The Canmore Challenge -Race Report

“How much further?” I asked the course marshall. 

 “About 2k” he replied, pointing to the 35 degree trail on my left

“ughhhh”  me

“The truth hurts”  him

No, I thought, running a 10 km mtn race with the top mtn runners in Canada hurts….

 The race was designated as the Canadian Mountain running championships with top spots earning racers a plane ticket to Europe to compete at worlds.  Needless to say the field was stacked, and folks were running like they meant it!  The American team came up to race, the Canadian team was sporting their colors and there was a few lurking sandbaggers(ie current and past olympic and national team x-c skiers)

Steve and I were joking on the start line about how we weren’t sure how we fit in to the group, neither of us had done that much intensity training in the last couple months and seeded ourselves at the back and decided to have fun with the race.  When the start gun rang I think we were both amazed at how the lead pack took off, the top 10 or so basically dropped us like we were hot and got on with business.

There was still lots of mini races in the middle, with Steve and I less than a minute apart for most of the race and lots of folks to chase and be chased.  I was really disapointed that the course was moved from Nakiska to the Nordic centre due to an aggresive bear in the area, but these things happen and the backup course was technical enough I thought to bare the title of a mountain run.  Rooty, winding and steep the course was hard with a memorable 2km grind to the finish.

I enjoyed the feel of the race, similiar to skimo races where most people know each other, wish good luck at the beginning and race for the love of it, clearly not for prizing or money(there was neither of both).  All in all it was one of the funnest races I’ve ever ran where I got my ass kicked so hard, and humbling and inspiring to see the fast folks do what they do best.

Thanks to Jeff, Julie, Deb and the girls for cheering us on.  Check out the race website

Unofficial Results HERE

The finish

We could see this spot from the top of the race course and Steve told me this' where he does his post race leg recovery soak..... always listen to local knowledge


3 Responses

  1. nice tan, buddy.

  2. you mean tan lines right?

  3. Nice work Ian, as always I admire your intense desire to suffer.

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