Posted by: Karen | October 10, 2008

River Park Classic Cross Country

We had perfect weather for the first trail race in this season’s Calgary Roadrunners Grand Prix series. I wore in my CRR singlet and shorts and the temperature was just right, even with the river crossings. Oh yes, we got to cross the rocky-bottomed river twice. What fun!

The course gave us a nice warm-up loop around the playground before we hit the water. I splashed right in and ran halfway across the river, but then had to hunker down to avoid having the current knock me over in knee deep water. If the bottom hadn’t been so rocky I might have been bolder (ha ha) – maybe not. I hauled myself up the steep river bank on a rope that Derek the  race director had rigged up for us.

Little Runner and friends cheered us on from the bridge and away we went. The feeling came back into my toes as I jogged and hiked up to the top of the East ridge. After a short run along the top we took an abrupt u-turn and headed back down to the river crossing again. I didn’t hold back on the pathway down and heard Les up above yell “Give’er Cooksley!” Wheee!

Dawn took some great pics in the first loop.

I walked 2/3 of the river crossing on the way back, then splashed out and carried on past the playground again. Little Runner cheered me on from the swings. What a great course – river crossings and playground passings! The shorter distance runners headed off to the finish at that point, but I climbed up to the dog-park plateau for the longer route. Derek paced me up around the plateau for a while before carrying on to check on other runners and volunteers.

Derek said the course was closer to 6.9k than the traditional 8. I hiked hard on the ups and kicked butt on the downs. My lungs had a hard time keeping up with my legs, but we all finished together.  Since I knew it was a little shorter race with a downhill finish, I didn’t intend to save much for the end. Kathy took this photo of me just before I headed into the last descent.

On the last big downhill there were big dirt stairs shored up with wood with a dirt trail to the side. Greg was making his way down the dirt trail just ahead of me, so I devised a big skipping rhythm to negotiate the stairs. Boing boing! I felt like Tigger.

My long trail runs this summer are paying off. Even though I felt quite cardio-challenged most of the race, my legs had no problem with the terrain and I didn’t feel tired or achy in the hours or days that followed.

It was a busy weekend. The night before I’d gone grocery shopping and cooked up a split pea soup to bring to the race. After soup and brownies I hurried home to spiff up all nice for a company party at Fort Calgary.



  1. I negotiated the stairs instead of the path to the side of them as well but I wasn’t Tigger I was Hancock & trying to fly 😉

  2. […] a whole bunch of my running friends. Yes, that includes Karen and yes she’s already posted her report eons ago. I think she’s much more organized than […]


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