5 Peaks Ugly Sweater Holiday Trail Run Reminders

Ok, we’ve only got 2 more sleeps until we close out the trail running season with the running party of the year!  I’ve compiled a point form list of everything you need to know/bring/do:

  • UGLY SWEATER!  You need one of these.  If you can’t find one that’s festive enough, or ugly enough, pro tip : use an old sweater, or a cheapie from V V Boutique, and go to the dollar store, and add actual decorations to the sweater.  You don’t even need to be crafty to literally hang ornaments off yourself!
  • $20 Cash.  This is your admission fee!!  You will receive with this you run, a fun Christmas themed marked course, refreshments, a souvenir, some samples, and TONS of potential to win prizing!  **kids under 5 are free **
  • Christmas Baking – totally optional, but there is a competition, and all you need to do is bring your baking to enter.  Participants will vote, and the winning baked goods will receive an entry to a 5 Peaks race of their choice for 2014 (or Yeti race!)
  • Outerwear for the Homeless.  We are collecting jackets, coats, scarves, toques, gloves, etc – anything warm that you’d like to donate.
  • Your friends, family, co-workers!  This is an event for one and all!  You can come ANYTIME between 8-12, and run or walk, as many or as few laps as you want.  1 loop is approximately 4K. 
  • If you’re driving, you’re parking at the lot at the very end of Lilloet Road with all the speedbumps.  If you are taking transit, you are going to End of the Line Cafe (Lynn Valley Road & Dempsey) and walking 1K to the Learning Lodge/Gazebo.
  • Warm change of clothes – Bring a jacket at the very minimum, but it’s always handy to have some dry clothes so that you have the option of hanging around, socializing and not freezing your buns off.
  • Your Holiday Cheer!  I’m so excited to see new and old friends, and provide an opportunity that allows everyone to be involved, be social, be a part of the amazing trail running community that we have here in Vancouver.
  • Your Smile!  The one and only amazing photographer for 5 Peaks in BC, Rob Shaer is going to be at the event on Saturday, and capturing our ugliness in photos!  YES!
  • By the way, for those wondering, the course has been set, and we’re part on the closed Seymour Valley Trailway road before going into the Circuit 8 trail for some nice rocky rooty muddy fun!
  • Last but not least….I cannot stress this enough – I am GIVING AWAY one Season’s Pass for ALL 5 of the 5 Peaks 2014 races.  You MUST be registered for a Season’s Pass to be in the draw.  ALL registered runners who attend Saturday’s run will be entered in the draw.  This prize is worth over $200, and the odds are VERY GOOD to win!  If you plan on running 3 or more of the races for next year, the best value is to purchase your pass now, plus you receive one of the 500 limited custom 5 Peaks 2014 tech shirts.  Registration is happening now here!

Hope to see everyone out there on Saturday!



Phantom 24K Trail Race 2013 – Race Recap

My 22nd race of the year, was the Mountain Madness Phantom Race, the 24K route.

The Phantom is a staple to the end of the trail running season in Vancouver, and in previous years I’ve run the 12K, and the 19K (a couple times), but I have yet to try the 24K.  Considering I’m training for a 50Miler in just a few short weeks, I decided to man up to the longer distance. Not to mention Jeff, Dave, Shea, and Melissa were all doing the 24.  Sigh, peer pressure always works on me.

I was a bit worried about racing on legs that had been running every day of November for the #beaststreak, but I decided to give it a whirl.

Turns out, I had the right idea being worried, my legs were NOT in the mood to race on Saturday, and it was not a terribly pleasant morning, running wise for me…

But, seeing so many of my wonderful friends always makes it bearable.


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5 Peaks Ugly Sweater Holiday Trail Run

The holidays are a time for celebrating with friends and family, and also a time for acting a little goofy!  The Ugly Sweater Party has been a favorite of many, and this year, I’m pleased to be hosting the very first Ugly Sweater Trail Run! 

5Peaks - Ugly Sweater

Intrigued??  You better be!  All the details inside this post…

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Introducing…Team FOMO – Baker Lake Party

You may have noticed a trend in the ladies I chose to spotlight from the 5Peaks Ladies of the Trails, in that most of them are members of what we fondly refer to as Team FOMO.

What is FOMO you may ask?  It’s the “Fear Of Missing Out”.  While you may think you don’t have a case of FOMO, it’s likely that you’ve experienced it.  All your friends going to a concert but you don’t love the act?  But, you pony up and go anyways, because everyone is going.  Ya, that’s FOMO.  Don’t really feel like grabbing a post-run coffee, but everybody else is going?  You’re likely to jump in your car and go too.


Now that you know what FOMO is, let me tell you about how Team FOMO was created.

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5Peaks – Whistler Trail Race – short & sweet

Home and relaxing on the couch after a whirlwind overnight trip to Whistler for the annual 5Peaks Whistler race on top of Blackcomb Mountain, I’m looking back at this morning, and I’ve decided that I’m going to see it as a success (I wasn’t so sure post race…)

I shaved exactly 3 minutes off last year’s time, on the same course, and last year I took over 5 mins off my time from 2011.  So, taking off 8 minutes in 2 years, it’s definitely forward progress.  But the truth of it is, I struggled, and have been struggling on these shorter/faster races.  I’ll elaborate on my full race recap, but for now, know that I’m actually excited to have the next 4 weeks off from racing.  I know I need the break, and I’m going to take full advantage and enjoy it.  The final 5Peaks race of the season, Buntzen Lake Sept 28, I’m going into it with fresh, not “just raced 83kms in the 2 weekends prior” legs!

Regardless, today was a great day in Whistler.


My Official Stats : 1:29:21 – 9/16 females 20-29, 116th overall out of 210 finishers

Results can be found here.

Full recap to come!




5Peaks – Cypress Trail Race – short & sweet

I’ll admit it – Saturday’s race was probably a bad idea.  Sigh.  It’s the age old Solana battle; I don’t have the mental skills to slow down and casually run a race as a training run, and I believe/hope/wish that my body recovers faster than it actually does.  This usually ends in disaster, and I try to learn from it, and I do less not-so-smart things, but I’m not totally exempt from these bad decisions.

5Peaks Cypress was such an amazing race for me last year, that the idea of skipping this race, didn’t even cross my mind, even though it was only 7 short sleeps after my first KneeKnacker.  I had a very tough race on Saturday, which I’ll go into detail about in my full race recap, but for now, know that I realize my mistake (again), and that while Saturday morning felt like a death march, I’m feeling much better today.

And plus, any excuse to have Rob take more bad ass photos of me, right??

2013 5 Peaks BC Cypress Web-221

My Official Stats : 1:38:04 – 12/15 females 20-29, 104th overall out of 166 finishers

Photos can be seen here, and results here.

Full recap to come!




BMO Vancouver Marathon – DNF – Partial Race Recap

Sigh, it would be really easy to ignore my 7th race of the year.  But, that’s not why I started this blog, and I have never ignored the negatives to focus on the positives.  Our running journeys are made up of good times and bad times, and we need to accept and embrace them all.

Besides, running a local marathon means that you’re connected to so many others out there, and that was definitely the case for me.  I can feel sad for myself, but I can’t ignore all of my friends and family that were out in there in the sun, doing what they love (or hate?)  Congrats to everyone who ran on Sunday, and to everyone who finished a tough race!


Spoiler alert :  I did not finish.  I mentally pulled out around 15 kms, and actually left the course around 26.5 kms.  Since I didn’t finish, does it still count as a race? 

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Whidbey Island Marathon – Race Recap

My 6th race of 2013 was my goal road race for the year.  A road marathon, that was going to blow my post recent marathon PR out of the water (BMO Vancouver 2012 – 3:57:47).  I have grown so much as a runner, especially in the past year, and I planned on proving that on the road on Sunday.


Spoiler alert :  I beyond proved myself.  I took 22 minutes off of my marathon PR, crossing the finish line in 3:35:51. 

The full recap is long.  It was an incredible racing experience, that for me, was all about lessons, and learning about myself.  I feel as though I learned more in the 3 and a half hours I spent running on Sunday, then I’ve learned in the past few years of living.  Marathons are not easy, they require so much focus, training, motivation, and desire that they can drain a runner completely by the time we cross the finish line – emotionally, physically, and mentally, we are empty.

On Sunday, I was left more emotional, and drained than after any other race in my past.

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