The weekend started off with helping the awesome Meghan and Bryon of iRunFar with the 50 mile race day live coverage. This involved an early start, finding myself in a tutu by 6am (thanks Solana!), waiting patiently in random spots trail side and attempting to master fast tweeting with not so good cell coverage. Fun times and great to see so many out of towners taking up the challenge of our technical backyard (Mike Wardian, Gary Gellin, Cassie Scallon, Paul Terranova, to name a few). Of course any day on the Squamish trails ends at the Howe Sound Brew Pub, although rather unusually for me this was a pre, rather than post, race burger and fries so I skipped sampling one of their many on-tap beers.
|iRunFar trailside race coverage|
|With Meghan & Solana/ iRunFar reporting. Credit: Solana Klassen|
By Saturday evening I had joined good buddies Susan and David, so we got back to our accommodations at Quest for an early night. My head hit the pillow and I was out like a light until my alarm was blaring at 4.10am and it took me a few minutes to remember whether the race was today or if I had already run it the day before!
Squamish 50km was going to be a low key, hard training run for me rather than a key race, but of course the day prior talk had started of where I would be in the overall field and whether I would hold off all the 50/ 50 men (those running both the 50 miler and the 50km), given this is included the awesome Mike Wardian - this was no easy challenge people were trying to set me up for.
|Credit: iRunFar/ Meghan Hicks|
A few race highlights included:
- The pace seemed to go out super slow. I was in the top 4 right out of the gate, and stayed round about there for most of the race.
- I move like a slug on the uphills so truly appreciated Mike Wardian, Dave Cressman and Brian (?) catching up with me. This forced me to pick up the effort a little and with a run/ hike combination I held my own with the boys until the top of the first big climb (around 14km), I then decided to go playing on the downhills and got a nice little lead.
- On passing through Quest it was great to see David and Chloe out supporting, as well as a lively crowd of other cheerers, a little boost before I headed up the next main climb with Brian (?), he ran the whole thing, once again with a run/ hike shuffle I kept up.
|With Chloe at the race start. Credit: Chloe Gendron.|
- Super to see my friend Des Mott at the 32km aid station. Squamish is a re-birth of Stormy, my first ever 50 mile race, and I had been the lamenting the absence of faces from years gone by. I remember meeting Des at my first ever ultra back in about 2004 so it was great to have him out on the trail and helping keep us runners hydrated on what was increasingly becoming a hot and humid day.
|Credit: iRunFar/ Meghan Hicks|
- I was now picking up the pace a little as I moved in the latter stages of the race, so super to have Chloe assist with filing my pack at the 40km station as I headed off for the final 10km which had 2 little climbs in it.
- At top of Mntn of Phlegm, some 4.5km to the finish, Solana and Jay told me I was some 2 mins behind 2nd place guy Eric. Little did I know this was super strong skier Eric Carter, otherwise I'd have known better than to lay chase. I caught Eric on the 2km flat tarmac section to the finish and I held onto his coat tails until he out kicked me by 2.4 seconds at the end.
|Less than 1km to go, duking it out with Eric Carter. Credit: Meredith Terranova|
All in all a super event, and one I can highly recommend if you like a little technical single track in the sunshine.
|With 3rd place woman, Ann Signorella, and RDs Geoff and Gary. Credit: Mike Wardian.|
Full results of the 50km are here.
|Hand crafted finishers trophy!|
A huge thank you to ALL the volunteers who put in many hours of hard work to make this event a hugely fun and successful event, and a thank you to all my various friends who gave me rides over the weekend (Kim, Meghan, David and Jeff) so I can maintain my no-car existence :)