Monday, July 12, 2010

Schooled by the Knee Knacker

My first Knee Knacker 50 K  er, 30 miler

8000 ft elevation gain, 50 km.  I can do that.  Done it before. No problemo- or so I thought.
The terrain and the heat were another story.....








It has been called "Canada's  gnarliest 30 miler", and  "one of the 25 toughets races in North America" ,
um yeah!
       Uphills so steep, I had to go on all 4's at times to pull myself up. I have callouses on my hands!
       Huge boulders, I gingerly step over, hoping I don't dislodge one onto my friends below
       2-3 foot high steps at times, not condusive to my short little legs!!
      Roots so gnarly, it was tough to even run on the flats at times . When I did try run thru them, it was a
drunken, ankle-rolling game of hopscotch- staggering, slipping, and toe stubbing away. I can't give a detailed race report cuz I had no idea where I was most of the race! It was actually kinda trippy!

But man, it was BEAUTIFUL!!
Going up Black mountain

View of Bowen Island
     
 I felt pretty chewed up by the time I was spat out of the mountains to the finish line.  
What was most impressive was the organizers and volunteers.  Throughout this difficult course, I felt cared for, cheered on and safe the entire race!

My Day of Firsts:  Perfect for my FIRST Knee Knacker!!!

First bad  FALL  in a race. Slipped on a root and slammed my shin on a rock on the first peak. Of course it had to be the leg with the steel plate- tawang!  It swelled up and jiggled all the way down hollyburn chute- so I took it slow, which probably paid off in the end. Got to Ice it in the snow at mountain top.

First 50K in the HEAT . I have new respect for my friends who ran the Sahara! 

First race without my running friends or husband (sad face) . Cross finish line, go 'yay me', then kinda walk around aimlessly.

First time DRIVING 'in the city'. I spent more time researching/googlemapping the 45 km drive than I did the 50 km run!!! ha ha !!  I'm almost more proud of my drive than my run!

After Race Thoughts:  Mixed Emotions
*Happy to destroy my sub 7 hr goal.
*Disappointed in my slow down the last 7.5 mile stage of the race due to the heat.
*Validated after looking at the results and seeing how many others crashed in the last 1/4 and were actually slower than me.  I was actually 39th fastest finisher in this stage...should I have pushed harder? Still learning.
*Disappointed in my 4th place finish. Damn, KK brings out great  runners!
*Laughing at myself cuz at the end I encouraged a running colleague to giv'er. No worries, cuz she is in a  younger age group than me....NOT.. apparently she turned 40 and took 3rd ! ha ha. I'm happy for her tho.
*Sad cuz  my running friends were not there to hang with after.
*Grateful for the wonderful running community. Everyone is so nice and supportive!

Wow, I wonder how someone feels after a 100Km/miler ??

Some Pics from the KK Site:

Start: run, stop at trail, wait to get in-Bottleneck! 

First hill. Me trying to keep up with the 'big boys'.  I look so little! This pic cracks me up!!


Hollyburn and Cleveland dam (1/2 way). Its getting warmer... shirt rolled up, gut hanging out-but I don't care at this point. By the end, the shirt is off! Glad I planned for respectable gear underneath. 



Ahhh, some things are worth stopping for!!

The FINSH LINE!!

My Stats- for future referencel
Goal- Sub 7 hrs -the longest 50K  I will run (due to the technicality)
Time-  6:43:37  Yaaaay!
Splits: Stg 1- 1:50 (all up) Stg2-1:27 (post injury slowdown)  Stg3- 1:36 (feelin' great) Stg4- 1:48(damn hot)
Place: 4th in age  / 10th woman overall / 45th out of 206 overall.  

Pleased with the race, but see lots of room for improvement... after a rest of course!

Heather




3 comments:

DEANNA STOPPLER said...

Very cool! Way to go!

Jude said...

yah!...... ePic!
you learn the most from the toughest races.
Sounds like you had a wicked aDVEnture.

EricG said...

Great job Heather. Way to hang in there after cracking your shin. Thats a nice one. The heat changes everything doesnt it? Peace EricG