Its official! I have "enlisted" once again to try my fate and cheat death with a thousand or more crazy racers from all over North America and the world!
Last year I did Stormy 50 miler instead with my good friend Colette (I need to repost my race report..will do shortly - it is also on my profile on www.teamrunningfree.com) This year a bunch of friends are heading out to do both solo and relay. I am running solo again! this time I will finish! Training starts Monday...the plan is to get lean and mean by spring!!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Race: Squamish Test of Running Metal, YEAH! AKA….Stormy 50 Miler & 100 Miler
Date:August 8, 2009
Place: Squamish, BC
Sport:Ultra Trail Running
I’m finally getting around to putting my post-race airplane scratch into an e-report…kids family and a busy summer have kept me away from the computer!
After many hours of back & forth with Dee I finally decided to nix CDR this year as Ms Rispolie talked me off the ledge “lots of time and lots of races to chose from” she proclaimed…and I concured!…so I decided to tackle the Stormy 50 Miler in beautiful BC with my good friend Colette…this being a first for us both. Dee coined the phrase “Kelly Sufferfest” the beginning of 09 and most of my training this year involved “making Kelly suffer” and many of the gals joined in on the suffering …and she did just that and more…topped with 11.5 hours in Placid, months of long runs, steep ski-hills, rocky trails, 50K’s & sleepless nights wondering if my legs will take me that far….
Just an hour north of Vancouver you will find the tiny Beautiful Town of Squamish, BC…an Adventure Mecca of the West Coast that boasts “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada”…with sick vertical single track that any skilled thrill-seeking mountain biker seeks out with trails aptly named Roller Coaster, Tracks from Hell and Mashiter (??) to name a few..not to mention all that “UP” (7 of them…small & large they were still UP!)…you have the makings of a memorable first 50 Miler. Exactly how far is 50miles? Well…if you ran from Running Free in Markham to the new location in Barrie…that’s about how far it is!…and much faster in a car…
CT and I decided to take the 1hr early start as 80 clicks would be challenging enough considering the terrain/cutoffs, and we wanted to give ourselves the best shot at meeting all the cuts so we could cross the finish line…that was the goal…”You’re crazy…You’ll never finish”…Self doubt & painful memories from last year propelled me forward with CT as my rock to quiet the voices. Starting at 5am meant an hour of darkness which we loved because we got to bust out the headlamps and running into the light is pretty cool… somehow less intimidated we flew through the gnarly woods and by dawn we had already reached Aid1, dropped the excess baggage, quick refill and out in less than a min. We ran into the next trail cheering 11 more to go!
The trail was marked well but the technical downs got the best of both of us at one point and I lost sight of CT and curved left, and somewhere she managed to do the same. We were approx 5-10min apart until aid 9 where we hooked back up…our most amazing King of the Sherpas Glen kept tabs on us and as I pulled into an Aid he would say “Kel she is just up ahead”…and I kept pushing hard to catch her. Glen was awesome…quickly refilling & offering us options from all the things we prepped for him. Apparently the mileage was only 1.25 between 5&6..~2K…and the volunteers laughed at me when I said “2K right?” nope…about 8K…definitely not 2K and definitely NOT flat…We both think there was some extra cliks out there…which is daunting considering the freaks on the course that could run it in under 7hours (definitely not human..lol) Drop Bags were at Aid 7..approx 50K in..we got there just after lunch which we wanted as 9 mile hill was coming and prior to the race I said “lets aim for noon” as the cut was 230P, and that would give us extra time for the big loop & climb. I was thrilled…unfortunately halfway up I had the worst stomach/GI issues ever and I had found out from Glen that CT had the same thing only hers started earlier…we estimated at least an hour+ was lost “off the beaten track” & trying to make up for it meant more pain & suffering. We did all we could to get through 23K of straight up and down to reach the final 430P cut on the 2nd pass of the Powerhouse…after a long 1 hour hammerfest of somewhat easier downhill followed by more knarly singletrack (…”this has to be longer that 9.5K down!” we both declared…) we popped out of the trail onto familiar dirt road and I was still eyeballing the time…CT thought there were no more cuts as I continued to try and hammer the pace & take my mind to a place where I felt no pain…we knew we had a small climb to the aid and I said…”we have 3min!!!..We have another CUT!”…CT started to run….Friendly face Ward and Sherpa Glen were yelling at us and at the same time saying “YOURE OK!”…Thank God…We were able to finish pulling into the aid with a few minutes to spare…at that point we just wanted to “Shuter-Down” …Dee’s words from Placid rang in my ears… Coke and slices of orange were all we could choke down.
Its amazing what the mind will make the body do when you’re so close to the end. Pain is temporary quitting is forever…Quitting is easy…Moving forward through the pain & suffering no matter the cost is rewarding on so many levels. Last year someone pushed me forward knowing I wouldn’t finish…this year I pushed myself forward with some extra strength from the rockstar CT - Thanks for suffering with me!!…we got ourselves to the finish…only 11K to go….Shuter-Down…the last mile was the longest mile we ever ran….OMG we are insane…funny what you think about after 70K…Before the race we both agreed that no time could be wasted in aids…we were so efficient with the fantastic volunteers (who btw were out on course for over 30 hours as the 100miler event started the day before!) and our super-fantastic Sherpa. The only thing we didn’t account for was our bodies…the energy we kept feeding it just got rejected even though we both trained countless hours with the same – go figger! …we managed to brave the gnarliest steep vertical terrain, 6000ft of elevation gain, 4 falls, vertigo, nausea, cramps, pain, blood, sweat..but definitely no tears! (ONLY slight hyperventilating right after crossing the finish line…LOL) The joy of finishing 50miles & crossing the finish with a friend who suffered right along-side you is priceless. We didn’t finish in our 13hour time limit…but we still finished…13:31! And super proud as it was a first for us both Bloody tough when nature throws you a curve ball!
Queen Dee & the Team Rispolie Gang, thanks for helping me suffer this year….Hellgate, Placid, G.Peak, Speed, Nana’s Farm, Sulpher, Kanawha, Rockstar, Deerhurst & all lessons learned..all add up to helping my mind take my legs across the finish line no matter what!….When you’re a newbie everything feels like suffering…in the last 8 months we took the Sufferfest to a whole new level – Thanks Ladies! I now understand that I wouldn’t REALLY have died on that trail at 4am in the Blue Ridge Mtns!