XC – Weaselhead 4km – Race Report

Last years report. I was up early for Saturdays’s race. Good thing as I must have changed a dozen times trying to decide what to wear. When I first checked the weather it was -24C. It gradually climbed bit by bit. I think by race time it might have reached -10 but I’m pretty sure it never made it to the promised -6C. It snowed a little bit here and there throughout the day which made for some interesting race conditions and some awesome pictures.

I eventually settled on wearing a short sleeved tech shirt, pull off sleeves and a longer fleece pullover. I also wore warmer sweat pants and my 40 below socks. Of course with all the snow it also called for my pink gaters and yak traks. Another of the runners wore snow shoes. Perhaps a good idea.

Karen and friends wandered up to the start area ahead of me. I dawdled along snapping pictures of the pretty snowy scenery.

The start of the race takes us acrossed a snow covered field. With so many runners today, the path got broken in pretty good making it a little easier to run on. But it was still somewhat like running on sand, just colder and wetter.

It is definitly one of the prettier courses. Despite my compliants about the snow, it does make for more scenic pictures. The course makes a long sort of c-shape through the field and then heads down into the trees to the Jack Rabbit trails. Bridgette was the friendly volunteer who sent us down into the trails.

The Jack Rabbit trails are rolling hills that I like to call “dippity do” hills. You dip down one and usually do right back up from the downhill momentum. This is usually my favorite part of the course. However with fighting this cold it was not my best performance. I opted instead to enjoy the scenery and take lots of great pictures. Below two friends of mine head back having already passed the turning point for the 4km. Then its more downhill and eventually I met up with Jacqui (middle right), our HSBC Calgary Marathon race director. She was ringing a cow bell which was great. It let you know when another runner was coming or if you yourself were getting close. Beside her is Cathy who is usually taking all the pictures for the club and seldom in them herself. At this point the 8km runners keep going and the 4km runners like myself head up a small hill and loop back through the trails to the end of the race.

Eventually you go back downhill. On this stretch I found someones clip on spike thingy. I picked it up and pinned it to my fleece top. Then carried on through the ups and downs of the trails.

I stopped here and there to let some of the speedier runners zip by. They looked so impressive. Later back in the lodge I chatted with Dave (lower left). I think he took 1st for his age group.

Some parts of the trails are pretty thick. You have to duck and weave so as not to get hit in the face by low branches. This is where glasses would be handy but as they would also fog up, I was wearing contacts.

The trails run parallel to the Glenmore Resevoir and the view is almost breath taking.

Even though my pink outfit is colorful, I do have competition. Derek (below & center) also loves to wear colorful shirts and such. This time he’s sporting a bright red Hawaiian shirt. Gotta love it.

Above Philippa comes up from the final hill and heads back acrossed the field to the finish line. Stashing the camera in my pocket, I head that way myself.

Almost there and I hear heavy breathing behind me. I refuse to let him or her catch me and pick it up a notch just barely making it to the finish before the person behind me. Turns out it was my buddy Les. Almost a second later he bursts past and dives to the ground. His brother thought it only appropriate I get a picture of me standing over him. Seems Les thought for sure he had me and then out of nowhere I blew him away. Kind of made my day. 🙂

I took a few pictures of other runners finishing and then went inside to get out of my wet socks and shoes.

Of course no cross-country race event is complete without the soup, treats and nice buns after. So today I am featuring the “nice buns” found at every race. 😉

Here’s Mr V’s charts. You can see the “dippity do” hill by the rolling elevation line. My pace was slow, but heh, I’m just happy I could finish. One more race and I will have done all in the series which qualifies me for the IronPerson award. Yeah!

That’s it for my race report . I still have this cold and I need a nap now. So how was your weekend?