Monday, June 16, 2008

Jogging for Jugs, 24 Hours with Team Mudd and Ranting in Squamish

So after spending last weekend pacing for 9 hours in the less than stellar conditions at Vancouver 100. I decided to have a "fun" weekend. Now my definition of fun may not quite match normal definitions, but if the looks on my co-workers faces are of any indication after telling them what crazy run I did the previous weekend, it's a pretty safe bet that it's not going to be pretty.

Saturday morning we (Doug, Cat and I) went to Point Roberts for Jog for a Jug. Basically a run around the town of Point Roberts starting and ending at the Reef Tavern. It's 11.2km of rolling hills and flat sections and instead of a finisher's medal, you get a jug (pitcher) of beer. The run wasn't too bad, although I hadn't run road in a while and certainly not anything approaching speedwork. Being a visitor, i wore my Captain Canuck top to show 'em how we roll in Vancouver.

The run started at 11:10am (I'm guessing this was to allow the Reef time to actually start serving beer at the conclusion of the race). Small uphill and then a flat road to a right handed turn. I may have started a little too fast on this section. This was confirmed as I made the turn and started sweating buckets. A little climb, crossed the border lineup, then a sudden descent. Made up some time here but I was going really hard down this section. Saw a water stop and walked through it downing a cup of cold water. Another flat section and another right turn. Turned left after an exposed road section. I'm really starting to feel the heat, maybe this jersey wasn't a good idea after all. A water stop later and the sun is out in full force. Finally I'm 100m to the finish line and I resolve to finish strong. This resolve lasts about two seconds as Doug has snuck up behind me and puts on the jets. Damn it! I elbow him in the throat, but he just shrugged it off. I guess he smelled more than the barn, he smelled the beer! I

I cross the finish line about a quarter of a second after Doug does (51:26) and I think I'm gonna hit the puke zone. This is a first, I'm gonna hurl before I even have the beer. Fortunately I was able to recover and graciously hand Doug a straw (all the better to drink with) to get our pitchers and pictures taken. We secure some lawn chairs in the patio section of the tavern and wait for friends who show up about 10 - 15 minutes later. Some friends can't stay the whole time and gave us their pitchers of beer. Well, if you insist! I think I consumed 2.5 pitchers and Doug had 3.5, but my memory is a little hazy at that point.

From Jog for a Jug, Doug and I went to the Easters Seals 24 Hour Relay at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, but not before getting something to eat at Subway. Doug was running with his corporate team BLG and I was to be pacing some of the ultras Glenn aka Mudrunner and Barb Owen, both very accomplished endurance athletes. We got to the track around 4pm, so they were running for about 6 hours (started at 10am) and it was starting to get even warmer. Mudrunner looked good, Barb, less so. Both had their aid/crew tents next to each other. I ran with Barb for a lap and then with Remax because they offered me a T-shirt and beer (no,I haven't had enough).
Went home and tried to rest, slept for a fair bit and got up around 4:30am. Damn it! I was supposed to be pacing Muddy for the night section (fortunately he had lucked out and Sukhi paced him from 8pm onwards or 50 miles!). When I got to the stadium at 5:20, Muddy was at Mile 95 and needed two laps to go to get his goal of a sub 24 hour 100 miler. In addition to Sukhi, Mike Wardas and Jen from North Shore Athletics had joined the fun as well. So with 4 pacers providing positive reinforcement, Glenn started Lap 39. We walked up the first hill exiting the stadium, past the porta potties, Glenn picked the best terrain for his feet which in this case was the grass and singletrack instead of pavement. It was a little cool but we warmed up quickly. Along the way Glenn regaled us with tales from the trail, trying to dodge frisbees, soccer balls, footballs, and drunk relay runners. We finished the penultimate lap in 32 minutes. Final lap and we're moving along at a decent clip. It was almost like Glenn was trying to drop his pacer?!? I voiced my concerns and had them confirmed. Glenn was going hard for the last little bit and rounded the track and finished in 20:36! Glenn ran a sub 24 100 miler and celebrated his birthday in grand style. Technically Glenn still had 3:24 to run additional laps, but he was having none of that! We settled into some easy camp chairs and snuggled under some sleeping bags and took a well deserved break waiting for the sun to come out.

Barb was just 1 lap shy of her 100 mile goal and the other ultrarunner, the Lone Wolf called it after 80 miles. There was a brief panic when the race organizer and the lap counters at Money Mart only had Glenn at 75 miles, but Mrs Mud produced the log book with every lap split written down to the second.

After the award ceremonies and the 24 hour relay had concluded, I decided to head out to Squamish for Bonkfest II: The revenge! I got to the Powerhouse loop around 12:40pm and the sun was really bearing down. I knew that since Bonkfest started at 7:30 - 8:00am, that they had completed one lap and were well on their way for Lap 2. So I headed out with my Nathan Pack and started climbing Nine Mile Hill. Now on Saturday, there was the Test of Metal Bike race which is about 67km long and has some of the top mountain bikers from North America competing in it. I was continually reminded about this race going up Nine Mile Hill as I kept seeing discarded used gel packets along the trail. Ring Creek rip was somwhat worse as there were quite a few water bottles left.I picked up as many as I could find, but this proved futile as now my hands were covered in strawberrybananachocolateorangemochavanilla gooey sticky gel. For all the bikers who couldn't be bothered to stash their empty gel packets in their spare pocket, please refer to the second picture. Nuff said.

Next week is the Brick workout in Squamish again, where we will run on the Test of Metal course for about 38 km on Saturday and 28km on Sunday. Should be a blast, I think everybody will get bonus points for garbage collection if last Sunday was any indication.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Vancouver 100

So long day and night this past Saturday. Got a 3 hour 15 min training run on the Stormy 100 mile course, granted I was only on course for 1:45, but it was good runnable trail. Then I found out the RD has to change the course due to the actions of some relay members from last year's running. Sigh. Hopefully not too much has changed.

After finishing at 11:30am, drove back from Squamish to Horseshoe Bay to see the winner of the Vancouver 100km, Bill Dagg, at the halfway point. After he refueled after seeing his crew, I ran with him for a little while until we saw the next runner. This turned out to be 40 minutes later! I ran back with two more runners, Neil and Mike. (whose gel flask had blown up and leaked its contents all over his shorts, eeeew) I relaxed and got some food and then after hanging out for a bit, headed back home to get ready to pace my friend Jess for the last quarter of the 100km.

I met Jess and her other pacer Michelle at 1am Sunday morning at Cleveland Dam. Jess had some knee problems and had to change into her road shoes as her trail runners were giving her too much grief. This had reduced Jess to a walk. A strong purposeful walk, but a walk all the same. It took over nine hours in wet miserable conditions but Jess finished with a smile on her face and a song in her heart. Well, okay, maybe not a song per se.

Next up for me is Jog for a Jug in Point Roberts, WA, then it's back to more night running at the 24 hour relay this coming Saturday.