Trail Running Triumph (2nd Place!)

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Well, another weekend has passed by, and sadly, it’s starting to feel like the summer is waning! Damn! However, I can’t really complain, as I’ve had a great summer. Although I didn’t really take any vacation, I did find lots of time to get out there and do the things I love to do. This has been my most active summer to date, from a racing and training standpoint. I definitely think I’m well on my way to achieving some of my larger life goals now. I’ve never yet put them on any sort of list, and I don’t think I will. Dreams are personal, so until they will be realized, might as well keep them to myself, or at least keep them in until the ‘ole dark rum gets a hold on me, and I spill my guts! Ha ha. Of course, the obvious short-term goal is my trip to New Zealand for next year. In case you weren’t aware, I’m in the planning stages of my 6 month bike tour of New Zealand. The target dates for this are Oct 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008. That way, I get the tax break over two years; I get to spend the time in ‘summer’ NZ, while avoiding ‘winter’ Canada; and get to spend Christmas with Jody in Australia, visiting some of her relatives! While I’m down there, I’m also planning to do some racing. I’m not talking about little bitty races either. The short list of three dream NZ races are the Southern Traverse (5+ day adventure race, committed to this already); Speight’s Coast to Coast “Longest Day” Challenge (140km bike, 36km run, 67km kayaking, 1 day) from west coast to east coast of Southern Island, crossing the Southern Alps en route; and Ironman New Zealand (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run, 1 day). Of those three, the Southern Traverse was my original reason for going next year. I’ve been dreaming about this race, and it’s time to shit or get off the pot! Anyway, back to the blog at hand. I was trying to talk about my last weekend, but got distracted by my dreams, silly things, aren’t they? Make them come true. The day you’re born, you start dying, make the most of life and have no regrets! Whew, where’d that come from? Now, onto my tales of Trail Running….

This past weekend I went ‘back to the races’ again. This time around, it was a 10km trail running race in Gatineau Park. Camp Fortune specifically, put on by 5 Peaks trail running series. Now, I know what you’re thinking. 10km? That’s nothing. Well, be that as it may, this was at a ski hill, not along the canal folks. Rest assured, I nearly killed myself running this thing. To give a couple examples, my exertion for the marathon had my heart rate at an average around 163 bpm. During this 10km race, it was more like 178 bpm. Also, my pace in the marathon was at about 4:40 min / km for the entire 42.2km , whereas over this ‘short’ 10km course, my pace was about 7:30 min / km! That might give you an idea of the difficulties here!

It was a great day for the race, and I got there about an hour before the gun. I got busy by helping set up the sound system and get some music playing. The race director is a friend of mine, so I decided I’d not only race, but volunteer! It made the time go by a little quicker while waiting, and made me feel like a better person 😉 I also assisted a bit afterwards with the sound and cleaning up. So although I ran my hardest, I apparently still had energy to lug heavy speakers around! As I’m writing this, my legs are still sore, which isn’t usual unless I’ve really put it out there. Of course, that didn’t stop me from biking a couple hours Sunday, and swimming hard for an hour yesterday. After all, there’s still a few more races this season. Speaking of which, I’ve just realized that was my 11th race of the year! Crazy. To give you a rough breakdown, here are the races I’ve been in this year so far:

  • 3 x Snowshoe races in winter
  • 1 x Winterlude Triathlon
  • 1 x Winter Adventure Race
  • 1 x Short-course Adventure Race
  • 1 x Marathon
  • 2 x Triathlons
  • 1 x 48 Hour Adventure Race
  • 1 x Trail Running Race

Still to come this year is an off-road triathlon this weekend, my epic 1/2 Iron Distance Triathlon on labour day weekend (2km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run), another trail running race, and my season-ending SAC Canadian Champs 14hour adventure race at the end of September. That’ll bring me to 15 races in 2006! Cool! I’m also looking at doing an 8 hour rogaine in my ‘free’ weekend in September. BTW, rogaine, isn’t for hair loss. It stands for Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Exploration. In short, an orienteering race with map, compass, and 2 feet. The idea is to pick up as many ‘controls’ as you can in the time limit. It’s great practice for AR navigation.

Anyway, to close off on this trail race… I came 2nd in my category, and 7th overall!! My time was 1 hr, 15 min, 35 sec. The funny part is that the post-race results say I was only 3rd in my category, but they gave me 2nd. I think the 1st place guy was given 1st in a roundabout way. Apparently, he took a wrong turn, running extra distance, and complained it impacted his time, and was therefore awarded a time bonus giving him 1st place (category and overall!). However, I was recognized as 2nd at the awards, since that was the finish line result. Either way, it was a sweet result for me. It’s got me all charged up about my upcoming off-road tri this weekend and my 1/2 ironman race in 2 weeks. Bring it on! I know I’ll never be the winner or fastest at these things, but man, does it feel nice to get a podium finish now and again, for all the work I put in. Just between you and me, my humble readers, I dare say I put more effort into racing and training than I do my job 😉 ! Jody might also say I put less effort into our relationship, but rest assured, I love her, and always appreciate the support she’s given me over the years for all this craziness!

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