Monday, August 27, 2012

My BIG Birthday Bag of Capilano Mountain

This weekend was my BIG birthday! We celebrated with a 3 night stay at Whistler that included a Birthday Bag to Capilano Mountain. It was a full days work but worth it for the party that took place on top! We had very fine food and wine, party favours, party games with prizes and spectacular 360 degree views. The company was awesome - thanks Dave, Craig, Liza and Wendy for joining Neil and I for the party!
 Neil and Craig cooling off in a alpine tarn on the desent.
 Liza (the Geologist) spotted the pyramid shaped rock!
 The next day, Neil and I had a great hike on Whistler's High Note Trail that has specatcular views. This photo is looking at the pinnacle mountain called Black Tusk.
 The spectacular Cheakamus Lake below.
 The station for the amazing Peak to Peak Gondola that connects Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain.
 The trail climbing the Chief in Squamish. Beautiful climb!
A view of Howe Sound from the Chief.. Very exposed up top! Glad the rock was dry.
A fantastic active birthday weekend! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Arc'Teryx Squamish 50 Mile Trail Race and Relay

Yesterday Neil, Liza and I represented team "What's Wrong with You People?" at the inaugural Squamish 50 and Relay. Our original team included Craig but Dodgy Moore twisted an ankle the previous weekend when he and Dave climbed Cathedral Mountain.

Neil replaced Craig for legs 1,2 and 3 which he enjoyed as the trails were all new territory. While Neil and Dave were out the door very early (thanks Helen for driving them to the start!) Liza, Craig (now crew) and myself enjoyed a sleep in. Not too long though as we needed to get Liza to the exchange point to run legs 4 and 5.

Neil came in around his ETA and Liza was off! Craig, Neil and I went back to the car and drove back to the hotel to pick up the car and put it at the finish. I got a peek at the finishers shute and the road to glory I would be coming down in a few hours. We had a stop at Starbuck's and then proceeded to Quest University where the exchange was for Liza to hand off to me for legs 6 and 7.

The views from the University were spectacular - what a great spot for an exchange. We had access to a cafeteria and washrooms. How civilized! It was a beautiful sunny day and it became quite hot during the afternoon. Liza had a good run and came in at her ETA and I set off for legs 6 and 7.
Much of this section became very familiar to me from previous outings in Squamish or from previous STORMY races. STORMY was my favourite ultra so it was such a pleasure to be back on familiar ground. It was nice to be on "fresh" legs on this section instead of my experience being on these trails at the end of an ultra with everything hurting. I enjoyed my run - the trails were very well marked in this section which I was pleased to see as I have a history of missing turns!

The aid stations were well stocked and I kept it simple with Gatorade I brought and some salty chips to get me through the 22km's. I felt good the entire way - next year I hope to do the 50 miler. I just wasn't ready post Masters Degree. I have completed 3 of the 50 milers in STORMY and 4 of the 67km and 64 km distance. Great to see an ultra back in Squamish! Well done RD's. I'll be back!

 Ready to run!
 Here comes Liza!
 I'm off for Legs 6 and 7.
 Coming in to the 6/7 exchange area. I'm trying to get Craig's attention that I have arrived. He was busy texting!
 Dave and Sam (the dog) waiting for team "What's Wrong with You People?" to finish.
All Done! The 50 miles covered by the 3 of us. You may be wondering about our team name. It came from a comment Liza made half way through the Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon trip in May. Was she questioning the sanity of ultra runners?