Posted by: Karen | November 12, 2006

Karen 8 : Race 0

I conquered both loops of the Edworthy XC yesterday. It was probably a bit short for 8 km, but I claim that the steep grade of the valley-side on which we ran makes up for any deficiencies in distance.

I approached this race with caution, as in just this last week it has been snowing, melting, freezing, raining, freezing, and snowing. I know what it is like to navigate this icy course, and I was still apprehensive about how well my right knee is recovering. It was about -7C/19F out when Dawn and I arrived early to sign up for the noon race. I stayed in my warm car, visiting with Giovanna until 10 minutes before start time, and then spent a good amount of time hopping about to stay warm until the start.

Since it was Remembrance Day, there was a very brief ceremony before the race. A trumpeter played the Last Post, we all stood quietly for a moment of silence, after which the trumpeter played Reveille. Immediately after that the RD shouted Go! The trumpeter played Charge! and off we went like a herd of frozen turtles.

Fortunately for me, the inch-thick crust of hard-packed snow on the trail was just enough for my Yaktrax to give me some great traction. I trotted along comfortably at the back of the pack while the more competitive folks sorted themselves out ahead. A few of my fingers became very cold in the first five minutes, and it took a good 20 more minutes for me to warm them up.

The course is a double loop, starting and ending at the top of a big, north-facing valley-side. It took me 15 minutes to get across the ridge and down to the bottom. I zipped along the flat stretch and greeted Dawn as I went past. She’d started a bit early and was plugging right along. I slogged back up switchback paths, stepping aside several times to be lapped by skinnier faster folks.

Once back up at the top I ran right past a turn and found myself in a bald meadow devoid of flags. Oops, where did the flags go? I quickly did a u-turn and found the corner I’d missed. 27 minutes into the race I was cheered on by Jill as I headed back down for my second loop. Oh YEAH, we can do both loops today – no problemo. I missed another turn just before heading down again, but not by much. Stick with the flags, eh?

I had no company in the second loop, but that was fine with me – I was able to concentrate more on the path before me. I did see one other runner waaaay ahead of me in the flat stretch at the bottom, but not after that. Back up the hill – this time my calves complained with vigour, but at least I didn’t have to pull aside for anyone. I was mesmerized by how the rusty coloured leaves contrasted prettily with the cream and sugar snow churned up on the path. By this time I’d removed my earmuffs and unzipped my jacket. I was glad I’d left my extra shirt behind in the car.

I didn’t fall once. My knees never complained, and I did the whole course. This race ain’t got nothin’ on me. Woohoo!

I finished strong and was happy to see my new buddy Giovanna cheering me in. I smiled for Derek’s camera, greeted Dawn, and we headed off for soup and dessert at the hall. Yum, there was still some of Jenny’s Carrot Soup left, and brownies. As an extra bonus, I got a hug from Linda, whom I hadn’t seen in awhile. She and her hubby were helping serve soup.

You can get a better idea of what the terrain was like and how different racers dressed for the temperature in these photos by Kathy Taerum on the Calgary Roadrunners web page. Here’s Dawn and here’s me.

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Responses

  1. Yay Karen! I am SO not ready for winter! We’re just having a cold autumn rain here today that is taking some of the last leaves off the trees, but many are still valiantly hanging on….

  2. We went, we ran, we conquered!!!

  3. Wow… you get MAJOR points for the cold temps, not getting lost, maintaining the “full and upright position” as I say (not falling!) and most of all finishing. Way 2 go!!!
    Have a hot toddy! 🙂 🙂

    GP in Montana
    who rode her horse in passing squall storms yesterday…


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