I signed up for this race when I realized that Jon was going to be busy this past weekend and I didn’t want to spend the whole weekend at home alone, writing report cards. It helped that the distance fit what I had on my training schedule and the race was being held just minutes from my house.
I have not been training for a 8 km trail race, so my plan was just to run it and see what happened. I woke up the morning of the race feeling really tired but I’d paid my $15 and was meeting a friend so I decided to stop being so whiny and just go. Jon drove me a little closer to the race since I was late getting ready, and then I warmed up by running the 0.25 mile from the road to the park where the race was starting. I was really glad that I’d just ran over since parking was super busy. They don’t mention it on the website, but MEC has bike parking at their races – good to know for future races.
Once there I picked up my bib and just kind of hung out waiting. I ran into Tina and we chatted for a while.
She headed off to run the 12 km race, and I hung out waiting for the 8 km to start. There were only about 70 people racing the 8 km so it wasn’t crowded at all. The announcer led us in a little warm up and then we were off!
The first 1/2 km was fairly flat and then we started to climb – which I knew was going to happen since we had to get to the top of Nosehill. I hate hills but it was good to be forced to run them, and fast.
Mile 1: 9:53 min
Once we got to the top of the bluff it was relatively flat and it felt great. I was a little over dressed but there was a light breeze and it wasn’t too bad. I chatted with a guy who caught up to me for a while which is always a nice change from my solo running.
Mile 2: 10:22 min
The rest of the race was on the gently rolling trails along the top of the bluff. I’d run and walked here before so I was pretty familiar with it. The trails were well marked with flags so it was easy to follow. There was a water station at the 4km mark and I gulped down a glass of Nuun and a glass of water.
Mile 3: 9:05 min
Not too far past the water station we made the turn around to head back home and it felt awesome. The wind was all of a sudden more of a tail wind, and we were losing more elevation than we were gaining.
Mile 4: 8:30 min
And then the last mile was a wonderful downhill rush. My quads and hamstrings were starting to feel it by this point but I love downhill so I just ignored them. We crossed out of Nosehill back onto the bike path into Eggart’s Park.
Mile 5: 7:23 min
The course measured a little long on both my Strava and my Garmin but we finished with a short run across the park to the finish/start area.
It was pretty quiet in the finish area – I got some water and chatted with the guy I’d been running with and a few other finishers as they crossed the line.
After a bit I went to stretch (my hamstrings were protesting the hills) and just hang out until my friend finished his 12 km run. It was beautiful day out, and even though I was supposed to be at home writing report cards it was nice to just sit outside.
They posted the results on site while we were still there (yay!) and my final time was 46:33 – my goal time had been around 50 minutes so I was happy with this. I was pretty surprised to also find that I’d been the 12th finisher across the line and the 4th female overall in the 8km distance.
Shortly after that I headed home – I ran the 1.75 miles back to my house to stretch out (which I think was a good idea) and then got back to what I was supposed to be spending my day doing. I was definitely exhausted for the rest of the day but racing my training run turned out to be exactly what I’d needed to motivate myself. I loved the atmosphere at the race (and the price) so I will definitely be looking at more MEC races to give some of my training runs that extra edge.