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!"

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