Monday, 10 June 2013

Race Report - 5 Peaks - Alice Lake 2013

Time: 1:09:16
M4049: 13/35
Overall: 69/221
Shoes: Brooks Pure Grit 2

I signed up for 5 Peaks Alice Lake fairly last minute, not knowing what my schedule was looking like for the week. Weather predictions indicated sunny & clear so it looked like a good excuse for Leah to join me where we could go enjoy some time outside together after the race.
The sky was overcast as we left Vancouver and didn’t get any better as we were approaching Alice Lake. We were directed to the lower parking lot and while standing around waiting for the shuttle realized it probably wasn’t going to be the warm, sunshine-y good times we were hoping for. The shuttle seemed to be taking some time and it was getting cool just standing around so we started walking the 1k or so to the start, briefly in the wrong direction, but fortunately someone yelled to us in time. ;)
At the start line it was great to visit with the usual gang of troublemakers (Greg, Rob, James, Connie, Solana, Karl) and feel the excitement build. I didn’t have big expectations for this race other than to try and sneak in a little faster than my 1:12 last year, and, if I worked my ass off MAYBE get ahead of Solana. :) Mainly I’m just glad to be getting more trails in. Other than just being a whole lot of fun, they’re also great overall cross-training.
I started about midway in the 2nd wave and went out fast. This was my second year running this course and I knew the hills didn’t come until the latter part of the race so wanted to try and make some time while I could. By a couple kilometers in I was wondering if I’d made a mistake going out too fast as my lungs were burning during this undulating section. The hills weren’t steep but enough to let you know you were working for it. James caught and passed me fairly early on but I tried to always keep him in sight. I only had one quick tumble this race and it was early in this fairly flat, well-groomed area... of course!.

Photo by Robert Shaer
I was definitely working hard throughout and anticipating the climbs to come. It was fun hitting some of the more technical downhill stuff, trying to stay relaxed. The climbing was as tough as I remember and I’m still as slow as I remember on that kind of trail. On the last big climb Solana showed up out of nowhere, whisking past me, running strong. Just near the top I managed to sneak past James, a lucky break, I think, as he had a quick stretch.

I was keeping up with Solana as we hit the last downhill stretch of access road. She mentioned to me that I had 10 minutes to beat last year’s time so I kicked it in and hoped I’d stay upright on the rocks and gravel. The finish was close. As we hit the bottom towards the lake both me and another runner started heading left around the lake... whoops! (Wrong way, 2nd time today!) ...fortunately another runner was kind enough to yell at us before we got too far.

Back on track for the last sprint and up to the the finish line.  Overall, a great event, well organized and a lot of fun.

Also check out these race reports from Greg, James and Solana.

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