getting closer……..

Oh and yes she won the race on Saturday and took the title for the series for her Division. She rocked it out. Pam finished a few minutes after me so she had a great race to.

Overall the race was great and the after BBQ was awesome. The series is very well run – Kathleen and her crew do a great job from the great course, lots of volunteers, great marking of the course to the awesome swag and door prizes at each race. I am definitely doing this series again next year and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new challenge/adventure.

Peace out
Shaun

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