Posted by: Karen | January 14, 2007

Icy Hills at Nose Creek XC

Yesterday it was chilly and there was just enough snow falling to make the roads slick. Still, a hardy bunch of runners and volunteers turned out to participate in the  Nose Creek Cross Country, 6th race of 10 in the Calgary Roadrunners Grand Prix XC series. Dawn, her hubby and Les flagged the course in the morning, and a number of folks pitched in by bringing soup, setting up coffee, taking stations on the course and helping with official timing.

I dropped off a few things at the hall and then deposited Little Runner with Dawn’s daughter and granddaughter at the park. I parked about a 1/2 km from the start.

I met up with Penguin Yolanda on the way to the course, and somehow in my joy of greeting her, I must have dropped my car keys. I discovered this just before the race started, when someone else reported to Dawn that some keys had been found and left at the nearby gas station. He-e-e-ey, why was my pocket empty…

We only hopped around trying to keep warm for a little while waiting for the start. Dawn held me back for a minute at the beginning, as I was to be her “sweeper”. I’m pretty good at coming in last or close enough to it – yesterday I was supposed to. On the second loop I was to a) make sure I was last and b) tell the volunteers they could pick up flags and head in now. Lovely – I got to run the course, be last and talk. That was the best volunteer job ever!

At first we ran straight into a biting wind, but eventually the course wound down into the sheltered creek valley and we came back through the course with the wind mostly at our backs. Dawn’s girls and my Little Runner were stationed at the top of the biggest, steepest, iciest hill and could see us making our way through the valley. I heard Little Runner cheering for a long time before I got to her. She cheered me all the way up and we celebrated my ascent with a big hug. I was wearing one too many layers, so I doffed my pink fleece and Carrie put it on Little Runner as I trotted away.

At the start of the second loop I learned that there may have been another runner who started late after me. We weren’t sure whether he was doing one loop or two, so some of the volunteers I met with said they would wait a little bit before picking up flags.

Kathy Taerum has posted lots of great photos of racers on the challenging terrain here. Dawn was handing out finishing sticks and she was so happy to see me finish she took a photo.

Almost There

I updated Dawn on what the volunteers were up to, and the timing crew waited until that late last runner came in. Then I jogged over to the gas station, picked up my keys without incident, and came back to transport some rosy-cheeked course marshals. We drove over to the hall and scarfed down some wonderful warm soup and dessert.

I had a special surprise planned for the awards. I’d made cookies shaped like the 2006 Torino Olympic medals. Little runner helped Dawn and I hand them out to age group winners, and I think they were a big hit.

Age Group Awards


  1. Nice job at the race sweeping and having fun. I LOVE your medals!! That is so cool!

  2. Nice awards! I WANT ONE!!

  3. I can’t believe how much work you all put into this stuff, I need you down here workingon my committees!

  4. Great job!
    Your #1 fan!!!

  5. Website?

  6. Seriously, I really want to you and Dawn to be the race director for all my races! You are fantastic! 🙂 You are so great to sweep (running slower than your usual pace is TOUGH), and baking medal cookies! Too awesome!

  7. Karen, my what a nice hat. Er, sorry, I mean tiara. Does your family know you have this strange second life? :o)

  8. 😀
    Love this race! Love those cookies!


%d bloggers like this: