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:
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:
Sam, Harrison, Debra and I took on the 5k:
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.
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.
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.
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.
And, as predicted, stairs going 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.
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!!
Debra and I then headed on to our NEXT race…to be continued at the Bagel Chase!!!
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?
Join me in linking up with MissSippiPiddlin and HoHoRuns for their Weekly Wrap!