Friday, June 3, 2011

Sulphur Springs 25k Trail Run

We had to get up very early for this race, because we decided that we would rather sleep in our own bed rather than camp (it was not warm enough to camp), which meant getting up at 3:30am so that we had plenty of time to pack up the car and drive to Ancaster.  Chris was running the 100 mile, which started at 6:00am.  I was running the 25k, which started at 7:30am.

We got to the race with plenty of time to spare.  One thing about driving that early in the morning is that there isn't much traffic, so it makes for a nice smooth drive.  Chris got ready for his race.  We found a spot to put our chairs and coolers.  After Chris' race started at 6:00am, I took his and a couple other people's drop bags out to the 3k/9k aid station and got back to base camp with lots of time before my race started.

When it was time to line up, I walked to the back of the pack.  I saw my friend Anne at the front, she suggested that we run together and I said, well, I think you're a bit too fast for me, but I'll see you out on the course.  As I was waiting for the start, a couple of people behind me were laughing at people who were wearing socks outside of their shoes.  I realized that they were talking about our gators, so I turned around and defended them, then we all laughed about that.

The race started.  The first thing we did was run down a very steep hill.  Man, I'm going to have to come up this thing at the end!  Poor Chris, he's going to have to come up this thing 8 times!  At the bottom of the hill we went into the woods.  We did a 5k spur, and headed back to base came, to turn around, then run the 20k loop.  As I was starting my 20k loop, the 10k people were starting their race.  Man, it was insane!  People were running down the hill like monsters were chasing them or something.  I saw Chris coming up the hill after his first loop and he was looking around at all the crazy people.  Some guy hit me as he was going down... what a jerk!  Oh well, maybe he fell in the mud later in the race... one can only hope.

There was one point where I was coming down a very slippery hill.  I heard a faster runner coming behind me, so I stepped to the side to let him past.  I stepped on a root and started sliding, tried to stop myself from sliding and ended up falling down, splat!  The poor guy who I let past stopped to see if I was okay.  I said, yes, just a little muddy.  I skinned up my knees a little, but I was okay.  My first real whipeout!

I have to say, I was very happy with this course overall.  I didn't go off course once (I usually go off somewhere during a race... as I'm drifting).  It was very well marked, plus there always seemed to be people around.  Either they were getting slower, or I was getting faster... I'm hoping for the latter.  There were a few muddy patches, but nothing I couldn't handle... besides, who doesn't like playing in the mud, at least a little.  There was one spot though that was grassy, muddy and smelly, that was my least favorite part.

All in all, I was very happy with the way I was able to run most of the course.  My final time was 3:53:07 which is a 25k PB for me!  I was so excited to get my time under 4 hours.

Now on to step two of my adventure, to crew Chris for the rest of his 100 miles.  I went to see the guy with the clipboard to find out when Chris came through base camp last.  I had enough time to go and get cleaned up before he came in again.  I was able to use the showers at the recreation centre that was there.  It was nice to wash off all the mud and change into some nice dry clothes.

After that, I waited for Chris to come in.  He came through, got a couple of things and then left again.  I had to pack up some stuff and drive over to the other aid station.  I made some homemade sweet potato soup and bought a one burner Coleman stove.  I got out to the other aid station... the burner didn't work... dammit!  I guess I could have tried it before we left, but noooo, that would have been the smart thing to do.  Apparently there was a pin missing that stuck into the propane tank thingy, in order to release the gas.  The guys at the aid station were nice enough to let me use their stove.  At least Chris got some warm soup when he came through.

After he came through, I looked for a Canadian Tire so I could get another burner.  I would take the other one back once we got back to Toronto.  I found it, awesome, things were good again.

Drove back and forth between aid stations for crewing purposes, had a couple of naps in the car, sat around in the chair.  I sort of hung out with some women who were crewing their friend who was running her first 100 miler.  I also kind of hung out with Anne, that was fun. That was pretty much my Saturday afternoon/night and Sunday morning.  I will let Chris tell you about his race.

I will definitely run Sulphur Springs again!!

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