Sitting here enjoying a cup of Kicking Horse coffee, I would like to start by saying thanks to Derrick, Sara, 5-Peaks and all the volunteers, it was a great race.
This was my first trail race of the year and I was really looking forward to it. First to get back to the trails, and second to run a shorter faster paced race for a change. The race was held at J&J Cycling trails just north of Kingston, a perfect venue for the race.
The weather was calling for wet; rain was the forecast and I was hoping they were right, I was looking forward to playing in the mud. Just this week I had been starting to feel like I was recovering from my Fall/Winter/Spring, the body both physically and mentally was starting to come around.
Race day dawned overcast but dry, however as we headed toward Kingston the clouds opened up and it rained, hard. Arriving at J&J, everyone was huddled in the Big green barn keeping dry. The rain was off and on, but eventually let up long enough for the Kids race and the adults to get-a-going.
Plan for the race was to have fun, stay injury free (I have a date with Kimber for a little half-marathon next Sunday), but to push it a little too. Off the start, I let the fast kids and the over zealous lead us out as I found my legs. The first 500m was a fast and slippery downhill on grass/mud trails, slight up hill, downhill again, into the woods for a bit, out onto a jeep trail and then onto the 1st aid station at 2kms. By this time I had found my stride, passed a few people and settled into racing. Time so far 8:30, for 2km on trails, silly fast.
Here we split off from the Sport group, running another 200m before a sharp right and into the woods. We then climbed up the escarpment, a very slippery muddy climb that on a good day would have been runnable, but with the mud and spinning feet it was a short hard hike. Passed a few people on the climb and then settled in for the fun. Here the course quickly snaked back and forth, here there and everywhere, until around 5.8km where we slid back down the escarpment back to the jeep road to return and follow the sport course home. I hit the 6km marker at 30:30.
The remainder of the course here was similar to the section we had just run, lots of single track tight cornering. Achilles, ankles, hips and core was getting a good workout. With all the back and forth you could see who was ahead and who was behind. I was closing in on a couple of guys and had no one behind me. Once out of the woods back into the meadow, there was another 500m left which included the final climb up the original downhill. I passed one guy in the meadow and then pumped with all my might up the hill to the finish, very muddy and very happy.
Finishing results: 10km - 51:45, 9th looser overall and 1st looser in AG.
Got cleaned up thanks to a handy rain spout and stuck around for a very entertaining awards ceremony before saying our good-byes to Derrick and Sara and heading home to the Hot Tub.
I hope this becomes a regular race on the 5-peaks circuit. The course is fast and technical, but offers a great challenge and experience for all levels of participant.
Pictures on our Zenfolio site here