Walk In the Park 54K
Drove to Kamloops, BC Saturday and stayed with Diane McKelvey, the same woman I stayed with for my trip to Blackfoot 100K. We had more time to chat and I found out that she is a vet who specializes in felines. She has four cats. I also met her son Alec, who at the age of 17, ran from Merritt to Kamloops, a 104K distance, in 2 days.
The race started at 7:45AM on Sunday, September 3. It was pretty warm already and the temps got into the upper 90s. We had to run 3 very difficult 11 mile loops. All told, there was 7700í of elevation gain. The title for the race is a misnomer! It was definitely not a walk in the park! For those who have run at Lake Youngs, imagine that steep hill near the start but more technically challenging and about 50 of them for this entire run. It was craaaazy! Then add to that increasing warmth as the day goes on. I was soooo thirsty the entire run, even though I drank profusely. Everything tasted so good, except my Gatorade. But I wanted to make sure that I didnít become hyponatremic, so thatís what I tried to drink mostly instead of water. At the last aid station with 7K to go, I downed a ton of water and Coke. I wanted to just stay there and drink and drink, but I had to get going. I passed a woman at the start of the second loop who finished the first loop before me, but she was fading fast. At the start of the third loop, she was quite a bit behind me, and I knew that all I needed to do to clinch third place was to keep moving forward. It took me 7 hours and 7 minutes. The first man was 6:12, followed by the first woman in 6:29, then the next woman with 6:55, then me. There were people there doing 1 and 2 laps. At the start, 30 runners had intended to do the whole thing, but when I left, 50% had what they call an honorable exit (HE), where they bailed after 1 or 2 loops. They donít believe in DNFs there. Alec managed to finish 2 loops stating that he had not trained enough to run the whole thing. Boy, did I wish that I could have quit after two loops. By the third loop, my shins started to cramp. This was the only place that didnít cramp at Eagle. I guess they felt left out and decided to cramp. That slowed me down enough that I couldnít manage a sub-7hr finish. But no matter, I still came in 3rd woman to earn extra points for the Trophy Series. Plus, I have a 100 miler in 6 days. I needed to hold back a little. Maniac Al Harmon was there. He recently completed the Canadian Death 125K Race. I didnít have time to stick around and see him finish, but it was good to see him. Diane finished despite little training after a torn meniscus in May.
This is low cost, low key event that I thoroughly enjoyed. Because it is in the Trail Runner Trophy Series, I decided to make the trip. The run itself would definitely beckon me to go back, but the distance to travel is significant. I was so wired after the run that I had no trouble with the 5 hour drive back home. Then I didnít sleep a wink all night!