It felt so great to be back at the trail run that is "Walk in the Park" in Kamloops. We were regular participants in this event in the past with our last appearance being in 2009! Oh my how the years fly by! That is crazy. Glad that cycle is broken! Walk in the Park is a trail run on the spectacular trails of Kenna Cartwright Park in Kamloops, BC. It is a loop course with 3 distances, 1 loop at 18km, 2 loops at 36km and 3 loops making it an ultra event at 54km. Race Director Supreme is Chris Laroche who does a fantastic job of keeping the event low key and welcoming every runner with a personal greeting no matter what one's goal and result is for the day. I have participated in all 3 distances in the past including two 54 km outings. This year my goal was simple, 1 loop (18km). Neil's goal was 2 loops (36km). We both have ultra events next week, I am doing a 50km and Neil 100km event in Lethbridge, Alberta. So for training, Walk in the Park together with other mileage we did this long weekend gave Neil about 60 km of running and myself about 40km.
This is the start for the 2 loops (36km). Neil and I left Maple Ridge at 5am to join the 9 am start line. We drove through several rain storms on the way to sunny Kamloops so the morning journey was a bit slow. I joined this start time so Neil and I could be on the road back home at a reasonable time. That's myself, Dave and Neil in the back on the left.
The views from these trails are spectacular. With my goal of doing just one loop I felt that I had the opportunity to really enjoy the journey. The views were awesome and I had several moments of thinking "this is so nice". What great trail running! Indeed, picture perfect single track trail running. It does not get much better than this! So I did enjoy the journey but did have a few moments of self doubt in the last 1/4. I thought I had gone wrong on the course and it felt like I was heading out on the loop again and not heading to the finish. Finally, the flags headed me down and I knew I was on course. Whew!
The Thompson River below with Stormy skies
The trail is dry with Sage brush and wispy grass. There are several steep ups and downs. The downs are tricky as it is so steep and the dirt gives out under your feet.
At the top of the hill!
This is me having just finished the 18km loop and Craig who just finished his second loop of 3. I almost caught him, I could see him just ahead of me near the finish of the loop.
Craig finishing his 3rd loop, that's Chris the RD in the blue jacket congratulating Craig as he finished.
Craig - happy to be finished!
Neil completed 36k, myself 18km, Craig 54km and Dave 36km. Well done Team Dodgy!
Today, our recovery run at the UBC Research Forest in Maple Ridge was full of excitement! First momma bear runs across the road in front of us and proceeds to rear up on her hind legs to check us out. Neil proceeds to stand still and take out his iPhone for some pictures. I know momma bear was hoping to see him move away - momma bear then sent one of her cubs out of the bush to check us out. Baby bear starts running towards us and I start making a hasty retreat shouting for Neil to follow. Finally - the Veterinarian has finished his inspection of the bears and joins me in a very hasty retreat:)
Thanks again Chris and the Walk in the Park team for a great trail running event - we will be back!