MEC North Vancouver Race ONE

Posted: February 28, 2016 in My Story, Race Reports
Tags: , , , , ,
Share

MEC North Vancouver

When I started this blog 2 years ago, I hadn’t yet run a full marathon. I hadn’t run a trail race. The first race report I wrote was of the 2014 West Van Run. Fast forward to today – I joined with other enthusiastic members of the West Van Run team to conquer the trails of the MEC North Vancouver Race ONE!

MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop – an outdoor gear store and Vancouver institution) puts on a series of trail races (among other events) in communities across Canada, and keeps the entry fees low so everyone can join in. This was my first MEC race – and it was great!

Race ONE was held in North Vancouver, starting at the Lower Seymour Conservation Forest, and included both 5k and 10k options. Since I’m doing BOTH the 5k and the 10k at the West Van Run next weekend (March 5&6), I opted for the 5k. Although sub-titled ‘The Frozen Forest’, this run was anything but wintry!

Debra picked me up and we headed through foggy downtown, over the bridge and into the hills of Lynn Canyon. The parking lot was already getting crowded and we lined up to get our bibs and timing chips. Enjoyed a sample of David’s Tea, made a couple of potty breaks, and mingled with a bunch of familiar faces (not necessarily in that order). Given that I’m not a regular trail racer, it was great to run into a wide range of friends from:

Forerunners (Emily)

MEC North Vancouver

RunVan (Jun)

MEC North Vancouver

My office (shout out to Sharon! Why didn’t we get a selfie?)

And, of course, WestVanRun Crew! Paula, Mark (awesome t-shirt!), Milan and Stephen all tackled the 10k:

MEC North Vancouver MEC North Vancouver MEC North Vancouver MEC North Vancouver

Sam, Harrison, Debra and I took on the 5k:

MEC North Vancouver  MEC North Vancouver

Ever reliable with her trusty camera, Debra (@debrakato) receives credit for all of the photos in this post!!

We cheered on the 10k racers as they headed out. About 25 minutes later, the 5k gang gathered at the start.

MEC North Vancouver

The first half of the race involved a loop around Rice Lake on a well-groomed trail. The terrain was relatively flat – a bit of undulation, but nothing especially intense. Almost immediately, however, I regretted wearing my jacket. Knowing a couldn’t continue like this, I hoped I wouldn’t repeat the incident at the Snowshoe Race where my jacket fell down around my ankles. I cinched it tight around my waist and forged ahead. It was all a bit of a blur.

MEC North Vancouver MEC North Vancouver

The second half was a whole different ball of wax. We passed the cheering crowds at the start/finish line and the course sloped downhill. Then, unexpectedly, stairs. Heading down. A whole lot of stairs.

MEC North Vancouver MEC North Vancouver

I gingerly passed a man in front, who said: “There’s a big uphill coming!” He was not mistaken.

At the bottom of the stairs, we were close to the shores of Lynn Creek, and the terrain became fairly rocky. There were more tourists and hikers and dogs as we passed the eastern end of Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.

MEC North Vancouver

And, as predicted, stairs going UP.

And UP.

I kept a pretty decent pace up the stairs. And then there was a hill. My pace slowed. I wanted to keep going…but I had to slow to a walk. I just couldn’t do it. Once I reached the top, I pushed myself to pick it up and keep moving. I had to convert my merino wool Buff (on its first outing) from cap to neck because I was SO hot.

There was a log.

MEC North Vancouver

In my mind, I leaped the log like a gazelle. In reality, I imagine it was more like a clamber.

In the last 100m or so, I managed to pass the guy who had been just ahead of me all the way up the hill. Sam and Harrison had finished moments before, so we reconvened with the 10k racers who had finished, and cheered in those who were wrapping up. We showed off our West Van Run team spirit! NOTE: Samantha came in 4th overall for females in the 5k! Congrats, Sam!!

MEC North Vancouver

Debra and I then headed on to our NEXT race…to be continued at the Bagel Chase!!!

Final Results

Chip time: 28:29
Average pace: 5:42 min/km
Place overall: 23/161
Gender place (no age categories): 18/54

Trail races – yay or nay?

WeeklyWrap

Join me in linking up with MissSippiPiddlin and HoHoRuns for their Weekly Wrap!

Comments
  1. I’ve never run a trail race! Looks like fun. I’m hoping to remedy that this fall–I’m considering the North Face Endurance Challenge in Wisconsin. I’d do the half distance…
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Big Sur Marathon Training Week 4My Profile

  2. Kelli says:

    Looks like a really cool course! ALthough I would have been nervous going down the stairs. As hard as it is to climb them I’m more afraid of slipping and bumping down them on my butt going down. Nice job and great race report!
    Kelli recently posted…Weekly Wrap – Goodbye FebruaryMy Profile

  3. I love trail races but I just can’t seem to fit them into my summer racing schedule. At some point I will change that! That looks like a fun course though! I’m not sure I’d trust myself on those stairs though, ha ha.

  4. Pam says:

    Trail races scare me since I would worried about falling the entire way. However, I do love hiking! The stairs look daunting but it seems like you managed them and the race very well!
    Pam recently posted…Weekly Workout Roundup: Feb 29th back to running and a new toyMy Profile

  5. Jeannine says:

    Congrats on your first trail race!! I wanna try one too someday… hopefully this year… but that means I need to go shoe shopping 😉

  6. What a trail race! I haven’t done one either but many say I should. I’ve run the single track around here and you sure have to pay attention more than on the road. How big was that log you had to jump, it’s hard to tell in the picture but it looks waste high!! Thanks Bradley for linking with us! Always fun to see where you run!
    Tricia@MissSippiPiddlin.com recently posted…Oxford’s Mighty Half Marathon RecapMy Profile