On Saturday, we had our first every weekend run for the newly formed 5Peaks Ladies of the Trails, pre-running both the Enduro & Sport courses for the upcoming Buntzen Lake race on Saturday September 28th!
I loved the idea of being able to host a weekend event, as well as being able to do it as an orientation run for the race. The Enduro course of Buntzen, the Diez Vistas, is a killer course. It’s not terrrrribly long, between 15 & 16 kms, but it’s super technical and challenging. Usually the views after the big hike is worth it, but it was a bit of a spooky morning, instead of the clear sky we were hoping for…
Regardless, we had a fantastic day on the trails, let me tell you about it…
Buntzen is one of my favorite places to run, since discovering it trying to pre-run the Diez Vistas as part of the “half marathon” that 5Peaks used to have.
Sigh, let me digress for a second. Ya, half marathon? Not even close. It’s about 27 kms! Cath and I signed up for it years ago, and we got terribly lost on our training run, and ended up billy goating up the side of a mountain, with only 1 water bottle and 1 bag of chews between the 2 of us. We never imagined it would be as tough as it was, it wasn’t half as well marked as it is today, and we just didn’t have a clue.
This is a big part of why I enjoy taking ladies out onto the trails, because I was an idiot, and did it ALL WRONG when I started. No map, no supplies, no guide, no real ramp up of distances. Nope, I just decided because I had run a few road half marathons, and I think like 14-16km on trails, that I could run a half marathon trail race. And while trails are always a bit of an estimate on distances, a trail half is going to be somewhere between 20 & 22kms. While, apparently they were smoking something very strong when deciding that 15.5 km enduro + 11.5 sport = half marathon…I mean c’mon, even I can do that math!!
Anyways, Cath and I survived, and after running the race, I swore I was never running for that long on trails again! Hah…
While Diez Vistas is a pretty intense run for beginners, I love knowing that these girls are going to have a better experience than my first time up there, since I’m making sure they have water, fuel, and are on the right trail the entire time! How I wish I had someone to show me the ropes when I started on this crazy journey…although, our Diez story is one of or fondest. I clearly remember thinking about buying someone’s water bottle off of them with the emergency money I had in my pocket. Hah. It’s amazing we still ran the race after our experience really…
Back to Saturday, we had a great group of 15 gals & 2 dogs for the Enduro loop!
We did a quick introduction of names and our trail experience in a few sentences, and we had a wide array of road runners that were trying their first ever trail runs, to runners who’d run a few KneeKnackers. Overall, you could just tell that it was a really genuinely nice group of women.
We were on our way not too long after 8:15, and headed out on the trails. We spread out a bit, to run whatever pace was comfortable, while waiting at every intersection to make sure no one got off the path. The first 1/3 of DV is definitely the hardest, and there’s a very long climb to get up to some amazing views. However, there was no views on Saturday. Like literally, none.
So, we’ll have to settle for pictures of trees and trails…
The amazing view!! Beautiful right??
As we got back down to the lake, the skies had started to clear, and we were treated to a view of the lake :
The suspension bridge at the North Beach is always a treat for me. It’s so fun to bounce across, and hitting that beach means that we’re on the home stretch, and there’s less than 30 mins to go, and 4 big hills, in case you’re wondering!
Whenever I take friends along this route, I like to let everyone open up on the last few kms, and run whatever pace they are most comfortable with. I find this is an awesome way to end off the run, as the route is beautifully rolling, and not terribly technical. It’s a lovely section to really stretch out the legs and finish strong.
AND, the sun was coming out as we were finishing, and the lake was looking gorgeous!
Everyone finished strong, and with a smile on their face! And waiting at our finish line was the wonderful Nikki!!!
As everyone stretched, I laid out my make-do aid station of bananas, oranges, hummus with cucumbers, carrots, broccoli & cauliflower, as well as 4 different kinds of juice from Bremner’s! Yes, the wonderful Terry Bremner, who I’ve gotten to know through trail races this year, donated juice and water bottles for the ladies to enjoy. Big thanks to Terry, the post run juice was delicious!!
We were also spoiled with wonderful prizing from 5Peaks, and Salomon West Vancouver. We had games such a naming everyone in the group, doing handstands, naming all 5 BC 5Peaks locations, naming Salomon sponsored athletes, a push-up competition, a wheelbarrow team competition, and a prize for the person who came the furthest, who was Rachel coming all the way from Chilliwack!!
A few pictures from our games :
After everyone, yes everyone received a prize of some sort, ranging from Salomon shirts/shorts, to 5Peaks buffs, bags and bib holders, we said our goodbyes, and the double course runners got ready to go back out.
Melissa, Candice, and myself had all committed to running both the Enduro & Sport courses, back-to-back. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you look at it, the only person to show up for the later Sport start was Nikki!
Yes, it was kind of disappointing, and also un-nerving, as some people had written on the Facebook wall that they were coming, but we were there, and there was no random girls wandering around…so off we went.
I’ll admit I didn’t realllllllly want to start running again, but once we got going, it was great. The fog had lifted so while it still wasn’t a beautiful sunny day, it wasn’t the creepy spooky greyness of the morning. And, I got to run WITH Nikki! We rarely get to run together, so it’s always a nice treat! And it’s fun to point out again that she’s really not as slow as she thinks!
As we came around the lake, we stopped at the viewpoint to snap a couple shots :
We passed the time by discussing ideas for the next Ladies weekend run, can you say glow in the dark Halloween run??? Don’t worry, I’m already working on details and will keep you posted. I have a feeling this next event will be epic.
Since Nikki didn’t really have anyone to compete with for a prize, and all she realllllllly wanted was Saskatoon Berry juice from Bremner’s, we let her take home that as her prize.
So, I guess for next time, we know that the last start is not a winner, and to try and run the long and short course at the same time? Thoughts?
Oh and I almost forgot to mention, Jeff Pelletier was there, and he’s working on a special 5Peaks & trail running film through Pacer Films! So, after our Sport course run, the girls did a little interviewing, while I goofed off :
Normally we show off our awesome kicks, well now we can show off not only our kicks, but also the delicious post run juice we enjoyed! Nom, nom, nom, SO tasty!!
Oh, and notice my new black & purple shoesies?? Those are the brand spanking new Salomon Fellraisers! They are a cross between the Speecross and the Mantra. Super comfy from the get-go, with a wide toe box. I think they will be better on more technical terrain (I only wore them for the second loop to break them in), but I was impressed with the shoes. I can definitely see them becoming a staple in my rotation of trail runners! You can get them now at Salomon West Van (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)
Thanks to everyone who came out and was a part of this inaugural event! It was such a blast, and I can’t wait to see how this group grows.