Sunday, May 3, 2009

Beaver Fever! - 50km

Friday afternoon the fun car with Neil, Andy and myself headed over to Victoria to participate in Elk-Beaver a multi distance ultra. We participated in this event last year so chose to stay at the same hotel located very close to the event. Friday evening after package pick-up (nice jacket Carlos!) we joined the pre-race party at the pub for dinner and socializing. It is a small ultra event and the race director Carlos does a great job at connecting the people who are participating. This year 2 guys Joe and Gary flew out from Edmonton to participate in the 50 mile event and joined the group for dinner in the pub. Gary is the race director for an ultra in Edmonton called Blackfoot. By the end of the evening he had us convinced to add his run to the to do list! Cheryl and Rhonda missed the 3 pm ferry but were still able to catch up with us in the pub. It was an early night and I recall falling asleep at 9pm. The alarm was buzzing at 4AM for the 6AM start for the event. There is a 10km trail around Elk-Beaver Lake which you could run 5, 8 or 10 loops! I opted for the 50 km (5 loops), Neil did the 80km (8 loops) and Andy ran the 100km (10 loops). The 3 of us did the same distances last year. Personally, 5 loops is enough for me! Too much of the same! The trail is fairly flat with some twists and turns and quaint bridges to cross. I improved my time by 12 minutes to finish in 5:45, Neil was the same time as last year at 8:30, and Andy finished the 100km in just under 9 hours. Great results for all but it was not easy out there! This event really works on your mental toughness. The weather was very warm and humid and the pollens were out in full! I found myself using my inhaler a few times during the event. Shortly after finishing we were on the road to catch the 5pm ferry back to the mainland. Once on the ferry we headed straight to the cafeteria where we met up with Sami, Lorie and Barry who had all participated in the event. We had good conversations reminiscing about the day and discussing upcoming events. We dropped Andy at home where he was greeted by his wife Anke and their 5 children! We were asleep by 10pm and up early as is usually the case after an ultra event. We planned to head out on the trails for some more training but the hamstrings were really tight. We chose to not run but opted for hill repeats by hiking the steep Incline trail up and then running down a couple of times. It felt great to use the muscles differently than yesterday. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and stocked up on lots of good food items. We were both hungry!

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