The first few weeks of July has seen some glorious weather, if you like +30C degree. Nothing but sunshine and blue skies. As much as I enjoy the warmth of the sunshine, this heat does not make for great running weather. You overheat quickly, become dehydrated even faster and your body grinds to a halt.
Well July 12th was the day I decided to attempt the “Rubble Double”; the forecast was for sunshine and +34C. The Rubble Double is a run through the beautiful Garibaldi Provincial Park that takes you from the Rubble Creek entrance to the Cheakamus Lake entrance at which point you then you turn around and go back the way you came. In total the run is approximately 47 km with 2300m elevation gain. I was able to convince my friend Adam to come along for the full distance. It was also nice to have a few friends come along for the first 12km, Hailey and her fiance Eduardo. It was Eduardo’s first time in Canada and with it being only his second day in the country it was a privilege to be able to share such a beautiful part of the country with him.
In 2012 I ran the Rubble Creek route, one way, solo.That was 2 years ago and I know I am much fitter and have much more endurance now, so I had been thinking about doing the Double for a while especially since it would be good training to get another 50’ish km run in so soon after my last one.
If you have ever hiked or ran this trail then you know that no matter which side you start on you have 6-7 km’s of steady climbing at the start and if doing the double then you have a another big climb thrown in right at the halfway mark. The first climb into the park felt like a breeze, the stoke and banter was high and everyone was having fun. When we dropped Hailey and Eduardo at their chosen destination, they were heading to Panoramo Ridge, Adam and I continued on. Eduardo later told me that they could hear us laughing long after they couldn’t actually see us anymore, so that was a good sign! We were running and we were happy!
Essentially we finished. It was too hot to be running that day and it kept our pace fairly leisurely, especially through the open meadows that were exposed to the sun. We had some minor hydration issues on the second half, but thankfully we reached the creek before it became too serious. The second half was beautiful. We found our stride again after gaining the hill after Cinder flats, and from there it was a beautiful cruisy single track down to Taylor Meadows. Everyone knows how much of a godsend an aid station can be, especially during a long hot run, so with a bit of foresight we decided to stash a few small bottles of pepsi in shaded areas at points where we thought we would need them most. One of these was at Taylor Meadows. We hid a bottle in a dark cool culvert, away from thirsty eyes, and let me tell you, as a non-soda drinker, there was nothing quite as delicious as that first sip of cool bubbly pepsi. Now we were fired up and ready for the knee jarring descent back to the car. It was a bit of a blur from there, dodging hikers on the way down and trying to keep up a fast pace on tired legs. I made it back to the car, sat down for the first time in hours and 15 minutes later Adam came running down the path. That was a good tiring day!
I have to give big KUDOS to Adam who not only ran his first Marathon distance that day, but ran his first ultra distance in the same run! As always thanks for being a great, happy running companion!