Run quietly

Run quietly

Monday, April 27, 2015

Shut up and RUN Princess!

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to represent Altra Running Canada at the 1st Ontario 5 Peaks Trail Race of the season. It was located at the Terra Cotta Conservation Area, and from what I was told it was going to be a mud bath! It was my first time at a 5peaks event, and it would be me and both my kids first trail race!

The Altra crew! I was pumped to finally meet fellow Ambassadors Erin and Ignacio!


 Bibs pinned, let's go!
 
 
I really did not know what to expect. I have ran trails before, but they were all well groomed, clear pathways that just so happened to be surrounded by trees! The kids race was a short 600 metre fun run, mostly mud free for them. I had chosen the 10.8km Enduro course, which is 2 laps of the 5.4km Sport course.
 
As mainly a road racer, I wore a long sleeve pullover thinking I would not be working as hard, and I may get cold. HA! After the first lap, I ripped off my bib, and tossed my sweater towards the aid station. Yes, my pace may have been slower than if I were running a road race, but all the dodging of tree roots, rocks, all while running up and down the endless hills of the Niagara Escarpment was keeping me pretty warm! Thrown into the mix of tactical footing was plowing through ankle deep mud. This I actually thoroughly enjoyed. I was trashing my Lone Peaks with mud, and all over my legs! So fun!
 
In past road races, I have complained about everything from the terrain to the wind. I am generally accustomed to getting from point A to point B in a race as fast as possible. To me this means, taking the tangents on a course, staying on an even part of the road, hoping for no wind, hoping for good conditions. In a trail race, I found I had to concentrate on my footing immensely! After my ankle sprain in February, I am probably more worried and conscious than the average person. You don't like uneven footing? Shut up and run. You want a flat, fast course? HA! Shut up and run. Mud slowing your footing down? Shut up and run. Tangents? I'm not sure that is even relevant in a conversation about a trail race. Shut up and run. I definitely felt like a princess road racer after I conquered the 10.8km course!
 
While a trail race is obviously very different than a road race, I think it is something that everyone should try at least once! The contrast in conditions and terrain is something I think will make a stronger runner overall, physically and mentally. If you have mainly stuck to the roads, and found the trails a little intimidating, there are shorter races available in the 5 peaks series and they are great for all levels. Personally, I am happy that I had the opportunity to run there! My muddy shoes are kind of like a badge of honour to me. I am proud of them! I am looking forward to retuning to Heart Lake in this series.
 
 
After the races were over, the awards ceremony began. In this series everyone is acknowledged, age groups, overall, even the kids 3km! (SO CUTE) When "Heather" was called up as a 3rd place female, I stood waiting for her to walk up. When race director Erin, called "Heather" again, I clued in and realised it may be me. I was baffled at how I managed this in my first trail race, but I will take it! Last surprise in a day of many was when I was all packed up and ready to head out, and Erin called me up one more time as first in my age group. The medals are super cute and very unique! Given that I am a total newbie to this, I am very grateful to have made it to the podium!
 
Photo credit: Sue Sitki Photography
 
Photo credit: Sue Sitki Photography
 
Have you ever tried a trail race before? ANY reservations you may have about them, toss them to the side! Try something new. Get dirty. Run through mud like a kid. Admire the awesome scenery around you. It was refreshing to not be running past building after building in a concrete jungle. You may surprise yourself and love it. There are still five races left in the 5 Peaks series. Comment below on this post with which race location you would like to try, and why. A winner will be chosen at random and awarded FREE entry into a future 5 Peaks race of YOUR choice! Entered and didn't win? That's ok because you will still receive a code for $5 off the entry fee. That way you have no reason to miss out! Comment by May 15, and winner will be announced May 16th!
 
 
 
 
 


17 comments:

  1. Okay, you totally make this road runner want to try a trail run! It sounds like an obstacle mud run and road race mash up. Great, realistic and fun recap--especially the "Heather..." "Heather..." part ;)

    A contest? Well, sign me up! What a better way to try a race than that?! Having never done one, I think Albion Hills sounds good! Why? Because like you I traditionally avoid the puddles and potholes, but can see the appeal in thinking about something other than just pace during a race. Plus, races through the summer season that you can travel out of the city are an awesome idea!

    Congrats again! And to your little trail runners too :)

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    1. Hi Cathy! Thanks so much for entering! If you want to join me at Heart Lake this weekend, you can use the code HeatherBlogPals for $5 off! Would love to see you again!

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  2. Trail runs are so fun!
    I have done any of the 5 peaks series - heart lake is next? Would love to try!
    Look into the "mad dog scramble" - it's super fun and well organized!

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    1. Hi FittyKitty! Congratulations, and thank you for entering ! You have been chosen as the winner of the 5Peaks race entry. Heart Lake is this coming Saturday. If that's the one you would still like to try, let me know! Or choose another that's later in the season. Let me know asap! Congrats again!

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    2. Wow!!!
      Thank you!

      :)
      I'm gonna double check their site :)
      Yay!! Thank you thank you!!

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    3. Thx!

      Saturday is great Heather!! :)

      May even get the kids involved!

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  3. I have my first organized trail race coming in June on a beautiful trail which I ran on last summer, I am pretty much excited to return there and run it "officially" with a bunch of awesome runners.

    As for 5Peaks, I was planning on doing the one in Coaticook, QC in August, so a free pass definitely sounds great!

    Congratulations on going all-in on your first trail race :)

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    1. Hi Nicolas! Thanks so much for entering! Good luck on your next trail race! Let me know if you can make it to Ontario for one!

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  4. Looking forward to the 5peaks race at Alice Lake near Squamish BC. Squamish is hard to beat when it comes to amazing trail running.

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    1. Hi Brent! Thanks so much for entering! I will be in BC for the first time at the end of June. Can't wait ! Let me know if you can make it to Ontario for a trail race!

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  5. Once you start running trail it opens a whole new level of running enjoyment. I'd love to run Albion and challenge myself on the hills!

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    1. Hi Krista ! Thanks so much for entering! If you wanted to join me this coming weekend at Heart Lake, you can use the code HeatherBlogPals for $5 off free entry!

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  6. Once you start running trail it opens a whole new level of running enjoyment. I'd love to run Albion and challenge myself on the hills!

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