July 24, 2015

The Great Climate Race!

Most of my blog posts tend to be about races I've run or training updates, but this post is an all out promo of a new 10k (and 2k fun run!) that will be held in Vancouver, BC this coming November.  There are two main reasons that this is a race I'm super happy to support and try encourage you, the reader, to run!  Firstly The Great Climate Race is being organised by my friend Ben West.  Ben was a participant of the Kintec/ NSA marathon training group that I helped lead this past winter.  The first evening the group met on a dark and cold December evening there was a mass of excited runners.  But as is typical with these groups, each Sunday and Tuesday there seemed to be a few less folks, or folks who would only show up once in a while.  But each and every week (or actually two times a week) Ben would be there come rain or shine; despite this being his first marathon Ben had already fully grasped the fundamentals of training and a successful race day - consistency!  It was super to see him succeed after much hard work when he completed the BMO Vancouver marathon in early May.  So Ben is a runner and friend which is good enough reason to promo 'his' race but the even better reason is that The Great Climate Race is not just any old 10k race on the Vancouver seawall, but it is one with an environmental awareness and fund raising goal, specifically around solar power.

The Great Climate Race (10k and 2k) will be held on Sunday 8th November, starting at Second Beach in Vancouver's beautiful Stanley Park.  Full details of the event, and how to sign up, are here.  And to keep up to date with race happening and news, follow their facebook page here.

The event intends to increase public awareness of climate change while raising funds for local solar energy projects.  A portion of all registration fees go to one specific project (this year its for the Stanley Park Ecology Society) and all participants also have the opportunity to raise funds for additional projects through our peer to peer fundraising platform on our website.
There is more information as to why The Great Climate Race is focusing on solar power here.

In Ben's words, "We want our event to give everyone an opportunity to do something meaningful at the local level and give folks a sense of connection to viable climate solutions. We are hoping this event will help expand climate awareness and action beyond the "usual suspects" who take part in rallies and protests".

If you'd like to learn more there is a great article about November's Great Climate Race here.

Hope some of you can join The Great Climate Race on November 8th for a fun and fast (if you want it to be!) event with a great cause at its heart!

July 7, 2015

Stumbling from one race to the next. Now let's regroup :)

About 10 days ago I ran the Mont Blanc 42.2k.  Wow, it was a stunner of a course!  Bluebird skies, warm temperatures, glistening glaciers and flower filled alpine meadows.  It really could not have been more beautiful, but man oh man was my 4th place finish, in just over 5hrs, ugly.  Mont Blanc was just four weeks after Comrades so I knew it was unlikely to be a great day but I had hit as much trail time as I could to build some climbing and descending legs, and I think this helped ... but not enough.  It's a course that I think I could do well on (runnable sections and then some great powerhiking and semi-technical descents) but I'd need more focused training and fresher legs.  Wanting to fall asleep just 4k into a race never bodes well for a good day, but it's been a busy spring with travel, coaching work and ongoing hand rehab (from my bike accident back in March) and I did what I could.  I was so grateful to share some miles with Albert of Salomon Spain who motivated me along and I was very grateful for the crewing of my Salomon folks - Arnaud and Philipp especially.  And I must admit, misery loves company so when I saw that Blake (Salomon Australia) had dropped part way it made me feel better that I was not the only one having a bad day - sorry Blake, get better soon!  Mind you, Max King rocked the course for 3rd and he'd run Comrades too - so I don't really have any excuses.

The day after Mont Blanc a bunch of us Salomon folks headed to Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees for the week to prep for Kilians Classik 25k and 45k the following weekend, and generally spend sunny days talking shoes and gear, hanging out at 1800m and having fun as a team.  It was a super week despite the fact that is soon became evident that my niggling tibialis anterior was really not at all happy.  I spent more time with physio Arnaud than I did running, but I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to do that and I still got to see some great places and spend time with super people.  A huge thanks to Greg Vollet, our Salomon manager, for a super week and for supporting me when I was not able to run much.  Kilians Classik itself is a great celebration of trail running, and I at least managed the 10k fun run and the kids race on the Sunday (though I will admit I was happy to sweep the kids race rather than try stay ahead of some very fast kids!)

After a whirlwind 12 days in France I am now back home in North Van and have had to concede that I won't be racing Leadville 100 miler in late August.  This year so far has been very bumpy in terms of training due to general niggling pains and the bike accident.  Now I have to accept that Leadville is less than seven weeks away and I am semi-injured and not especially fit - not a great combo to head into a tough 100 miler at altitude.  Leadville will be there another year and it is still very much on my bucket list but for now I need to not think about races and trying to squeeze in training, but instead think about rehab and fitness.  Hopefully I can have a better second half of the year.  In the meantime, here are some nice pictures of fun time in France.

A bientot
Ellie x
Mont Blanc finish - no way I was going to walk over a finish line even if it was uphill!  Credit: Drew Pattison.

Strong Salomon ladies atop a Pyreneen peak.

10k easy run - just happy to run.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Silly celebrations with Martina Valmassoi.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Mont Blanc: Misery in beautiful surroundings.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

My buddy Jan.  Great fun times, just don't mention that I'm old enough to be his mother (Salomon is taking good care of the future of trail running!).  Credit: self.

Yes, that is Mo Farah.  Yes, I was like a giddy school kid.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Not bad for a race finish line after about 2700m of climbing and 1600m of descent.  Mont Blanc marathon, Chamonix.  Credit: self.

Remi, Blake, Martina and Jan cheering in Kilians Classik 45k runners.  Credit: self.

Yes, I went down this at slug pace on a dodgy leg, no - it was probably not a good idea :)  Credit: self.

Font Romeu wild trails.  Credit: self

Kristina, one of my coaching clients, rocked the 80k for 6th at Mont Blanc and then cheered me to the finish of the 42k the next day :)  Credit: Drew Pattison.

French food - mmmmm :)  Credit: self.

Leading out the kids race at Kilians Classik.  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.

Chamonix: stunning.  Credit: self.

Tiptoeing on a short walk on dodgy leg :)  Credit: Jordi Saragossa.