Friday, June 01, 2007

Cabot Trail weekend- even more gory details

Ouch, ouch, ouch! It's now Friday, 6 days later and the legs are still complaining! Did a short 30 minute stumble on Thurs and a 40 minute crawl today. Still hoping to get that 10k in on Sunday with Andrew but it may just be an easy run at the back at the pack. Well, back to the trail...

Did I mention the 6.2 k uphill climb? Remind me never to do this leg ever again! The first bit was only a moderate grade but it soon became single file, extremely steep climbing, just trying to stay on the heels of the yellow runner in front of me and to keep the heartrate from climbing to much over 90% of max. The last time I did this leg my goal was not to walk a step but this time it was just to survive in one piece and so when I found that power-walking was just as fast as running, well... it was powerwalking. Nobody passed me and I passed a few people doing this.
Our team was doing the 1st water stop on this leg and the theme was Welcome to Studio Nine (in honor of leg 9) complete with red carpet treament, music and screaming fans. No walking going through this section!
After the water stop it was still another 2-3k of climbing before it finally leveled off for a bit. By this time I had made friends with Mr Yellow who was from Fredericton, NB and we cruised along at a good pace while looking out for moose. Didn't see any, just lots of tracks along the road. We were also amazed at the amount of snow in the ditches at the top of the mountain.

Next came the hard part (for me), the trip down the other side which is about the same length and steepness as going up. Despite my best efforts at going with the force of gravity, leaning down, running on the dirt on the side of the road, I was soon flapping my way down the crazy grade. I'm happy to report that very few people passed me that weren't again re-passed on the less steep parts. One lady went flying by us (still with Peter, he has a name now) and we gave her some encouraging comments but received no reply. We later re-passed her and again said, good job, keep it up but no reply. The next thing I knew I was pounding down the next grade with her right on my heels (literally) this went on for nearly a kilometer and she even clipped me once, and still not a sound! I should have got her number but then she suddenly dropped back and I didn't see her again. Here are the geeky Garmin details for the run; two things, its a big hill and the HR stayed up there for the most part.
The last few k was just more pounding, trying to get the thing over with and was running back and forth with Peter and another runner. At this point it was almost totally dark but you could see the lights and music of the welcoming finish line for the leg. My teammates were waiting for me with my only request for the end of the run, a nice hot cup of coffee! Boy, did it ever taste great! We then went into the restaurant and had a nice greasy meal since our runner for the next leg was not able to go due to injury.

On to the next leg where our new recruit in the red horns had a smashing time. Do we seem to be having a good time? Do you seen any people that aren't smiling in any of these pictures?
Followed by two more runners doing their night leg. Can you tell the sweaty one who just finished from the one ready to go?
And here is the insane water stop at leg 14 by the Viking team! Can you believe this in the middle of the night with loud music, lights, dancing Vikings in full armour, passing out water to the poor unsuspecting runner victims? Notice the skeleton hanging from the bow. They won the prize hands down!
And here is our happy runner, glad to be done being greeted by the team.
Next up was Martin whom I caught tying his shoes. Are you sure those are double knotted we asked?
And yet another runner, who was so relieved to be done. The waiting around can be very painful, especially for the newbies and we had quite a few this year. You know they all want to come back though don't you?
And here's our final runner (also called Mike) in a neck and neck sprint for the finish at the end of the final leg. The lady (Mike had another name for her) pushed him right to the line but her got her in the last strides. Way to go Mike!
What fun!
The finish line team at leg 16. Can't wait to do it again next year but no mountains for me, please!! Happy running ;-)


Jamie Anderson said...

Cool pics! You Scotians know how to put on a good event.

Olga said...

Glad you tried powerwalking and found it as fast on the steep climbs:) It rules! OK, may be not everywhere, but did I ever mention how I have a PR at 5k on a cross-country course while powerwalikng 3 major hills versus a flat road 5k? So yeah, here:)
Good fun, Mike!

D said...

You guys look like you had a great time! What fun. Here's to fast healing!