There was a full entry of 125 runners for the Frozen Ass races this year, of which about 75 were doing the 50k and the remainder running in the 25k - the "Half Ass". The 50k route is an out-and-back to Chestermere starting at the canoe club hut on the Bow in Calgary and follows the Chestermere canal. This year the race would more appropriately be called the "Mild Ass 50" with the temperature holding up above 4C - considerably warmer than years gone past.
Conditions underfoot, however (which are never great in this race), were worryingly slushy for the first kilometre but soon improved and about half the course was on snow with the remainder clear.
My game plan was to run 5 consecutive 45min 10kms, which worked fine to about 40km. I went through the marathon mark in 3:10, slightly off schedule and at this point my lack of training started to show and I felt like I was struggling through the last 10km. At 48mins for the last 10k I can't have been struggling too much but every step was tough.
Surprisingly I ran within 2 minutes of my time for the previous 2 years to finish in fifth place overall in about 3:47. Not sure of the winning time but I think the first five all finished within 5 minutes of each other - very exciting.
As usual the race was extremely well organised by Gord with great food at the finish (including home made soup and pizza). Not an obvious choice of race for the hillrunner that I consider myself to be because the elevation doesn't vary more than 15ft. However it's useful milestone so early in the season and the start is only ten minutes from home. Maybe see a few more Harrier vests there next year?