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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

K-100 Relay Race Report, Part 2. The rest of the story…

K100 Race results are here

Part 1 here.
Part 1.5 here.

Everyone seemed like they had pretty inspired runs,  But first:

Here I am running near the finish line of leg 4. Dude, I am a person, not just a pair of bare feet…

Notice I am on the road side of the white line. I ran there whenever there weren’t cars coming toward me as it was clean with no little rocks. I would usually run ON the white line in other races but there was a pavement seam right there and it was very unsure footing. Thanks to Leg 10 Dan for this photo. I only met him for a couple minutes total, but he seemed like a nice guy.


When I finished, I got a ride back to my car with Kraig, and then I went and stood in the river for a while and reflected on the run.

Once that was over I headed back a ways down the road to the Highwood House (a gas station) for some beef jerky, BBQ chips, ice cream sandwich and a G2. Once back on the road I bumped into the clean-up crew doing the same Job I had during the Calgary Marathon. I stopped and helped load a few tables and then continued on my journey back to the race course.


Once I got changed and had an old spice deodorant bath, I headed up the highway to see if I could catch Clint on his tough Leg 5. He was probably 2/3 of the way through his run when I got there and was able to get a ‘few’ shots of him. He ran the 17.54k leg in 1:36. I pulled up beside him and told him I thought leg 4 was probably tougher. He grunted: Yeah, probably. And just kept chugging up the hill. That leg sucks. Most teams save their stupidest most gullible best runners for this leg as it is pretty insane.


1476’ of elevation gain on this leg in 17.54kms. wow.


He is smiling! It was a pretty inspired run. He did complain quite a bit about where Dan parked the car after he finished (half a click back up the road).


I carried on up the road, stopping and taking pictures, noticing everytime I got out of the car it was getting colder. When i got to the summit it actually started to snow a bit and the wind was just bitter. There was lots of snow on the ground still and everyone was bundled up in blankets and whatever articles of clothing they could find!


Clint finished in typical strong fashion and handed off the race to Joel.


It was a little disappointing to me (and probably the leg 5 runners) that leg 5 didn’t finish right at the summit. I am sure it’s race logistics, but it was the leg 6 runners who get to crest the pass. It’s pretty neat to see runners topping out on the highest paved road in Canada. Remind me why we do this again?


Oh yeah, right. This is why we do it…


Joel is the youngest member of our group and therefore gets leg 6. 9kms straight down. 1200’ elevation loss. Hang the Eff on!! I drove down the hill, stopping for photos every now and then, but mostly watching the various downhill styles of each runner. From balls out run as hard as you can, to leaning back and braking with each step (ouch), to completely uncontrolled Phoebe style to light and quick and seemingly easy. Joel ran it great and seemed in great shape at the end.


This is my 3rd favourite shot from the day. The first was the one in part 1 - Joanne and the Horses. Number 2 is coming up.


Joel finished strong. The leg actually finishes with a nasty little uphill which I understand tends to claim runners more than anywhere else on course. After trashing your quads for an hour, that little up is agony!! Joyce Jackie was ready and gone like a shot on leg 7. This is a long 18km leg with a real variety in terrain.


Dean and Joel! Congrats on your runs! I spent quite a bit of time with this Father and Son running duo, and I appreciate the support on this day. Thank you!


Here is Joyce Jackie running happy. Unfortunately she konked out at the 10k mark with some Stomach problem, so Superhero Clint stepped in and finished the leg.

This is what Joyce Jackie had to say about it.

My story is short: DNF. Had to quit at about 10 km due to stomach issues :( Clint and Dan fought over who would get to finish my leg, but Superhero Clint won out and ran the balance of my leg for me (altho I did finish the worst part - the 3k hill!!!)

Great support from my teammates (Neil included). Next year, I WILL beat Leg 7!!!!!


I didn’t know any of this was happening as I decided to do a little sightseeing and relaxing before my stint as support for Susan. I drove around just looking and sitting. I thought I should head back down to see what was going on and when I ran into Clint and Dan (   Joyce Jackie hadn’t bonked yet) and I realized that leg 8 may have a forced start. This put me in a little panic when Clint said, YES it is is and it’s in 15 minutes.

Suck-o. I hopped back in the car and headed down the road. I didn’t know how far I was away from the transition but I knew it was still pretty far away. What I realized is that Forced starts kind of jam up the support vehicles and people in general. I had to park WAY down the road and RUN to the crowd.

I had never met Susan before. I was frantically running in and around the crowd, looking at bibs. I thought I found her when I spotted the a bib that was partially covered by her jacket but the last 2 numbers were correct. I stood right in front of this lady and said, Are YOU Susan?… nothing. I was like a foot away from her and I Said, HEY, Are You Susan!?, she kind of looked off into the distance and didn’t respond.

Not Susan. However, to my chagrin, the announcement comes over the loudspeaker “30 SECONDS TO THE FORCED START”

Damn. What do I do now… I KNOW. So I jog about 50 yard down from the crowd and I start to scan bibs as they run by. Sure enough I spot the RIGHT bib and start running beside her, and introduce myself. Susan was cool. Id’ve been all panicked and worried, but she was unphased. We made a plan for support and I headed back to the car. I had the GU, but for some reason I didn’t have any water. Was I supposed to pick up water somewhere, was there a support package that I missed out on? hmmmm…

So… over in the ditch was a table with big jugs of water. I looked around in my car and I decided to rinse out one of my GU bottles and go fill it up. I got back to the car and mt common sense finally kicked in and I headed over to the store (the transition was right across from the 1 store in the valley) and bought 2 bottles of water. I just couldn’t offer her water from a bottle that had already been used (by me) in this race… Simple for some, big deal decision making for me…. yeesh…

Well, I pulled out and got into line with the masses of cars. When I finally caught up to Susan, she was ready to shed her jacket. Just as I got back into my car and pulled up the highway again, it just started to POUR rain. ahead it was like watching a frogger video game as support teams crossed over the road to get jackets back to thier runners. Susan was having none of that, she was warmed up and kicking ass!


Look how happy while running in the rain. Great attitude!


Here is my second favourite photo from the race… Looks fake, except for the runners…


This was the reality for the entire leg as support groups leapfrogged each other for the duration of the run. Compounding the issue was the fact there were additional forced starts in the next two legs and teams were trying to get their runners to the start areas. I was parked at one point updating facebook and twitter (just got service back for the first time in 9 hours) and BANG BANG, theres a loud knock on the passanger window. I peed a little. It was Clint dropping off the support car sign and safety vest as they went by to go drop off Dan at leg 10 start.  Kraigs yellow Jeep is up in the line of cars as he was headed to leg 9 start.


Right here Susan goes running by and says “It’s one of those days! I just beat my 10k PR!!” Yeah! Way to go! I think the race adds a bit of go juice to your Mojo when you are part of a cool team! Don’t ya think?


Susan ran with this group of 4 ladies, and during the last support spot I told her to lose these chicks, time to break out! She replies: No problem, i’ll be able to out kick them, no problem!


She was right, in the last 2kms she pulled out a lead of at LEAST 300 meters! Nicely done. She tagged off to Kraig in a torrential downpour and we headed back to pick up her car. I dropped off Susan and then headed home. just like that. It was over for me. home life called and I was more than ready to get back to my DW and DS. I started at 1:30 am and it was now 6pm and still an 1:15 from home.


That was it for me. I did get a report from Dan and Kraig. Here are their storys.

Kraig said:

Man this was a busy weekend. Just got back to Edmonton at 11:30 last night. It was great meeting everybody though. Can't believe how much fun it was. Right now all I want to do is go run it again.
As for my leg; 'It was wet.' Crap now I owe Susan some money. How much was that again? Five bucks a word? Jeez, Dan I might need your help with the math on this one.
The first km was pretty wet but it cleared up fast. It was a good time for the rain actually because the first 2k or so was just a bike path with no hills. Then we were guided off onto 200m of shale under a bridge that I think Neil would have hit his head on. Man was it low. Quickly changed over to mulch though and stayed flat until about the 4k mark. Right after crossing a small bridge over some rushing water we headed (what felt like) straight up for 3k. The trail was basically damp/soft dirt with oddly place rocks and tree root protruding everywhere. After that it plateaued for 1k and everything went crazy muddy and swampy. I just left the rushing water down below but somehow it made its way up the hill. Then there was another 1k up with patches of wet and dry spots. Followed by 2k down where the random rocks and tree roots got worse. Another flat 1k as we crossed a river and made our way around a small parking lot. At which point we had another 1k up but this one was worse than the others and everyone else began to walk. Then the last 500m was flat with plenty of water to clean oneself off for the finish.
Um... Man that was long winded. Don't ask me to write stuff cause you'll get a story. This was me trying to keep it short.
In the end I ran the 12.5k in 1:18:23. Ignore the fact that Dan's leg was 5.5k longer and I look pretty good. :)

Dan said:

Great to have met are right, the whole thing was a blast (except Leg

Leg-10 - basically an 18km out and back leg - Started at the Nakiska Ski Resort, first 3km through the forest downhill....a bit muddy and the trail was very "rutty"...afterwhich the trail turn to rock and points what seemed to be loose shale, following power lines for another 3km...then the ice cold creek crossing, about shin deep (very refreshing....not). Another up and down non-stop climb to the turnaround point just to do it all over again. Except this time the end bit was changed so that we could enjoy a 1.2km direct Ski slope climb out of the woods to the ski lodge.

All in all....a very challenging course....worst for me was being a sea level creature from TO...the constant up and downs at altitude took its toll on me....and I blame Clint the Anti-Christ for that part......also and VERY important....I wore trail shoes (based on the recommendation of the guy working the pool area at the hotel....not a good idea...) and now I have a hole in my foot (happy to send a pic for effect if you need it....) also blame Clint the devil for that.....


But in the was an absolute blast.....getting to meet most everyone was very cool and made the experience a lot of fun.

Final time for the 18km - 1:18:56


Thanks team! It was a blast!!


  1. Thanks Neil, for the awesome Blog......especially the part about me "seeming like a nice guy"... Sorry you didn't get a chance to be there at the end. Looking forward to next year....and, oh yeah, Clint is stil the Devil.

  2. Sounds like such a great experience Neil! I really hope to be part of a relay race one day :)

  3. wow what an experience. Such great pictures. Will you do it again next year?

  4. @ She said: Yeah! And I'll train for it too!

  5. Looks like a great event, great photos. Congrat's.

  6. What a beautiful course! I wouldn't like the relay leg that Clint ran! Kudos to him for persevering through that nasty uphill the whole way!

  7. Awesome!! You really have some great pictures of the whole course! Thanks for the support and taking pics!! Would you mind emailing me the ones of me? Did the silly one of me turn out or did the pouring rain ruin it?

  8. Well done Neil. I enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the amazing pictures. Dean.

  9. You take the most amazing pictures. Awesome that you stopped to help volunteers during the race. Looks like an amazing day.

  10. How cool to have a father/son duo. That must be very special to the Dad. Maybe that will be you and Andrew in 10 years. Barefooting of course.

  11. Part 2 was worth waiting for! Absolutely love the story of the race. Just little anecdotes like Susan's powering through the rain turning down the jacket, or announcing her 10K PB right in middle of the leg.

    And more gorgeous photos too. Gonna post another to our FB wall and link folks back here, if that's OK?


  12. I agree, that course was absolutely incredible.