Monday, August 12, 2013


I EXPECTED Gary Robbins to make it a tough course, and he EXCEEDED expectations!
9000ft (2700 m) Up/ 9500ft (2900m) down , and like, 98% technical trail, and in 30 degree heat.
= CONQUERING a new level of discomfort!!!!

 Race summarized by my thoughts:

Start: " My calf is cramping already? Gotta slow down"
            .... " Is that an old lady and her grandchildren passing me?"
9 Km: " oh GOOD, a hill, I can powerhike and maybe get the feeling back into my foot"
13 km (and 800 m, 2600 ft up): "when will the hill stop !!, I'm STILL going up ! Up, up, up "
14 km: " Yaaay Down !!!"... Yaay, wa hoooo... hooo. hooooo..., "
20 km: "yoo hooo! hoo..oooh, OK, still going down here..still down...more down will it ever end?
             "Achilles is going to snap off anytime now. I'll pull out at 23 km aid station.
             Good idea. I'm a Physio, I know its the smart thing to do. "

25 km: " why am I still running? , IDIOT"
                                            .... Oh yeah,  THIS IS why ( Pic below ) I want to see more!

26 km:  "Its freakin' HOT up this hill !  "I... don' eat "

              " Bar?- ugh!, try a gel?-double ugh!thank god for Carbopro or I'd fall over"
             "what, bra chaffing too? , and why are my socks falling off? anything else?" Bring it !

28 km: "This hill looked much easier in the elevation profile"

             "Thats it, I think I've passed out and I'm in a nightmare of neverending switchbacks"

30 km: "Finally, downhill to the next aid station, I'll pull out the lube for the chaffing.
   ( I  look down)-->toe grab, FLY  foreward over an embankment!!
             but my inner monkey kicked in and  I grabbed a tree mid-air and 180 swing myself back   onto the trail! Impressed with myself, Feelin' pretty cool at that point, but knowing my shoulder is gonna hurt later.

33 km:  " That was the longest 5 miles  I've ever ran in my                life" (between 15-20 mi aid stn, 400 m up)
             " Soo HOT in the back valley here! The sun is relentless, not even a breeze-thats it! I'm
                        never doing a desert race  ... take me back to the trails!"
              - I could wring the sweat out of my shirt at this point, just drenched!
              -My ears clogged up and it felt like I was running in a tunnell, ...and I find out later this is due to decreased blood volume(dehydration) affecting the inner ear fluid.  K, duh, drink more! but I was already drinking almost double normal and was afraid of that old hyponatremia fear... Still learning obviously.

 34 km:

 " what? ANOTHER HILL ? Gary Robbins (course designer) is a Very Very BAAAD MAN".   Nice guy, but starting to think he is a SADIST!" Oh, look how sweet  and happy he looks in this pic on race day... but if you look DEEPER, there is a Glimmer of evil in those eyes.

Only those who run his races, truly know that glimmer.
40 Km:" Oh, starting to cramp up- grab more trusty salt tablets... what! they fell out! really?
               ( I held myself together by sucking the salt off my pretzels.)

43 km: " Quads cramping BAD... but they look kinda cool
                   .... really muscular...wish I took a pic. " 
                  But it FELT like they looked like this   ----------->>>>

44 km: " I thought we DESCEND into Squamish, why am I STILL going UPHILL? "
             " I got Nothing, I'm walking up the hills"
- Looking at my splits, this last  10km was super slow. I guess the heat/cramping got to me and  'the wheels fell off ' at 40 km. Could only march up the hills, even walked some flats. Ran out of Drive.

46 km: "Finally, Down to the finish"
49 km: (on the road, into town) " Thats it, I've lost interest, its too hot,
               I'm going to DNF now"(joking)
       So, I start walking, then Mr. Jason Louttit (amazing runner) see's me walking, gives me crap and says 'its only 400 m away, run it " Fine, I ran it in, only cuz he told me to.

I felt like the 'running gods' threw the book at me this race. So many running issues I never experienced before  ALL happened on this day. Maybe it was the 30 deg heat, the tough course, or maybe just a bad day for me. In the end with my 8 hour finish time was my slowest 50 km time ever,I should be mad,  strangely,  I'm very  pleased with a  new milestone: overcoming pain, nausea, cramping etc. I've done several 50 kms, but this one is the first to really PUSH my limits, really, thinking " I can't go anymore" ... but I did, I FINISHED !!!  and learned so much!

Kudo's to the Race directors of Squamish 50, if it wasn't for their great organization,  aid stations/volunteers, and beauty views to keep me going,  I probably would not have finished the  super challenging, technical course they presented.

-You'll conquer a new level of 'discomfort'
- You will be challenged! your limits will be pushed!
-Fabulous trail markings... you will NOT get lost
-Amazing view's
-Great Race directors, they have it ALL covered.
-Excellent aid stations. Even a suprise Freezie station!Loved the freezie guy.
-Beer gardens at the finish.
-Nice Swag bags
-Meal ticket at the finish line .
-Beautiful medals

So, if you're in for a Sadistic, Punishing,Challenging 50 km, where you're safely taken care of, sign up for this next year:  August 9, 10, 11 for 25 km/50km/50 mile... or all 3!

Heather V.
As I get more pics of the race, I'll add them. I tried to add Mr. Robbin's athlete site, but it appears to have been hacked, will try later.


Steve said...

Great race report! Thank you!

I felt nearly the same on the 50M course. Cramping for the last 50k, I hated Gary, but now, today, I felt in love with this awesome race!

Anonymous said...

Love this read Heather. Sorry I missed you at the end:(