Monday, May 31, 2010

Blackfoot 100k

There were plenty of races with BVH representation this weekend - Crazy Soles, Calgary marathon, Ottawa marathon and Blackfoot Ultra are the ones I'm aware of. We have below our first write-up from those races which is from Carl Pryce who finished an amazing third place in the Blackfoot Ultra in some seriously extreme conditions. Carl finished second last year. Last year's champion Blaine Penny was running the Ottawa marathon this year - but more of that later...

"The conditions were horrible this year. The rain started 30 mins after the start and continued all day, turning to sleet on lap 3 then snow by the finish. The course got progressively worse especially on the horse track and the dirt road. By lap 3 all the inclines (of which there are many!) on these sections became so slippery with limey mud it was virtually impossible to run on them. Lots of people dropping out with near-hypothermia and after falls trying to stay upright in the mud. (18 DNFs out of 42 starters in the 100k). Had to change clothes after each lap and warm up in the start/finish hut.

I finished 3rd in 10:15, about 1 hour slower than last year. All in all I was happy with the run as I was feeling a bit sick on Friday. The winner (9:37) was a young guy from Illinois attending grad school at U of A - the proverbial lungs on a stick. Second was a female - Petra Graen from FastTrax - finished 7 mins in front of me. The 3 of us ran together for the first 15k then they pulled away as the marshalls struggled for a few minutes to get the water barrel working at an aid station (note to self: bring drop bags next time!). In a bizarre way I quite enjoyed the day, but was very glad to reach the finish line.

Much fewer people on the course this year. By the start of the 50k and 25k races conditions were so bad most people didn't start. At the finish the race organiser Gary Poliquin tried pretty hard to pursuade people to eat his stock of 270 dilly bars but there were few takers - people preferred to huddle around the wood stove instead.

We returned to the campsite to find our tent had collapsed under the weight of snow so got a cabin for saturday night!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tales of trails and roads

Saturday was a gloriously sunny day which saw the first of the 5 Peaks trail races. This is an annual trail race series over the summer and comprises, you guessed it, 5 races. The season opener is always at COP and lends itself to some serious hills.

This year saw some serious competition too. One thing that strikes me about the running scene in Calgary is that you have your trail runners and you have your road runners. And never the twain shall meet. Road runners seem incapable of fathoming a race based on position alone with about as much incomprehension as trail runners show for split-junkies. However, this year maybe saw a shift in that trend with shift-junkie Jeremy Deere turning his hand to a trail race or two, in preparation for the Transrockies Run in a year or so.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his pedigree, Jeremy won the race in a time of 39.02. Afterwards, he was keen to admit that it hurt more than he thought it would. Mark Fewster (7th) and Phil Villeneuve (11th) finished a very impressive BVH trio. Cameron Fewster was all smiles in the kids race and his brother Neven told me he ran very well.

Now to the roads. We all know Don King can run a good half. He's world (masters) champion after all. But to win the Penticton Half by 17 minutes is impressive. When you then take into account the fact that he cycled 250k the day before (and 125k the day before that), it becomes all the more incredible. Don's 76 minute showing is truly one race where the numbers only tell half the story. Harrier Ryan Rawlyk finished a creditable 6th having put himself through the same punishment on the previous days. Good work lads!

Next week we have Blaine Penny in the Ottawa marathon and Carl Pryce in the Blackfoot 100k to look forward to... Race reports are required from both of you please!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thanks to Scott for pointing this article out. This is the Club 10k stroller record...

Chariots of fire: The Mother's Day edition By Keith B. Wed, May 12 2010

Timothy Mann doesn’t appear on the official list of 10-kilometre finishers for last Sunday’s Mother’s Day Run.

It’s not noted anywhere in the race results that the little guy flew around the downtown Calgary course in just over thirty-three minutes.

And there’s no mention of him in the Herald’s list of age group winners, which names Kyle Beatty (41:09) as the leading male finisher under the age of 15.

But before anyone starts feeling too sorry for the young speedster, it’s confession time.

You see, he didn’t do the entire 10k course. And according to witnesses, he slept through the entire race.

"The rule with my wife (and I) is that we have to take at least one of the kids when we go out, so when I go for a run, it’s usually pushing a chariot," explained Canmore resident and Calgary firefighter Lanny Mann, dad to three-and-a-half-month-old Timmy.

"I kind of got the idea to push it at the race from Jeremy Deere, who pushed his daughter last year. My wife had the stroller all ready to go about 50 metres from the start line. I just started up on the right and ran over. I actually ended up running 9.95-kilometres with the (stroller).
"It’s like a car seat — it just puts (Timothy) to sleep. I’m pretty sure he slept for the whole race."
Lanny, an elite local runner who has had several top-five finishes in the Mother’s Day race over the years, still managed to finished seventh overall on Sunday (with a time of 33:35) while pushing his son.

The proud papa, a former U of C Dinos track and field ace who has twice represented Canada at the world mountain running championships, figures pushing the stroller/chariot didn’t slow him down as much as you might think.

"About a minute," he said. "Those chariots roll along nicely.

"I was part of a second group of runners (behind eventual winner Geoff Kerr). We were kind of running together until at 5k you hit that hill. They opened up 15 or 20 seconds on me there and I was back to about 10th. Between seven and nine kilometres I caught up to them, one by one."
Much of the pre-race talk focused on whether Deere, the 11-time winner of the Mother’s Day race, would ditch his stroller and try to compete on an equal footing with the other elites.
In the end, the sentimental favourite decided to run without the chariot, and ended up fifth in 32:41. The buzz after the race ended up being Lanny’s incredible time, which beat the 35:16 um ... record Deere set in the 2009 race, when he pushed his three-year-old daughter, Megan.
"It’s fun and it’s something different," said Lanny, who didn’t feel like he was in good enough shape to contend for the top three and thought pushing a stroller would present a unique challenge.

"When he’s older, we can tell him all about the day."

Lanny said as well as presenting the obvious physical challenges, pushing his son through a race threw some mental hurdles his way.

"Typically, when you are racing all you are thinking about is yourself and your energy," he said. "When you are pushing a chariot, there are other things you think about — concerns about how he’s doing and not wanting to make the ride (too bumpy). You are cognizant of where the wheels are. And when there are five or six of you running in a tight group, it’s more of a concern."
Deere suggested after the race that he might like to go head-to-head with Mann next year in a new "stroller division." The 32-year-old Calgary firefighter says he’ll be ready for the 2009 chariot champ — and any trash-talk that comes his way from the other runners.
"I didn’t get any comments during the race," said Lanny. "Most of the (elite) guys knew that I would be pushing the chair.

"Before the race, I got comments along the lines of, ‘you’d better not beat me pushing the stroller.’ Afterwards, they said, ‘thanks for embarrassing me.’

"But it was all in good fun."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day 10k

Sunday's Mother's Day 10k saw some good early-season running by the Harriers. First Harrier to finish was Jeremy Deere in 5th place - not a place he is used to, but a great run nonetheless. Arguably the best performance of the day, however, came from Harrier Lanny Mann who finished an amazing 7th place overall in 33:35 PUSHING A CHARIOT!! I still don't know if he was pushing his newborn or his older child but either way this is a fantastic run - the gauntlet has been well and truly laid down.

Other Harrier placings were Marcotte (11th in 34:46) and Bell in 15th (35:25).

The 5k was also a speedy affair, being won in 15:03. Harriers Ukrainetz (9th in 17:22) and Rawlyk (16th in 18:12) both put in good showings.

Those wanting some real speed can try the mile race at Glenmore track on May 22 (there's a masters race!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

In case anyone is planning a trip to California...


Trail running friends,

Many of you have heard already that Leor Pantilat and I are hosting a trail running race this October 30th at the Boggs Mountain State Forest. For those who haven't, or don't know about Boggs, this place is a gold mine of singletrack trails in ponderosa pine forest just north of the Napa Valley.

Boggs Mountain has been home to many mountain bike races, but is not very well known to trail runners. Leor and I decided it would be a fantastic place to have a foot race, and have grand plans for our first (and hopefully annual) event.
Our web site is here:

Some of the highlights include:
-Accurately measured, and well marked 25k and 50k courses with minimal traffic congestion and separate fire road starts for each field
-Free camping
-Catered, full meal post-race; dinners offered for sale the night before the race
-Local microbrewery sponsor
-Lots of goodies and prizes

Event sponsors we are talking to include:
-Running Warehouse
-Bear Republic Brewing Company

You can help us out by doing one or more of the following:

1) REGISTER now for the event here (mail-in reg. also available):
We would like to build momentum early on.

2) Please tell your friends about the race. Pass this note on or direct them to our web site.

3) Contact me or Leor directly if you (and/or a friend) can volunteer. We will need help with aid stations, course marshaling, course setup and breakdown, timing, etc. Volunteers will be fed and will get free technical shirts.


Gary Gellin

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Police Half

The Bow Valley Harriers were out in force on Sunday April 25 in the Police Half marathon. The course started at Mount Royal College and went round Glenmore reservoir before finishing back at the college, and it seems that most of Calgary was there.

None more so than Harrier Jody Draude who won what looked like a tight race by a margin of 15 seconds. That's a sprint finish over 13 miles. Beaten by a wheelchair competitor by 4 seconds, Harrier Draude was next to cross the line in 1:17.09 with Frank Woolstencroft and Geoff Hopfner in 2nd and 3rd places, only 15 seconds back and with exactly the same time! Just behind them was Harrier Fewster in 4th, also closely followed by Harriers Daum (6th), Manktelow (8th), Haddow (9th) and Penny (23rd). I'd say we won the team prize...

Results attached:

Talking of teams, K100 anyone? I'll do the organizing, I just need the runners...