This past Saturday I participated in a 100 mile relay - the Sulphur Springs Race. In addition they have 100 mile ultra, 50 miler, 50k, 25k and a 10k. There were 8 on my squad including Beast and Peter Ames. I had the first 20k leg which started at 6:00am! This presented some challenges. First I had to get up at 4:00am to get coffee and nutrition in so that I could everything in "motion" - namely my bowels. Mission accomplished and off to the race I went. The atmosphere at the race was awesome - the ultra crowd is a pretty crazy bunch who enjoy themselves in a masochistic way. I found my group, got my bib and had a short warmup. Now the terrain in Dundas Valley can easily be described as HILLY! It is 90% trail and when you;re not going up you're going down. I started the run and focused on a group of 4 who were going at a pace I wanted. I managed to stay with them til about the 7k mark and a massive hill with switchback where they started pulling away. I still had them in sight up to about 9.5k and I was then on my own. I went through the 9k aid station in 42 minutes which was pretty quick on this course. I struggled a bit between 10-14k as the pounding on my quads began to hurt. I got a second wind after 15k and I worked the uphills as best as I could until I reached a trio of successive hills named the Three Sisters. These were just too steep to run up so I walked as fast as I could up them. Once up I knew there was a long stretch of downhill coming and I wanted to push the pace over that section. I fell into a good rhythm over this stretch and this left only the long climb back to the finish where I would be switching with the next relay member. I gutted it out and hit the line in 1:41. I initially predicted I would finish in 1:55 so I was a little off! The Beast performed well in the mid-day heat and Peter ran strong as usual. If you get the chance so this race - you'll have a blast!
Here I am after just finishing my leg.
Check this sequence of photos taken around the 13k mark - I look like a knob running through a meadow of daisies! Dork alert!! It's hard to tell by the photos but I'm giving the hang-loose salute while trying not trip on roots.