Last Sunday Chris and I ran the Dirty Feet trail run race in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. Dirty Feet host a number of trail running and mountain bike races throughout the summer (plus snowshoe runs in the winter). This was my 4th Dirty Feet race and once again I cannot say how well organized it is, how incredible the sponsors are and the very reasonable registration fees – it’s all just flat out awesome!
I was signing us up at the last minute and I’d normally sign up for the 10km distance but when I was registering I noticed the race start times; 9:30am! Whoa – with temps in the late 20’s all week and with no forecast for change I wimped out of the 10km and instead signed us up for a wee 5km! Still just as awesome but since I’d been struggling with the temps this last week in training I couldn't mentally wrap my head round a 10km starting so late in the morning (I was dying out there at 7:30am!!)
We headed out early on race morning to leave ourselves plenty of time for packet pickup since we hadn't been able to get there ahead of the day itself. Kal Lake Provincial Park is such a pretty place on the shores of Kalamalka Lake. Interesting most (all I think actually) of the shoreline within the park boundaries is only accessible on foot – at least a 5 minute walk from any trail head or parking spot and some of the beaches are nearer a ½ hour walk! The start/finish line for our race was around 5 minutes down a steep hill to one of those beaches – it is an awesome spot!!
The thing with 5km races is they’re over so darn quickly. Chris made a break for it right at the start line. There’s some steep uphills in the first mile or so, but his mountain goat tendencies got him out near the front. I stayed front(ish) of the main pack with plenty of walking uphill to start – it’s inevitable of course with trail running but they always seem to start on an uphill – right when I’m struggling to find my groove and get my breathing comfortable! At about the 1.4 mile point we crested the last of the hills and it was a downhill course there on in. And I love my downhills! I came in at 33 minutes having ran hard for the last 2 miles or so, switching back and forth with 2 other runners close by me (I beat one, and one beat me across the finish line at the end!)
Dirty Feet races lay on a mean snack table post-race – gotta love the big buckets of gummy bears, jelly beans, chips and crisps, granola bites, along with bananas and orange segments and plenty of eload and water to wash it down with. After grabbing a handful from the table we took the extra half dozen steps further for a dip in the lake to cool off. The water was gorgeous and clear, completely still and deliciously refreshing. I normally play around in the lake rather than actually swim, but today I set my sights on a buoy offshore and swam out and around that!
We took our time after the race, cheering other runners in. Since there was also a 10km and 21km distance happening at the same time there were plenty of people coming in after us. We just laid out our towels in the sun and took in the atmosphere (and snacks!)
It was sometime after that Chris was speaking to the organizer about something else when she mentioned that he’d come in 3rd overall Male in the 5km!! Then of course it was even more reason to hang around – my man got a medal!
And another thing… that totally rocks about Dirty Feet – their draw prize tables!! Seriously these guys rock the sponsorships and the table was chock full of clothing, vouchers, gadgets and more from the sponsors (it’s laid out ahead of time so you can ‘shop’ the prizes and check out what you hope to win! When they’re doing the draw there’s quite the adrenaline pumping when you’re hoping no-one ahead of you grabs the item you've got your eye on!) Anyway Chris, not only scored his medal and gift card to our local North Face shop for his third place result, he then got an early draw ticket and picked up a really nice long sleeved Arcteryx tech tee shirt – sa-weet! As for me, I was lucky to win a prize - I think my ticket came up about 5th from the end so it was slim pickings to choose from, but it goes to show how awesome all the gear was – I still lucked out with a nice pair of tech running socks!