There were three pods running; two of them set off at midnight and we set off at 3am. The young 20-something on a skateboard drinking a beer on his way home from the night club must have thought he was really drunk when confronted with us. The fog was thick but we soon climbed out of it and up the Spray Lakes road and by sunrise we had knocked off 40k. Ian, who brought McDonalds cheeseburgers as his fuelling food of choice, told us we were running above "hamburger pace" (the pace at which you can comfortably eat a hamburger). He said we were at "fries pace" instead.
At that point it got freezing but with food in us and a change of clothes we headed into the mountains ... and hit the snow. The next section of the route had us heading over Bueller Pass, Guinns Pass, down Galatea and then up the Terrace trail to Kananaskis village and then down to Ribbon Creek car park where we knew Carl's wife Rosie was waiting with "the mother of all aid stations". This was my favourite part of the trip. Plenty of running, some snow and amazing views. Thanks must go to the pods in front of us who broke trail for us!
By Ribbon Creek we were about 65k down. I was feeling good and ready for the next part. Only 35k to go and I was re-fuelled by the mother of all aid stations (it was true) and some company from the likes of Fewster and Draude. There were two possible routes; Skogan Pass and Mount Allan. The two other pods took Skogan Pass and enjoyed themselves immensely. We took the more challenging route. And it killed me. We climbed for hours in knee-deep snow and by the time we were spat back out 25k east of Canmore, I was spent. Carl and Blaine were still operating at pace but Ian and I were operating at "hamburger pace with fries effort". Not a pretty sight.
We finally arrived in Canmore at 8pm. Two hours late but with smiles all over our faces. And the best news? Nearly $30,000 raised for MitoCanada and some serious awareness happening.
Well done to everyone who ran. Donations are still open (see the last blog post) and spread the word. Next year I'm doing what the Ozzie Mitochondrial charity did - a "stay in bed for the day" event. Much more civilised!!