Neil and I just completed the Cateran Trail Race in Scotland (88km/55 miles) and arrived home last Sunday. We had been planning to participate in the V100 this year and were looking forward to the event. Neil was keen to run on his own and Wendy was committed to support me along the way. Chad and Marla were up for the adventure and to share the journey with me. They both have some exciting upcoming ultra events and were keen for a good challenging outing at V100.
The alarm went off really early - 2:15 am - ouch! We dropped Chad and Marla's car at Cleveland Dam at 4:15 am. This would serve as our support vehicle at Cleveland Dam. We then all drove back to the start just in time for Helen and Dave to send us off at 5 am. Many folk were asking where is Craig - the Race Director?
Craig where were you at this point? I think he was a couple of hours out of Deep Cove on his return to Nelson Creek. Craig started the event on Friday afternoon (remember you can custom your distance and even the RD took advantage of that!) He had a master plan, a rather dodgy one. Craig completed 75 km.
The early morning was very humid- we were all feeling the muggy conditions and noticed how much we were sweating. We reminded each other to take salt tablets and to keep the liquid and calories up. Wendy was there for us right from the start with water top ups at every opportunity for the first 25km. She even surprised us with Tim bits at Mosquito Creek.
We arrived at Cleveland Dam in about 5 hours which is what we anticipated. We were focused here to refuel, I changed my socks and shoes, added a warm layer to my pack and enjoyed a Gatorade and sandwich. Helen informed me that Neil had hurt his knee. He tried to get out of the way of a elderly lady with 2 dogs and ran into a stump that punctured his left knee with a piece of wood and whacked the knee really hard. Despite the knee trauma, Neil carried on.
After Cleveland Dam the climb continues until the top of Black Mountain. The snow was deep! We had heard via the grape vine that snow levels were really low and poles and yak traks weren't required. About 30 minutes after we left Cleveland Dam Neil sent me a text and suggested we bring poles as they would be helpful! Too late we were on our way. I felt quite unprepared for the snow with only wearing road shoes and no poles.
The snow was deep and soft! It was slow going!
Parts of the trail had some really slippery sections where we took turns wiping out. Here Marla had just slid down from the top of this snow section. I saw it happen - it was like slow motion and I shouted out "stop Marla" but she just kept sliding!
Marla was wearing green, I was in purple and Chad was in orange. When we wiped out we would shout "purple down", "orange is down".
We are making progress!
At the top. And happy to be there and out of the snow. Chad did well with the route finding. It was a good thing I wasn't on my own!
The snow was done...but now the journey down was rocky.
Close to the finish Chad had a whopper of a slip. The log was quite large so there was plenty of room to walk over. However, it was a bit slippery! I saw Chad do the complete splits over the log and then slide sideways to a stop. I thought the outcome of this would not be good. However, "orange" stood up and announced he was fine. What a relief and Marla and I broke into fits of laughter!
It looked very similar to this:
Not long after this incident, wounded Neil approached. He could hear our laughter in the woods. He had finished at Nelson Creek and turned around to come out and meet us. His knee was bandaged and looking sore. How nice of him to come out and meet us! Wendy greeted us in Nelson Creek and we all went out for some sustenance at the Black Bear. Good work team Maple Ridge! Another 50km completed.
We received a message from Helen late that night - Dave completed 85km.
So another year wraps up on my favourite ultra event of the year. Thanks Craig for another exciting year at V100. That's another ultra in the bank! Which brings me closer to 50 Ultras.