Posted by: Karen | February 7, 2016

Weaselhead Wonderland

Our next Calgary Roadrunners XC Grand Prix series race is on the Jack Rabbit trail leading to the Weaselhead flats. It’s one of my favourite race courses, as I love lots of big trees.

Running the Jack Rabbit trail always makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland following a crazy rabbit underground.

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Even on a sunny day it’s shady in the woods, and there are some delightfully dramatic descents on the rolling path heading west. When I enter the woods with a bunch of other runners in a race, there is a sense of urgency, like a white rabbit pressed for time. Sometimes at the far end of the 8k course I get turned around in a dreamland, and if it weren’t for signs and course marshals I’d surely wander off course.

The final couple of kilometers coming out of the trail always seem to take longer than I think they should. The roller coaster feel of the hills heading out hide the fact that the course has been descending. On the way back to the finish, like in Alice in Wonderland, I feel like I’ve eaten something that’s made me smaller and the hills seem bigger. Towards the very end of the course, we duck under low branches that make me feel I’ve grown too big for the trail.

I haven’t encountered any tea parties, mad hatters, murderous queens or flamingo/hedgehog croquet on that trail yet, but they would be very fitting! Maybe I should bring tea cookies to the post-race potluck dessert table.

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