The North Face San Fran 50Miler – Race Recap – Short Novel Version

I wrote the point form version of my race recap yesterday, and while it was easier to organize and cut my race down into sections, it really didn’t fulfill my need to blog.  The reason I blog first and foremost, is to work through the emotions of an experience and grow as a person.  Secondly, is to inspire others to realize they can do so much more than they think they can.  Thirdly, is about my experiences helping others.  What works for me won’t work for everyone else, but it can provide ideas, insight, and can help others with their own preparations or races.  While point form was easy and concise, it just isn’t me, and such a big experience deserves a novel long blog post.


So, grab yourself a coffee, and have a read on my experience running my first 50Miler, The North Face Endurance Challenge, San Francisco Goretex 50 Mile race.  Yep, that’s a mouthful of a race name.

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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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Lake Padden Trail Half 2013 – Race Recap

My 20th race of the year, was my second running of the Lake Padden Trail Half in Bellingham, WA.

One of my favorite races from 2012, I knew I had to go back and run it in 2013.  But, my body hasn’t gotten the memo either year, that this is a fun race to run!  It has revolted both years, and unfortunately, I’ve had to drag my ass around Lake Padden 2 years in a row.  Sigh.  At least I had a great time with my friends!


Anyways, the full recap, including photo’s from my wonderful husband and crew is now ready for you…

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Lake Padden Trail Half 2013 – short & sweet

My 20th race of 2013 is in the books, and it won’t go down as anything special, and actually it’s the first race that I’ve run this year that I haven’t bettered my time from previous years.  Sigh.  Just wasn’t my day out there.  I didn’t feel great the entire race, similar to last year at this same race, but this time, I didn’t have Cathy and Jessica to hunt down in front of me.  My body just didn’t co-operate, and my legs just wouldn’t do what I asked.  Officially almost 7 minutes slower than last year, a whole lot of pain and discomfort, but I did push my way through and finish, which is something to be proud of.

I’d rather not write a race recap when I have a bad race, but that wouldn’t be a real blog if I didn’t share both my ups and downs with you.  So, sit tight, and I’ll get the full recap up soon.

My Official Stats : 2:14:03 – 12/30 females 20-29, 36/119 overall females, 112th overall out of 226 finishers.  Full results can be found here.

Full recap to come!




Baker Lake 50K 2013 – short & sweet

My 19th race of the year, was my 3rd ultra of 2013, the Baker Lake 50K down in Concrete, WA with basically the world’s greatest group.  10 of us Canadian runners came down to conquer the 50K, and all 10 of us came through that finish line smiling!

As you know, race recaps take a while to get down on paper errrr computer, so sit tight, and in the meantime, here’s the cliff notes :

  1. A 5 min PR from last year’s race.
  2. My 2nd age group 3rd place placing in a 50K this year.
  3. Arch issues, but no knee pains.
  4. Blisters, but only on one foot??
  5. Even with lack of full training due to small injuries, I still came out with a PR, so I have to consider that a win.
  6. I’m a bit disappointed overall with my performance, I feel like I could’ve/should’ve run stronger/faster, and I actually felt like I was running stronger during the race than my actual time, so it’s a bit disappointing.
  7. It was the perfect day weather wise, the course was as beautiful, if not more so, than I remembered.
  8. The best parts of my day were high 5′s and hugs along the race; getting to see all of our crew, each one looking strong and happy while running, and then being at the finish line to see them all finish.  So rewarding.


Here I am crossing the bridge just after the 25 turnaround aid station.  Heading back out for the second half, 3 hours into the race:


My Official Stats : 5:50:28 – 3/12 females 1-29, 9/85 overall females, 42nd overall out of 188 finishers.  There was some results inconsistencies due to 100K’ers dropping to the 50K, and having their times be 2 hours faster or no results at all, so these are slightly wrong right now.  Full results can be found here.

Full recap to come!




5Peaks – Buntzen 2013 – Trail Race – Race Recap

My 18th race of the year, was the 5th and final race of the 5Peaks 2013 series, the Buntzen Lake race on September 28th, 2013.


Spoiler alert :  For the first time in what feels like forever, I didn’t struggle in a shorter race.  Of course my race wasn’t perfect, and I still had to fight through to a strong finish, but it’s the first race I’ve really felt like myself, in a long time.  And it paid off, I finished the course 61st out of 145 finishers, 8th overall female, and 3rd in my age group! 

Check out my full recap & some fabulous pictures, like the one above, from the very talented Rob Shaer!

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5Peaks – Ladies of the Trails – Weekend Buntzen Runs

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…

2013-09-14 20.20.27Yep, that’s me if you look close!

Regardless, we had a fantastic day on the trails, let me tell you about it…

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5Peaks – Whistler 2013 – Trail Race – Race Recap

My 17th race of the year, was the 4th of the 5Peaks 2013 series, the Whistler – Blackcomb Mountain edition on August 24th, 2013.


Adam Campbell, the eventual winner of the Enduro course absolutely killing it out there!

Spoiler alert :  I struggled.  Similar to my last 5Peaks race at Cypress, I struggled along, didn’t feel great most of the race.  This time though, I was able to finish with a PR on this course of 3 mins faster then in 2012, so that’s definitely a positive.

Check out my full recap & some fabulous pictures, like the one above, from the very talented Rob Shaer!

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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!