Seek The Peak and the Podium
Decided to try a something different this year and a good friend suggested I try this race as she knows how much I love the Grind. Yes, this race has the Grind incorporated – sounds like fun to me so why not. I have been struggling with a knee injury and so had been doing less road running and a little more trail running and the Grouse Grind a couple of times a week since it opened in May.
However, it wasn’t until about 6 weeks ago that I actually ran on the North Shore trails. A fellow runner, who is now an awesome trail runner had listed all of the reasons she didn’t start trail running – all of my reasons too, but as she put it, what is the worst that can happen – you fall (you get up), you get lost (you find your way), you get injured (well, that happens anyway). So thanks, Alex for making me get out there.
Then there is my friend, Mary who also started trail running at the start of the year and is doing amazingly well – she is an amazing road runner and I predict will become an awesome trail runner once she gets faster on the downhills. As soon as I informed her of my decision to start trail running more and how much I liked it she soon had me signed up for Knee Knacker and Squamish 5o training runs – why not. She incidentally was the one who suggested I might like this race!
So, four trail runs as training but several grinds, as well as some road running, seems to have put me in good condition for this particular race. A fairly steady flat first couple of k from Ambleside beach Park towards Capilano Pacific Trail and then some up and downhill through some lovely trails and before an 800 meter climb up a section of gnarly trail and a series of stairs.
Then, the lovely mile-long slog of Nancy Green Way to the base of Grouse. So, plodding away up Nancy Green Way, all I can think is, I can’t wait to get to the base of the Grind so that I can hike and sure enough it’s not long before I am there. There were loads of spectators here which was great. Of course half way up the Grind I am thinking, I can’t wait to get to the top so I can start running again. I honestly felt like my time going up the Grind was pretty slow, but no, it was a very respectable 41.20 – I am not much faster than this on a solo grind!
Top of the Grind and very wobbly legs for a few seconds before of running but not for long as we were then heading up to the peak and back to hiking! Who knew the peak portion was so tough! I glanced behind me at this point to see Mary who is a pretty amazing uphill runner. No time for slacking now as I knew I was in 3rd place. Made it to the peak to turn around and run as fast as I darted down the very loose gravelly path. I didn’t look back once but just ran as hard as I could. Crossing the line I turned to see Mary just behind me (4 seconds to be precise). But I had hung on for just long enough.
I was totally delighted as well as surprised to finish in 3rd place. And for the most part, I had really enjoyed it
Thanks to my all of my friends – new and old, for running with me, teaching me new trails, supporting and spectating – you are all amazing! Well done to Mary (left )and Alex (middle) who finished 4th and 5th. They are both more than capable of kicking my butt in any race but today, for whatever reasons they didn’t – thanks, Girls!
Thanks as always to Kintec, Sundog and Asics.