Stage 5 – lets run UP a ski hill for fun.
ENDURrun 2011 – Stage 5: The 16 Mile Cross Country (or 25.6 KM for you metric folks out there.)
When the guy says go, you start to suffer – or you might as well not be out there. It’s a small piece of your life, make it hurt. — Aaron Cox, US Mountain Biking Champion
I am having issues with inserting picutres of the Stage 5 winner Sebastian Porten, in a time of 2:04 and ahead of Bob. (but will try soon)
Jackie still maintains the lead in the women’s ultimate ranks.
After a relaxing day off running on Thursday, it’s back at it on Friday, and this next stage is the toughest stage of the whole competition. This is where the training (or lack thereof) becomes evident for all to see. This is a demanding stage (for me anyway).
This is a very pretty course, despite the f**king ski hill, which, after 5 times, sucks the energy from you. But I digress.
As Sean says, running hills is all “elbows and arses.”
The run consists of five 5km loops through Chicopee Ski Club in Kitchener. Start off with 1-2km of some flat trails, then a climb up a service road to the top of the hill, almost 50m of elevation. (Similar to Around the Bay. Up over up and over and up again. Then into another small trail section with some switchbacks, then back up to the top, and straight down one of the front faces. You then run straight up the face of the largest hill. Once at the top, again, into the bush for some more trail sections, then down the back hill, around to the front, up some more trails to about half-way up, then straight down the last hill and through the start/finish line. Each of these trails have switchbacks.
The one advantage in running loops, is the way the sun filters through the bush and changes the look each time.
The first downhill caused my knees to complain and if you try to fly down, you tend to lose some of your running form.
My roomie Ed has about 5 minutes on me and Chris has 6, so I figured if I could stay even and keep them in sight, that will be good.
Paul drove Ed and I and we picked up Vickie and got to Chicopee around 7:30 I forget how close everything here is, compared to the City. The most excellent volunteers were running around setting things up, so we just hung out at the chalet, chatting and slowly getting ready. The sun was shining, and there were few clouds in the sky. Temperature was going to be around 25 during the run, with little humidity. That much was good news.
As we were waiting for the race to start, we were looking with (insert appropriate term for dread here) up the big hill which we were shortly going to be climbing. FIVE TIMES.
Soon it was time. Lloyd did the roll call, gave us last minute instructions, and with a “On your mark, get set, GO!” we were on our way.
We took off on the new part of the course. This was required as both sets of the ski hill `switchbacks`were taken out (to make way for the straight downhill portions. Slow and steady was the key. My plan was to do around 3 hours but any faster than that would be welcome. (after all , it is only 25km , right? And I was being delusional)
There is a nasty uphill (yes before the ski hill) which goes up, turn left, then go up some more,turn right and yes one more slight `rise` then a waterstation into some bush with switchbacks. This is also a moutain bike course. Then out of the bush and run down hill.
I actually liked this, because everything is working today so was able to actually fly down the hills. My goal was to continue running all the hills, except THAT one. I think the Brimley Hill training and my consistent weight lifting actually helped me accomplish this for the first 3 loops. On the 4th I was able to run 75% of the hills, (run a few flag markers, and walk one) This actually helped me run the majority of the ski hill too.
All the leaders started to lap me through the 3rd loop, and I got to wish them well, and talk with them a bit.
Speaking of loops, I was getting tired, and on my 4th loop, the thought of having to climb that hill again was wearing me out.
One of the runners I had passed previously was catching up, so had to push my final lap. Then I spotted Ed going up the hill.
Any way on my final loop, I saw the 4k sign and thought, hey I can run a 6 minute k. Well 8 minutes later arrive after flying down the last hill and (thinking I looked strong) surged to the finish in 3:19 not bad though.
Ed was about 100 meter ahead and I caught up with him and we sprinted to the finish line. We were even for 200 meters then with 25 meters to go he found another gear and cruised through the finish line and beat me by 3 seconds.
Ed is still ahead of me and Chris smoked the course and is now 15 minutes better than me.
On a brighter note, I am still 1st in my age group(insert winking smiley face here)
NEXT UP: A (relatively easy?) 10km road run, with a net downhill, on asphalt.
Stage 6 the 10 km time trial. We run in reverse order of our Chicopee finish.
Well this stage 6 course is super flat. We are transported to Elmira, and we run back to race headquarters.
Last years stage results