- Hoka Stinson trail shoes
- Salomon Skin – 10 +2 pack
- Salomon soft flask 500ml
- Nuun electrolytes tablets
- A lot of food!
- Black Diamond Poles
- Dry max trail socks
- Honey Stingers
- Sports Shield anti-chafe wipes
Vancouver 100 is a Club Fat Ass organized events, which is an out and back from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay along the Baden Powell. It is a 100 km run with 16,300 feet vertical ascent and 16,300 descent.
After having such a horrible day at Sun Mountain 50, my only goal for the Vancouver 100 was to have a steady run and to feel good at the end. You have to get your own crew for this run as it’s not really a race. I was a bit nonchalant in my organization as I’d done this run several times before and I didn’t want to bother a bunch of friends again asking them to take up their day to help me. So, I tagged on to my friend Mike’s organization and borrowed some of his crew. I was invited out to dinner at my super pacer Chloe’s house the night before the race, which left me the Thursday to get myself together. Life has been pretty busy between work and training so I fell a bit behind. I decided I would just have to get my butt through the run with whatever I had. I was luckily able to convince my good friend Ken to organize our treats for Nelson Creek where our friend Jill would meet us.
First 50 km
On the morning of the run, I showed up at the 5:00 am start in Deep Cove, North Vancouver with a massive, heavy pack filled with lots of treats:
- Landjager sausages,
- smoked salmon,
- beef jerky,
- honey stingers,
- Babybell cheese
- salt and vinegar chips
- cliff bars
(and for the record I ate most of this, including all 4 Landjager sausages)
In addition, I also was carrying:
- first aid supplies
- 2 liters of water
- a headlamp
- arm warmers
- extra socks
Figured if my pack was heavy, it was just good Tor Des Geants training. I showed up just in time, but unfortunately I missed the group photo and while I was signing in, everyone took off on the run. I had to quickly catch up with my buddies. We started with an out and back along the road before turning around and heading up the Baden Powell trail head.
I had planned to run with my friend Ken as he and I have done this run together several times. Each time we’d been training for something else and always went out with a plan to keep it steady. Not race it and not get injured. Ken, however, appeared to have a different plan this time and bolted ahead off the start.
He ended up arriving at Cleveland Damn approximately 10 minutes before me and since I socialized for a few minutes there, he likely left 15 minutes before me. I ran the next half of the Baden Powell being mildly upset with Ken as I wasn’t confident with a few turns up Cypress and Black Mountain. I wasn’t keen on getting lost up there…but I didn’t feel like pushing the pace since I could already feel my legs from the tough Ultimate Frisbee game I’d played on Wednesday. I decided trying to catch him was not likely possible so I stuck to the plan. I ended up hiking with my friends Julie, Glenn and Suzanne along with Ray who was pacing. I was trucking along eating my smoked salmon and treats, as well as making sure I was drinking A LOT of water as it was quite warm.
As we got up to Cypress, Glenn stopped at the creek to get water. I hoped there would be somewhere on Cypress to get water as I was also running low. The building on Cypress has not been open for the last 2 years during the Vancouver 100. If you plan to run this and you drink like I do…I’d suggest a minimum of 3L of water for this section, having crew at Cypress, or plan to drink from the creeks. Luckily Suzanne’s boyfriend Geoff was at Cypress with water and coke, which I gratefully stole some.
After the halfway point, Suzanne and I worked our way back up Black Mountain, having lost Julie, Glenn and Ray. We met some dudes running shirtless up the road to Black who hilariously felt a little silly when they asked us where we were going and found out we’d come from Deep Cove. We found our way without getting lost and worked our way down to Nelson Creek, which after all the uphill you do is not the nicest downhill to be treated to! You can’t exactly fly down those boulders!
We made it all the way through the technical section unscathed only for me to take a huge tumble on the least technical section of the whole trail! Hand and knee all scraped up and immediate pain and thoughts of “oh shit, what have I done?”, but it was relatively benign aside from a lot of scrapes and bruises, so we carried on.
On this section, you see all the people who are way ahead of you starting to make there way back. Everyone was looking really good at this point. We saw Sammy and Kim, looking good and making a great time as we were descending from Eagle bluffs. As we got closer to Nelson Creek, we saw Bill and Mike and my buddy Ken.
I proceeded to yell at Ken, letting him know how mad I was he didn’t wait for me at the start. He told me I needed to speed up…I don’t think so. We arrived at Nelson Creek at approximately 1:35 pm (earliest I have ever been there) and we stopped for about 10 minutes, fueled up, wiped up my scrapes, enjoyed some of my awesome sandwich and chocolate milk. After we filled up on water and treats, were on our way.
We were both feeling pretty good and excited about getting over Black so we could finally be treated with some nice downhill running. As we made our way to Eagle Bluffs, we found our friends Ken and Mike Wardas stopped for a little picnic. Apparently, a raven had just stolen Ken’s sandwich. I immediately felt guilty thinking that Ken had stopped to wait for us because I yelled at him. However, we soon learned that Wardas’ stomach was not treating him so well and was having bouts of dizziness.
Suzanne tried to patch up Mike with some ginger and ginger Gravol, but he told us to leave him, so we did. We had a fun run down to Cypress where we found a fabulous surprise aid station. Ed and friends were crewing some other runners but were super happy to help us out with water fill ups, coke and chips. We were soon on our merry way to enjoy the downhill we’d been waiting for. We had a pretty casual run down, chatting away. We picked up a guy named Sam who ran with us for a bit. We happily rolled into Cleveland Damn around 6:15 pm where our friend Megan and her parents along with our other friend John had kindly laid out some pizza and bacon along with some other treats. While they filled my pack, I downed another chocolate milk, had some coke, and ate a slice of pizza. I tried to have another piece of pizza for the walk up Nancy Greene Way, but my attempt at eating slice number two was unsuccessful and it got ditched.
At Cleveland Dam, I was pretty excited to pick up Chloe who was going to pace me to the end. I have run this last section of trail along the Baden Powell hundreds of times. Despite feeling good, I was kind of dreading this last 25km, as I don’t consider it to be the most exciting part of the course (I think I may be kind of spoiled). It was going to be nice to have someone to chat to and take my mind off this last 25km. All that was left for me to do was to get over the climb up Grouse, then Seymour grind and I was golden. Ken and I headed up Nancy Greene Way with Chloe tweeting and taking photos en route at about 6:30 pm.
Shortly after the climb up Grouse, we found Mike Wardas lying on the trail. He apparently started to feel good and passed us along the way when we stopped at Cypress, but now he was crashing again. Chloe tried to stuff some chocolate in him, but he was having none of it, so off we went. We stopped for a bathroom break and I filled my water at Mountain Highway and Ken continued on his merry way.
At pipeline Bridge there happened to a few crews and we were nicely treated to some amazing chocolate chip butterscotch cookies from Rick, who was part of Bill’s crew as we were on our way to the finish. Rick was a bit of a savior again at Hyannis as she gave me a water fill up that got me to the end with just enough water!
As we began this section I felt like I was moving well and super pacer Chloe told me I was moving well. I was a bit concerned that maybe I wasn’t moving as well as I thought as we didn’t seem to be catching anyone. However, I guess I just had to be patient because soon we passed a guy named Charles down in Lynn Valley and then as we worked our way to the Seymour Grind we finally found Ken.
As we started to climb, we began to see some lights ahead. Although I wasn’t racing, I think the motivation to move a bit faster kicked in. We made our way up and found it was Suzanne who I’d run the first 3/4 with and her pacer/boyfriend Geoff. She told us she was not doing well and was having stomach issues. Soon after, we went by another girl named Vera and her pacer. She was doing her first 100 km.
When we finally reached the downhill, we started to gunning it until Chloe’s headlamp died and mine decided it wanted to fall off my head. Of course, I had a spare in my heavy pack which she tried to find but couldn’t in the furry. She borrowed one from Vera’s pacer as they came along…and that too died 5 minutes later. At this point, I knew I was first woman and although I wasn’t racing I felt like I couldn’t let off the pace being as I felt really good. Chloe tucked in behind me as she had no light and off we went to the finish.
Finish and Final Thoughts
Having done this 3 times…I never realized that the finish is the fire hydrant, we finished at the Knee Knacker finish by the benches, as we always have. I didn’t know this was wrong until I saw the next person finish. I was not overly exact with my time as I didn’t look at my watch right away, but when I did, it said 17:29 which may have been over by a few minutes, but who’s counting.
I was super happy to have a solid run, reach my goal of feeling super strong at the end, and ended up finishing first woman (although it’s not really a race). It was also my friend Mike’s first 100 km. At Lynn Headwaters, I was told I was 35 minutes behind him. In the end, I managed to finish only 3 minutes behind him, which I was very happy about because he had a solid run.
Congrats to Mike on his first 100 km and everyone else who finished. I think this was the largest number of finishers ever. Thanks to Megan, John, Jill, Ed for the random aid station, Rick for her awesome cookies and the water refill, and to Chloe for the pre-run dinner and solid pacing job with just the right amount of encouragement.
Kintec Race Team