Posted by: Karen | January 15, 2006

Double Loops; Double the Fun

Yesterday I turned up with my buddy Dawn and several other good friends to run the Calgary Roadrunners Nose Creek Cross Country race.

I drove my car to the community hall and set up my club clothing display early. I needed to get in a little extra mileage towards my Frostbite Falls goal, so I left my car at the hall almost 3km from the start, and jogged there as a warm-up. I was travelling light here, but needed my hands free to carry my banana and my Yaktrax, so tucked my registration baggie into my mitt. I had my $7 and pre-signed waiver in a little baggie, so that when I showed up I didn’t even have to wait in line to register.

The weather was bee-u-tiful and hovered around barely freezing. There was a good turnout and I enjoyed chatting with several friends while we waited around for the race to start. The sun shone in a gorgeously blue sky and we all dithered as to how much traction and clothing we would need to wear on the course. When the race director got our attention for the usual prelims, he stated that the course this year had “35% less hills”, but to compensate for that, “40% more dog crap”. When he firmly stated that there was “NO ICE” I wasn’t sure whether to believe him, but Dawn and I both ditched our Yaktrax with our jackets and hoped for the best.

I did just fine in my Brooks Addiction Trail shoes and kicked butt on the soft dirt trails.
What a great day for a run! Photo courtesy of Kathy Taerum of the Calgary Roadrunners

Dawn has some absolutely awesome pictures in her report, and you can gain a lot of perspective on the hilly course we ran by squinting at the the eensy weensy specs of racers in the distance. I started out with Carla, Sylvie, and Nadine in the beginning, and they gradually pulled away from me after a couple of kilometres. Nadine had mentioned something about registering for only the 4k, but was having so much fun today, that she might just join me for the second loop anyway.

Remember Nadine? She runs a little faster than me, and is a very warm, outgoing person.
snapped before the Okotoks XC race in December

When I lost sight of her on the first loop, I figured she would continue on ahead of me and I’d see her after I finished. Nope. She ran through the clock after the 4k loop, collected her numbered popsicle stick (technical timing device) , and then came right back on the course and joined me for the second loop! She ran the second loop at my speed, for the sheer fun of keeping me company. What a gift!

I’m not sure I understand why she wouldn’t want credit for running the 8k, but I really enjoyed her tagging along. We went along the ridge and down again, across the bridge and up the other side, down and over, up and down and around and up some more. We yelled big whoops of courage as we careened down hills, cracked remarks about the mud on our shoes and garnered encouragement from the volunteers and already-finished racers.

This is the hilarious look she gave our club photographer, Kathy Taerum, as she remarked about running along, even though she’d already finished.

Photo by Kathy Taerum of Calgary Roadrunners

Karen and Nadine Nose Creek XC race January 2006

Once I’d thanked Nadine again and handed in my numbered popsicle stick, Dawn and I headed off for the hall on foot. Two different times we had racers stop their cars, puzzled that we would walk all the way to the hall, instead of drive. What, you think we are invalids or something? No, just making up for lost FBF mileage, eh – it doesn’t have to be “training” or “racing” to count!

I was very happy that there was still some of my favourite spicy carrot-and-star-anise soup left when we got to the hall. Even though it took us 30 minutes of brisk walking, we really hadn’t missed much. After the announcements and some socializing I packed up my club clothing display and toodled on home.

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