On Saturday morning I ran the 5peaks Golden Ears Enduro race – my first trail race! It was an interesting day and I think I learned a lot about trail running and how I respond to it. Of course, I also had a lot of fun out there :). I posted earlier this week about the morning of the race and what I brought with me, if you’re curious.
The summary: I ran the 13k course in 1:23:30, placing 4th in my age group and 16th female overall. Not a bad start!
This was a bit of a last minute race for me – I saw it online on Wednesday and just decided to go for it. There were two options – the Enduro course is 13 km, and the Sport is 8.5. I’ve been running a little more mileage lately, so I chose the Enduro and hit register.
The race was at Golden Ears Provincial Park, about an hour away from Vancouver. Jan and I zipcar-ed there bright and early, since the race started at 9. We picked up my package, which included some coupons and a 5peaks buff. I was a little nervous at the start of the race, because I always am, but this was different because it didn’t feel as serious. Everyone was having a great time.
The start of the race was self-seeded corrals, and I stuck myself in the third one (seemed like there were 4-5?). Decided I definitely didn’t belong with the elites in Corral 1 and there looked to be some speedy people in Corral 2. In hindsight, I would have been fine in the second.
The race started and I headed into the trails. It was already hot (25 at least?) so I was grateful for instant shade. The first part was mostly a gentle uphill, so I just focused on keeping a steady pace and passing people when it flattened out a bit. There was an aid station around 3 and 10 k, and it looked well stocked with water and sport gummies. Since I was holding my water bottle and had a gel in there, I didn’t stop.
I didn’t end up taking the gel, although if the course had been 2k longer, I think I would have needed to. I had told myself “this is a race, and I never walk during races”… HA! At about the halfway point, I turned and found myself facing a steeeeep incline, which most people were trudging up. Ok, then. I used momentum to run up the first bit and then alternately hiked and jogged the rest.
Once at the top I smiled, looked back briefly to appreciate the climb, then headed back down! This was definitely the part I need to practice… I have no idea how people can bomb down hills with rocks and roots everywhere but they did! I was careful – I could totally see myself snapping an ankle. With 2.5ish k to go we crossed a stream with a waterfall! So awesome I wish I’d stopped to take a photo.
A little after the last water crossing I saw Jan, who was tucked into some bushes taking photos on the course. I crossed the finish line and felt really good.
For the rest of the day, we hung out, did some errands and then spent the evening celebrating a friend’s birthday. On Sunday morning, I met my long run buddy Alyson for 20k in Vancouver. During the run I felt fine, but when I ended I was a bit, well, cranky to be honest. I felt a bit better after eating but was really tired all day Sunday and Monday. I really think I underestimated how trail running would affect me. It’s been a long time since running has made my muscles sore and made me so fatigued!