Posted by: Karen | January 30, 2011

12 Mile Coulee 8k Race Report

Karen Karin & Davey

Photo courtesy of the Calgary Roadrunners - Thanks Kathy! Click the pic for more.

It felt colder than the real temperature of -10C/14F when we started. As we began the race one of my cohorts joked “4k or Bust!” My lips turned blue and my hands and feet felt like ice blocks during the first couple of km along the ridge in the light breeze, but I warmed up in the bottom of the coulee in the first loop on the way back. The footing on the ridge was variable, with big, irregular patches of hard and soft fresh snow over bumpy ice, but the hard-packed single track in the coulee was easier.

I was recovering from the flu earlier in the week and my stomach was still feeling iffy. I was hesitant to go for the full 8k, but I also realized that I still needed 3 more 8k distances to qualify for the Grand Prix, and there were only 4 races left in the season.  I hunkered down for the long haul and hung out with the friendly 50-69’ers. We went so slowly that we got lapped by two front-runners just before heading into our second lap. Oh well, on with it. 3/4ths of the way through our second lap a volunteer joked “Sorry, there is too much snow on the trail – you have to go back.” Oh ha ha! It’s a good thing we were too tired to dump him in a snow bank! I had no finishing sprint left at the end, and was very, very grateful to see the clock.

I was so tired and sweaty from the run that it was difficult changing into dry clothes at the hall afterward. It was worth it, though, to sit in warm fuzzies, with still rosy cheeks, eating and conversing with my buddies. I devoured a big bowl of Jenny’s Spicy Carrot Soup (my favourite), and finished up with a brownie and a nanaimo bar. Ah, bliss.

The race director sounded a little puzzled as he read off the results, like “hey what happened to the fast middle-aged women”, but Phillipa and I took full credit for 1st and 2nd places in our age group yesterday. Sometimes it’s just about who else shows up… or doesn’t. I would have kicked myself if I had chosen the 4k and then discovered I had missed placing (age groups only count in the 8k in this series), so I’m doubly glad I hung in there for the 8k.

That’s 59 CRR Grand Prix races in a row for me so far. I’m looking forward to #60, on February 12 at Nose Hill.

Knitting notes: While I forgot to bring my mug and bowl in the cool new bags I knitted for them (dang it), I did remember to bring a birthday present I knitted for Dawn (a pair of fingerless mitts). I think she likes them.


  1. I’m not surprised you kept going and ended up completing the 8km! It just confirms you are that hardcore, determined, strong lady I know you to be!


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