Race Report: K-100 Relay 2015

Another spectacular and fun K-100 relay.

Summary

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.

Thursday Night

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.

Above: Warren cruising through Canmore nordic trails.

Friday

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.

Above: Dan chasing Warren down the trail.

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.

Above: Delta hotel wine and snacking.
Above: Exploring the beautiful views of Nakiska.
Above: Kananaskis Golf Course
Above: Beautiful mountains.
Above: Partial team photo at Delta.
Above: Pre-race dinner at Delta hotel.

Saturday (Race Day)

Leg 1: Kevin Cassidy

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.

Above: Leg 1 excitement!
Above: Hello Lynn!
Above: Lynn and Grant reunion
Above: Kevin cruising on Leg 1.

Leg 2: Jordan McIver

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.

Above: No rest for Jordan on Leg 2.

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.

Above: Sweaty Jordan

Leg 3: Glen Horne

Glen ran valiantly and finished 93rd overall with a time of 1:44:26.

Above: Brian providing shade to Glen on Leg 3.

Leg 4: Claudette Augert

Claudette (jaws) looked hungry on her leg. She never looked slow or laboured. She finished 21st place in a time of 1:06:30.

Above: Jaws hunting down prey on Leg 4.

Leg 5: Warren Fink

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.

Above: Warren doing his 2 minute warmup for Leg 5.
Above: The big hill on Leg 5.
Above: Go Warren Go
Above: Leg 5 finish. New team record!

Leg 6: Lynn Richards

Lynn battled the extreme downhills of Leg 6 and finished with a great time of 42:29 and 24th place.

Above: Lynn on Leg 6.
Above: Claudette and Jordan selfie
Above: Lynn flying on the downhill.

Leg 7: Darren Deveau

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.

Above: Darren is on a mission for Leg 7.
Above: Darren is not touching the ground.

Leg 8: Dan Tietzen

Our west coast runner Dan ran smoothly with a time of 1:12:26, good enough for 14th place.

Above: Dan feeling good on Leg 8.
Above: Dan pushing hard on Leg 8.

Leg 9: Brian Banks

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.

Above: Brian peacefully waiting for Dan.

Leg 10: Grant McIver

Grant finished off the day for us with a 49th place finish and a time of 1:24:25.

Above: Team Photo at Nakiska ski lodge.

Sunday Morning Run

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.

Above: Sunday Jumping Pound trail run.
Above: Sunday Jumping Pound trail run.

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