Friday, July 15, 2011
The Knees Were Knackered!
The Finish Line!
Receiving my finishers certificate.
Randy, Marla, Dave, Myself and Neil resting post race and cheering in the runners.
This past weekend we participated in the Knee Knacker 50km event, Canada's knarliest ultra. It was an early start - we car pooled and met at Chad and Marla's at 4:30 am. Joining us, was special guest Randy who made a guest appearance after another year of "no running" but somehow manages to pull this event off in a decent time! It's called natural talent! When he was training - he did very well! Chad was our driver and dropped us off at the start in good time. The weather was perfect - sunny with a few clouds and not too warm. The RD sent us off and I found the start nice and relaxed as we ended up stopping at times due to the congestion on the trail.
The first part of the race is a big climb up Black Mountain - the last time we were here was for Vancouver 100 barely a month ago...phew...we have been busy! I found myself in a group where the pace was fine. You really work hard early on in this event climbing Black Mtn as there are boulder fields to climb, shale fields to cross over and it is very,very steep. Once at the top I took a few glances at the view and then carried on. The snow had really receded since V100. Within a few minutes it soon became a pattern of mud/snow/mud/snow. Once at the top large mud puddles started to appear. I came upon a large puddle and before I knew what happened I was up to my waist in muddy water. The ground below me gave way like quicksand and I was immediately doing the back stroke in this puddle. I panicked and got myself up and out of there as fast as I could. It freaked me out pretty good but the worst part at the moment was that my water bottles were completely submerged in the mud and I had to drink from these bottles for the rest of the day! As I carried on across the snow I realized how wet my feet, shorts and shirt were. I felt quite chilled so it was a good reason to keep moving!
Once out of the snow it felt great to have the feet hit the dirt of the trails. It was busy when I went through the halfway point at Cleveland Dam. After leaving the half way aid station I ate and drank as I made my way up the road to Grouse Mountain. I started to regret that I did not change my wet socks from all the snow and mud back at the aid station where my drop bag was with dry socks! Oh well - the feet did start to hurt but I really tried mentally to not focus on this. I'm getting better with the mental toughness!
The section through Grouse is always slow. Once out of the Grouse section the last half went quite well - I felt good the entire way as I approached Deep Cove. The trail was busy with tourists/walkers which became a bit frustrating. About 2km from the finish you can hear the announcers and the crowd cheering. With this being my 3rd Knee Knacker I knew I still had a bit to go before those cheers would be for me. I finished as predicted in the 9 hr time frame - I felt good the entire way which is important to me.
Neil had a good run and finished just sub 7 hours. It was nice to catch up with everyone at the finish and at the banquet that evening. No runs yet this week...just 2 walks and a couple of bike rides. The knees felt a bit knackered but are improving daily. The last few years we would now be heading out to Bag Peaks in the Bagger Challenge but due to the heavy winter snow pack and cool spring and summer temperatures the mountain tops are still out of reach. We may be able to sneak in some lower level peaks!