Tuesday, 26 January 2016

25 mile Mini Beast of Burden

I remember in 2008, I didn't want to sign up for the Robbie Burns race, because I wasn't sure I wanted to run a whole 8K in the cold!  Fast forward to 2016 and I'm getting ready to run 25 miles.  In northern New York state.  In January.

Agnes and I don't run without taking pictures.

The hilarious thing is the 25 mile is called the Mini Beast, equivalent of doing the 5K at a marathon race weekend.  When I signed up, I mistakenly thought BoB was a jaunt through the woods.  Nope, the weather and the snow conditions is what makes the race tough.  If the weather had been warmer, the course would be very similar to the beach path in Hamilton. 

Let's get the negatives out of the way first.

1. The course, while not as boring as say, a suburban subdivision, was still really boring. Flat as a pancake, and basically the same scene, with the canal on one side, and trees/road on the other side for the entire 25 miles.
This could have been anywhere on the course.
I only know this is the way back because the canal is on the left.

2.  The race wasn't chip timed.  Which led to this amusing timing snafu:
3:34:21.  Faster pace than my marathon PB.  1st woman. A course record.  HAHAHAHA!!!

The positives:

1. Amazing atmosphere.  Only in ultras/trail races do people say "good job" when you pass them!  

2. Awesome aid stations.  I got a blister fairly early on and had to tape my foot at the 20 and 30K aid stations.  I sat down in a chair, and a friendly volunteer asked both times what they could get for me. (bandaids, vaseline, tape, ibuprofen) and they took care of my foot while I concentrated on eating and drinking.  What service!

The aid stations had crispy M&Ms.  OMG how I have missed you in Canada!
3.  The weather.  There was a horrible wind early in the morning in Niagara, but wind was totally a non-factor.  The temperature was just cold enough to make me feel badass, but I was never freezing to death at any point.  There was just enough snow on the ground to make the running challenging.

The RD and I.  He took pictures individually with every finisher.

My finisher's coin.
Excellent swag.  The sweatpants are so comfy.

Official time: 5:30:17
Garmin time: 5:14:37 (turned off at aid stations)
Field placement: 13/22
Gender placement: 6/12
AG: 30-39
AG placement: 1/1 (WOOHOO!)