Yesterday the Running Buddy and I ran part of the Powderface marathon course. From the Powderface Creek parking lot we went northwest up to a saddle, then down to a road, then back east on Prairie Creek Trail, skipping the short cut link back to the parking lot. It took us a little over 4 hours to run 21 km according to my GPS.
It was a nice day for November, with a warm Chinook wind blowing high over our heads, but we were sheltered by the trees and mountains. We had dressed in layers, studded shoes and hydration backpacks with assorted light supplies and extra gear, so we were ready for colder weather if necessary.
It took me over an hour to climb the first 5 km, but I had been warned of the elevation gain, so did not lose heart. There was some fresh snow over last week’s hard-pack and ice, which shifted just enough underfoot to keep my steps small. I could have used snowshoes on that part, but I wouldn’t have gone any faster.
The descents after that first 5k were a total blast. The snow cushioned our impact without being too much of a hazard. After the first two hours we dangled our feet off a bridge while munching almonds and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
We had run the second part, the Prairie Creek Trail which is slightly easier, as an out-and-back a couple of weeks previous. It was familiar to me, and it was good to know what to expect. The sun came out a few times and warmed us up, but didn’t make the trail very mucky.
I’ve added a few pictures on my Flickr account if you’re interested.