October 27, 2013 Hallows Eve, North Shore, 9 am Start
I’m telling everyone it was 21km but the Garmin only showed 19.5km…….
2:13 finish time; 50/154 Overall, 8/32 Category 30-39
Firstly, let’s get to the best part. It was a DRESS UP RACE and we all wore matchy matchy Crayola Crayon costumes. I think this part is really important because it highlights a couple of the important reasons why we run – i) to have fun and ii) to get up to something wonderful with your friends and soon to be friends. The fact we just happen to look really cute is just bonus.
My race started out slow. Jumping up and down at the start line didn’t leave me feeling as ‘warmed up’ as I would have liked, so I took it easy out of the starting shoot to get my body moving and my blood flowing. The comfortable warm up pace allowed my attention to be drawn to the fact we ran through a real cemetery. Mmm-Hmmm, that’s right….. It was a nice authentic touch - especially the pile of dirt and backhoe parked on the lawn part. After the short zip through the cemetery, we were directed into some really sweet windey forested trails. This part of the course used to be much more North Shorey (i.e., rooty, rocky, treacherous and full of mucky wetness); however, this year it was practically paved with that grey fine crushy gravel used to build what feels like quazi-sidewalks. Although I was hoping for good ol’ fashioned mud here, it turned out to be nice and fast and easy to jostle back and forth with the others on the course.
When we got into the first section of the real wet, rooty business, I was finally warmed up and ready to go – only to find there was a bit of a congo line all jammed up ahead of me. A College Graduate, a Pumpkin, a Devil Kitty, one of the multiple Wonder Women out there, and a smattering of other non-descript racers were now right in front of me and not going nearly fast enough. After I nearly biffed twice - my line of vision was pretty crap behind the Graduate’s billowy ceremony gown – I went for it. “‘Scuse me. On your left. Great work! ‘Scuse me. Loooove the costume. I’m going by. Ohmy, you’ve got a lot of styrofoam peanuts in there. Nice work. Perfect, great, thanks!” And so on and so forth, until I pick-pick-picked my way to a PACE I was happy with.
The next part of the race was steep, wet, muddy, rooty, rocky and, of course, the funnest part of the day. It was clear to me I was limited by my technical skill on that terrain – my mantra was “quick-quick-quick”; however, “bwah!” and “no-no-no” spilled out of my mouth a
few times too. I felt like I was seriously flailing at some points and a couple of times I had to come to a dead stop and decide where to put my next step. Oh, and it’s official - I do naat like off-kilter wooden boardwalks one bit. All that said, this part of the route was magic. I was in heaven.
As it turned out, the technical stuff was pretty much over when we entered into Lynn Canyon Park and ran for what felt like forever on a wide open, upwards (false) flat service road. After kilometers of this I figured for sure I was never going to see Pana again (I was right….. I didn’t). We veered off the service road (finally), and started a little technical
ascent where I bumped into my fellow Crayon, Denise, and passed a creepy Zombie.
After that, it was open trail all the way home, mostly downhill and pretty fast. The Zombie BA-lew past me on this downhill saying something like “Gotta make hay while the sun shines” or something else equally confusing. I really can’t remember. It didn’t make sense then and it sure isn’t coming back to me now. No matter, about 2 km later he was rubbing his glute and kinda dragging his right leg. I thought it was very zombie like of him, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t trying to be in character at this point.
At about kilometer 16 I was *really* regretting the delicious curried chick pea salad I had for early supper the day before. I started to experience some (unfortunately, typical) uncomfortable GI distress. It was a bit touch and go, but ultimately, I managed to hold it together. (literally) Yay.
I kept up the PACE and I don’t think I waned in speed or effort for the last few kilometers.
<insert back-patting emoticon here> My Garmin showed 19.5 km but I am going to keep telling everyone it was 21km :) Pana, Denise and I all finished within 10 minutes of each other and were able to mull about the finish line in our cute little crayon costumes, ogling
the prize table (which we later claimed our rightful bounty) and drank the delicious hot coffee (thanks Delaney Coffee).
All in all, it was a great day, a pretty darn good race for me and a *fabulous* weekend over all. Which, ultimately, brings us full circle and back to some of the very important reasons we get up to trail running in the first place- to get up to something great with your friends and have a blast doing it!
Thanks for reading and until we meet again,
Keep. Being. Awesome.