Once again I had a serious case of FOMO and signed up for another Coast Mountain Trail Series race about 4 days before the event. I had a few friends doing it and one friend, Adam, was volunteering. This one was called Buckin Hell. It was full of technical trail that ran from Deep Cove to the Seymour Lookout and back down again. There was a 15km & 21km option. I had already decided to run the 47km Squamish 50 Orientation run the very next day and thought adding the 21km race the day before would make for a great training weekend. To my surprise and delight Leigh decided that since I had a weekend full of running,he would get in on the action too and signed himself up for the 15km race.
No point getting bogged down in the details of the race, other than to say this was a hard, beautiful, hilly, flowy and technical course. Yes it was all of those things! Having run in the area on previous training runs, I knew that it was going to be alot of uphill at the start. I didn’t want to start out too fast for fear that I would burn out too quickly. Also in the back of my mind I knew that I had a big run ahead of me the next day There was a strong field of women runners that day. Kim Magnus (1st) & Ellie Greenwood (2nd) created a huge gap between second and third place. Me and my friend Chloe Gendron ran together for much of the race, vying for 3rd and 4th position. I knew from the start if I kept Chloe in my sights I would be finishing up front, so I did the best I could to stick close to her.
I was fighting to hold my position on the last big uphill section. I wasn’t sure where I was in the race until I saw the leading women Kim & Ellie racing down the hill. Chloe broke away from me on the climb, but I could see her ahead and then it was just me! I was in fourth place, so close to podium finish but it wasn’t going to happen this time. I struggled to the top of the hill, with a mix of power hiking and running, downed some magic ultrarunning elixir, aka Coke and orange slices, and off down the hill I went. Dealing with a some calf cramping on the way down and not fueling nearly enough during the race, meant that I just couldn’t catch up to Chloe. Weaving through the crowds through Deep Cove, coming into the last stretch through Panorama Park, I sprinted to the finish, jumped through the finishing arch and collapsed onto the ground.
I finished in 4th place that day. It was a tough race for me and I learnt a few lessons (courtesy of cramping and Chloe): fuel early on in the race and focus more on running the tangents.
It was an amazing day! I was able to share the trails with Leigh (who finished very strong that day), even though we didn’t run together, and see some great trail running friends along the route who were also racing that day. Thanks to Adam for the cheer at the top of the big climb, the CMTS crew and awesome volunteers and to Chloe for the encouragement and keeping me honest during the race!