Another spectacular and fun K-100 relay.
Once again, the K-100 relay turned out to be a beautiful day with a number of fun surprises and great running results. We had a number of former runners return to the team (Glen and Lynn) and Brian Banks joined us for the first time.
Although we finished a bit slower than last year, the team set 3 leg records, had 2 top finishes, and finished as the 15th team overall.
Here’s how the weekend unfolded.
Warren and I left Edmonton to meet up with Grant in Cochrane. My week was extremely hectic and it was a great relief to finally relax and prepare for the exciting weekend ahead of me. I was even able to sneak in a nap on the way to Cochrane and relieve some physical stress.
On the drive down, I thought about how quickly the year had gone by. It felt like deja vu, mostly because we did the same itinerary as last year (leaving on a Thursday night after work). I was thinking that I wish I had more hours of training in, but the K-100 relay is a mostly fun race and I didn’t want to get overly competitive.
Grant, Warren, and I picked up Dan from the Calgary airport. He flew in from Naniamo that morning for the race (that’s dedication!) We grabbed a fancy lunch in downtown Calgary and then drove to Canmore to do a short fun run. Grant stayed home to rest, so Warren, Dan and I decided to run in the adventurous Canmore Nordic Trails.
I really enjoy the Canmore Nordic trails ever since doing the Grizzly Ultra a few years ago. There are a couple of rad twisty trails that you won’t find anywhere else.
After the run, we drove to the Nakiska Delta hotel to meet up with the rest of the team. The night before the K-100 relay is always a great mixture of fun, relaxation and anticipation. Kevin brought wine and treats for the team. After going for a short walk along the delta trail, we had a large meal in the hotel restaurant.
Kaptain Kevin Kassidy loves long flat boring roads, so he volunteered once again to do Leg 1. Kevin finished 19th place with a time of 1:22:38.
I chose to leg 2 this year. Not because the course looked appealing, but because I felt like I needed to do a new leg and it would be nice to get it out of the way and enjoy watching the race for the rest of the day.
There were a couple of 7:00am teams ahead of us starting my leg, and we had already begun catching the 6:00am runners. I didn’t really have a plan for this race, but I wanted to compete with the 7:00am group. Within the first 5 minutes, I caught two of the 7:00am runners and another 6:00am runner.
So far, so good, but it didn’t take long for me to start thinking about the finish line. My body felt heavy and I was struggling to run low 4 minute kilometers. It was nice to have my garmin so that I could see how far I was into the leg. To keep my mind occupied while running, I broke up the distance into 2 kilometer repeats. The team provided water support every 2km so I could use them as a mini-milestone and surge to each mark.
My 2 kilometer repeat method was working pretty well. It kept me motivated to push hard and then take a short water rest to recover. At around the 12km mark, my legs started to give out on me and I had to work extra harder to maintain the pace. I knew that I better toughen up and try to find some patience as I still had 4.5 km to go.
The last kilometer was the toughest. My leg strength was mostly gone and the transition area never seem to become visible. As I made it to the end and tagged Glen, I saw my time was 1:12:30. For some reason, the timers swapped my time with the Mito runner that I passed at the beginning. Oh well, it was a team record and I was able to get 8th place, much better than I thought I would on this day.
Glen ran valiantly and finished 93rd overall with a time of 1:44:26.
Claudette (jaws) looked hungry on her leg. She never looked slow or laboured. She finished 21st place in a time of 1:06:30.
Warren had high aspirations for his leg. He was chasing a time of 1:20:00. Warren ran courageously with a time of 1:24:28, good enough for a team record by over a minute.
Lynn battled the extreme downhills of Leg 6 and finished with a great time of 42:29 and 24th place.
Darren prepared well for the race and didn’t disappoint. He set a new team record with a time of 1:04:12 beating the previous record by 6 minutes! His sub 4 minute kilometer pace got him a 8th place finish.
Our west coast runner Dan ran smoothly with a time of 1:12:26, good enough for 14th place.
This was Brian’s first experience at K-100. Brian finished 30th overall on a very competitive hilly leg with a time of 53:24.
Grant finished off the day for us with a 49th place finish and a time of 1:24:25.
Grant tooks us on a fun and challenging run on the Jumping Pound trail. The air was moist and cool which allowed us to have a nice recovery run.