September 23, 2011

Ghosting the Second 5 Peaks Canmore Race

Back in June, I ran the first 5 Peaks Canmore race. Last weekend, I ran the second 5 Peaks Canmore race. I ghosted the race again, meaning I ran the race without a race number. I find it really takes the pressure off and makes the 'race' more enjoyable for me. I'm out there to run a fun course on my own terms at my own comfortable speed and don't have to worry about times and categories and all that jazz.

I woke up super early again for the race because I was volunteering at registration (as always). But this time, I rode my motorcycle to the race! My motorcycle is a relatively new acquisition and activity for me and I was super excited to ride by myself the 80 km to Canmore from home (and then back again after the race!). Despite the small amount of rain on the way there, it was a glorious ride.

Anyway, back to the race.

After I finished my volunteer duties, I had about 10 minutes to change and get ready to run. I could have taken as long as I wanted, I suppose, but it didn't end up taking me very long to get ready. My friend that was there racing even commented on how fast I was. :)

I started the race very shortly after the last of the racing pack left. It didn't take me very long to catch up to them. And then I started passing people. And pretty much kept passing people. This year is the first year I've been fast enough to pass anybody (thanks Lee!) so I still get a kick out of how much faster I run this year over previous years. I'd say I'm a middle-of-the-packer now instead of finishing very close to last.

The course was some rocky hills and some wide paths but mostly dirty, rooty, evergreen needle-covered single track. In other words: my favourite type of trail! I chose to wear the new VIVOBAREFOOT Neo Trails for the course to test them out for my upcoming review. They had amazing traction on the slick rocks, roots, and occasional mud. They were very comfortable on the flats, downhills, and not steep downhills due to their glorious wideness. On steep, technical downhills, however, my feet tended to slide to the top of the shoe because I couldn't tie them tight enough to keep my foot from slipping forward. Other than that, I would say they are the most comfortable trail shoes I've tried yet.

By the end of the 6th km, I was feeling like I would be happy to be finished running. There was one more km to go, though. I know when my body is tired because my form starts to fail: I start to lean forward instead of straight up and my trail leg gets longer instead of as close to my centre of gravity as possible. I stuck it out and ran the last km.

The Canmore Nordic Centre is a gorgeous place to run and has awesome trails!

That's it for the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series this year in Southern Alberta. I hope all the runners had great races and hope to see you all next year!

At the end of the race. Happy to be done...

Tired form could definitely be better :)

ENDURE Review - Inspiring Athletic Theatrical Experience

I recently had the pleasure and honour of participating in a presentation of ENDURE. The show is an athletic theatrical experience where the audience is as much a part of the production as the outdoor scenery in which it's set. I say 'participate in' rather than 'watch' because, as the audience, you flow with the show as a part of it rather than a bystander seeing it pass by.

ENDURE is a 50-minute walking/running theatre production set outside, conceived and written by my friend Melanie Jones. I believe that Melanie's original idea for ENDURE was to produce a piece of theatre that reflected her experience leading up to and including her first marathon. What she created was an emotion inducing, inspiration evolving, life reflective journey composed of sound, action, movement, and nature.

I had the singularly humbling experience to help Melanie choose the path for the production of ENDURE in Cochrane. When I attended the performance, even though I knew where we were GOING, I had no idea WHERE we were going. Melanie lead us on a journey through her thoughts, feelings, and life during moments of elation, desperation, despair, and epiphany that can reach ANY audience member on an emotional level.

The theme of the production might be getting through a marathon but it really parallels the challenges and journey of life.

ENDURE is starting it's fall production run this weekend in Brooklyn, NY. If you need a little inspiration or want to experience a wholly different kind of theatre, check out for details or to buy tickets.