Monday, 21 August 2017

Iroquoia Trail Test, 2017 edition

WHYYYYY do I keep doing this race every year? 4th year now.  I guess it's because it's a good late summer race, and it's nice to have company instead of grinding out long miles solo, and it's close to home.  At least this year the weather was far more comfortable than in 2015 and 2016.

This year's race fell on my cutback week, so I could sign up for the 18K and just add on a few more kilometres, instead of grinding through the 34.  Greg signed up for his usual 7K and we got there early to see the 34K people off.

Grace, Bogdan, Greg, me, looking spiffy in our Burly gear!
It was 7:58 and I thought I had 15 min to do a nice leisurely warmup..Greg said, "that's gonna be a really short warmup." "what?!" "the race starts at 8." "?!?!???!!!!"  There was an email sent out the night before with last minute instructions, including the start time change.  It should have been written in bold, flashing, red font but I just skimmed the email and didn't notice.  

I barely had time to recover from the shock when the race started.  Ran my own pace, got stuck in the bottleneck singletrack down to the canyon and opened up on the gorgeous flat at the bottom.

I knew I wasn't last, but there was a guy in front of me, mostly walking, and I thought I really should be in front of him.  I put on a surge on the wide doubletrack section and passed him.  Then came the nasty technical singletrack.  There were 2 girls, whose running pace was definitely faster than mine, but kept stopping (selfies, taking gels).  I guess they didn't know there was a lookout point and an aid station less than 1K ahead, but I'd pass while they stopped and then have to stop and step aside on the narrow singletrack to let them pass.  I don't mind doing this once, but I had to stop at least 3 times for them in the span of about 1K and in that time, walking dude had almost caught up to me.

Fortunately, on the second loop at the bottom of the canyon, I saw Robin and chased after her for about a kilometer, and I never saw walking dude again.

I was feeling pretty tired coming out of the canyon for the final time, there was a guy taking pictures yelling "GO BURLY!" and introduced himself as a fellow member.

Photo by Neil.
Finally, it was nice to see that Greg had stuck around waiting for me..I don't look terribly overjoyed, but I'm sure it's better than how I looked finishing the 34K last year.

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