Friday, July 22, 2011

Dirty Feet

Last Sunday I got Dirty Feet! It was my first ever trail race (the Dirty Fee trail race series), being held locally in the gorgeous Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. Kal' Lake was named by National Geographic as one of the 10 most beautiful lakes in the world, and I certainly couldn't disagree. It's one of our favourite hiking spots with spectacular views and only a few minutes drive from our house (in fact we can also hike straight from our front door up the hill to get an awesome view of Kal Lake - that along with Okanagan Lake, Woods Lake and Duck Lake - hey we live in 'Lake Country' right?!)But back to the race. They had several distances but due to a certain amount of apprehension on my part I decided to start 'easy (?!)' and just signed up for the 5km run. Whilst I'm running regularly these days I run on the road, and (more to the point) I run on pretty flat terrain. The idea of hills and trail was enough to make me run - in the opposite direction! Chris encouraged me by agreeing to take part as well (what a good egg, since he hasn't trained!) So....
Bright and breezy on a decidedly overcast Sunday morning there we were. The start/finish line was right at the beach and there were 200 other daft people hanging around. It was a fabulously organised event with awesome sponsorship from North Face, Probar and Valhalla Sports (a great local outdoor clothing shop which likes to eat pay cheques for breakfast!). The 10k-ers and half marathoners headed off then it was our turn.

We set off a a surprisingly sedate pace (normally in road races everyone sprints away like gazelles!). Being narrow tracks there was little option for over-taking to start but since the hill climb started almost immediately after the first bend in the track it didn't matter, and I was thankful to discover that trail runners don't run all the time....and so the walking up hills bit started. And mostly went on for the next 2km.

Now I am lucky that so far in my limited running 'career' I have had the good fortune to be able to run downhill without pain (is that going to be the kiss of death now? - I AM touching wood?!) So once we got as high as we were going, I was in fine form. In fact I loved the second half of the race! My pace increased significantly and I was flying. There were three other people around me, and from time to time we would overtake each other, then get overtaken - back and forth! (And that little competitiveness in me was rather pleased I finally pipped the one couple to the finish line in the last 1/4km! - but thanks guys for the pacing along the way!)

I was pretty surprised and delighted to finish in just over 36 mins - 13th place! (lucky for some!)

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