A few months ago, at a Brain Training Seminar by local ultra-runner and now Guinness record holder, Dave Proctor, I won an entry into Rundles Revenge. I was at the time, already registered for the Powderface Marathon (actually 44.4 km’s – bonus!) the following weekend. That combined with the fact that this race was only 4 weeks after the Calgary Marathon, meant that I didn’t think I would/should race a 50k, but the 25k distance seemed doable, especially if I kept the effort easy.
Rundles Revenge is actually a two day event, put on by TransRockies Events, these are the guys who put on the very famous stage race, TransRockies, in the Colorado Mountains <<I WOULD LOVE TO DO THIS RACE ONE DAY>>. The first day is dedicated to mountain biking, they do the same course as the run, and have multiple distance options all the way up to 100 kms. I’m completely floored/amazed by people who bike these trails! I prefer the slower speed and relative control that I can maintain by running the trails! Needless to say, I stuck to the second day, the trail running day.
Lori and I had decided pre-race, that this was a good training race, and that we’d stick together for it. When we run races together, we always like to have a plan going in, as to whether we’re running together, doing our own thing, or a combination of the two. It makes mid race decisions easier, and ensures that there are no hard feelings if someone wants to
kick the other person’s ass take off.
Race morning I picked her up bright and early around 5:45 am. It was cloudy and cool but the rain we had been getting since Friday night, had stopped. We were both prepared for a muddy race. We drove out to Canmore, and arrived at the Nordic Centre just before 7am. The race started at 8, and we needed to pick up our bibs, and get organized. We used the bathrooms in the Nordic Centre, got our packs and gear organized and chatted with friends, and before we knew it, it was time to check in (get our mandatory bear spray checked) and line up.
The race consisted of two 12.5 km loops. We started fairly far back in the pack because we didn’t want to race it fast, and just wanted to take it easy. It was pretty crowded for the first few km’s, making it hard to get into our own rhythm. Lori and I jive pretty well on trails, taking similar strategies on when we will run a hill and when we will hike it. We hike a lot of hills that many people run, but I think that it serves us well and we conserve energy, that we use to pass all the tired people who ran those hills slowly. This was hard to do in these first few km’s with the conga line that had formed. We did what we could, and passed or were passed when there was space, and slowly the field spread out. It was also just around the 5k mark that the shorter distance runners (7k) split to head home. Things thinned out even better here.
There was an aid station mid loop around 6 km’s, we skipped it and ran right by. The aid included water, sports drink (Ultima) and Honey Stinger products. I really dislike Ultima, and will basically always pass it by if I have my own hydration (Skratch), and Honey Stingers make Lori sick, so the aid station wasn’t the most appealing to us! No matter, we had our own food and hydration and it was easier to just keep moving. I was starting to feel eager to finish the first lap. My stomach really wanted to take a pitstop, and with the crowded course, and the portapotty option at 12k, I didn’t think it was necessary to take a pitstop mid loop. As we finished off the first loop, I was surprised to see sub 1:30 on my watch, both Lori and I had a time closer to 3:30 for two loops in our head. We had been pushing things a bit faster than a normal long run, but also hadn’t been racing super hard.
We both used the portapotties at the home base, and some quick gear adjustments, we were off again on our second loop. My watch showed 1:28:xx after the pitstops. My legs and stomach felt a lot better during the second loop. It was also a lot less crowded. It was nice to get to look around, and enjoy the trails as the route was on some super nice trails that we hadn’t run before. We had run a number of trails around the Nordic Centre last fall when we did the Grizzly 50k race. This just goes to show how many trails there are to choose from at the Nordic Centre. The ones for Rundles are mostly single track, with some double track sections. They were rolling, but quite runnable (more runnable than we were expecting). The double track sections were great for passing people when things got a bit crowded. During the second lap, we took some time to look around a bit more, take a couple of pictures and take it all in. The sun also started to peak through, making for some stunning views of blue sky, mountains and forest.
Love the trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre! Today's Rundle's Revenge did not disappoint. So many fun trails, it was really hard to dial it back and keep it as a training run. It would have been a great course to push it hard on. I will be back for Revenge for sure!! #rundlesrevenge #ilovetorun #worlderunners #runner #run #resultsstarthere
We put on the gas during the final flat double track section, hiked one last hill, and then rounded the corner to come into the stadium. Our time was right around 3:01, with me being 8th in my 40+ women category (out of 21), and Lori as 14th in the 39 and under (out of 28). I’m pretty happy with our times and placements as a training run. It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come on the trails and how getting out and running a 25k trail race is not really a big deal anymore.
Shoutout to Rob, our third amigo running partner, who ran the 50k, and totally rocked it!
Next weekend will be 44k at Powderface and a lot more climbing, I’m looking forward to it! There are going to be a number of familiar faces running, and at aid stations, PLUS there’s pie and goodies at the finish. What could be better?!?
Are you running Powderface? Did you run Rundles? If you ever see me at a race, come on over and chat!!