It seems like every year I think I'd like to try squeeze in a few more shorter distance races but then another year goes by and I found myself racing Melissa's 10km here in Banff, my first 10km since the same race last year! Being it is one of only 2 running races held in Banff each year (the other being Winter Start 8km in November), I take part just as much because it's my home time race as anything else. Being in a National Park means it is often hard for event organisers to get permits for special events such as this in Banff but Melissa's has been held every year for the last 32 years and brings almost 4, 000 racers to town (for the 10km and 22km events), so is an annula tradition that brings lots of visitors to town for a final busy weekend of the summer season.
Needless to say I had not trained for the 10km at all. I ran 37:37 last year and hoped I could maybe run a similar time this year but with jetlag (I just got back from the UK on Wednesday) and a cold/ stomach bug hitting 2 days prior I was feeling far from like I wanted to push a fast effort. It also has to be said that there are a good few 100 metres of elevation climb around 3km to 5km in the course so it's never a fast race. Excuses, excuses ...
So overall I had a fun time, I was joking that after my DNF at 90km a few weeks ago I can finally say that I have completed the 100km distance... it just took me 2 weeks to do so! I didn't have the energy to push really hard and especially found breathing hard with the cold. It was a suprisingly sunny and warm day too - 25 degrees! - which made it great to hang out after the race. I repeated my 2nd place from last year, despite running 20 seconds slower (on a slightly altered route) so I guess I can't complain too much.
Last year at the time of Melissa's I had been in full 100km training mode so remember hitting a 3 hour long run after the race, in the afternoon. I was suprised how heavy my legs felt and realised that even if I had 'only' raced 10km - it was still much faster than I was used to! Given this year I had no real need to get a real run in like that, I instead made the most of the awesome weather by a run/ powerhike up and over Sulphur Mountain. Two and a half hours, 23km, so not a hard effort but a great way to be outside and enjoy the weather, because at this time of year in Banff you never know when summer might abruptly end and the snow start to fall....
Next up... Run for the Toad 50km in Ontario on Saturday with fellow Montrail team mate Ryne Melcher, and then 2 weeks later TNF 50 miler in Chile!!! Very undertrained for a mountain course but it's all going to be about having fun and sightseeing along the race course :)
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