When You Walk Through The Storm
A different kind of week leading up to my first trail race had me pondering all kinds of wide-ranging questions, mind awash with thoughts.On tuesday, I had a close brush with a Canada Post van which ran a red light. I would've been hit if I hadn't run a few steps backwards. A 1-reverse-metre PB no doubt.
My First Time
In the lead up to my first trail race on saturday then, every sunrise was worth more of a smile than usual.
While I had done a leg of the Grizzly Ultra a few years ago, that had been on wide stony or soft grass pathways, so this was really my first. Rich and Brent (in yellow and on far left) had also done Grizzly.
asked Rich about the course, and made a sad face on hearing that the 1st k was paved.
didn't start my watch again too, although good things happen when I forget that (PB last race).
"Right, right, right!" someone yelled at the leader who almost took a wrong turn in the first 10 metres.
As the 5 Peaks tagline says, "get off the road". Like a car with broken steering, we all veered off the paved stuff straight after a bridge.
I saw Brent slip avoiding a walker, around the corner from me. Tubthumping ("I get knocked down, but I get up again..") is clearly his theme song.
A brief paved interlude again and then a short, steep uphill section with lots of tree roots. The word "technical" is a key trail runner's term for rough ground, be it roots, stones, ruts or anything making for an uneven surface. (Wildlife leaves technicalities in various places too).
From that shaded area out into brilliant sunshine, and along a cliff edge. Although not a huge drop, it was high and sheer enough. I really wanted to turn my head to capture more of the view, but feared my feet would follow where the camera was pointed.
Bridge On the Halfway
In the next bit of tree roots and uphill scrambling, I let one or two more accomplished trailers past. "My first trail run, ever. Scared of falling," I told one.
love that tree. Good Wood.
Return of the Jedi on a Speeder Bike," I imagined:
The last 4 or so k were the same as the first, now overtaking runners taking on the (slightly) shorter Sport Course. The final downhill, like many others, seemed to make my nose run.
"Need to get past?" "No, I'll stick with you." "I warn you I'm a road runner." There was another guy up ahead who I used as a guide/ canary myself.
Looking further ahead I could see Brent once again. Try to get a little closer for a good finish, a good yardstick, I thought.
I wasn't expecting to catch and pass, though neither was I expecting to be traveling at 5k race pace rather effortlessly.
The 15.6k done in 1:23:29. Aim achieved of getting under an hour and a half, and running between half and full marathon effort.
Yet further testament to how running can turn things around.
PS: This is the first time I have watched the entire race on playback before editing. Do check it out, it has a funky late 60s soundtrack: