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Monday, October 18, 2010

Gorilla Run Awesome and some geocaching!

Full Calgary Gorilla Run Race Results and photos here.

Remember to enter into the Canadian only GU contest!

I am really starting to love race days. I go racing in the morning and then come home, shower up and get ready for some ‘benture’ (adventure, as said by a 3yo boy)

5:45 I got up and started my day. I puddled around longer than usual at the house as it was very cold out side. –4c , 24f. Yep, I had NO plans on taking off the 5’s today. This would be my first race, and longest run in the Vibrams. I did include my new pair of Injinji socks in my race kit too! They worked pretty good and have no adverse effects from the combination. I will tell you (full disclosure as always) that my form changed pretty dramatically from barefoot running. I had to concentrate very hard to maintain good forefoot form, as I found myself either pounding the ground too hard, or actually heel striking at times. If anyone tells you that running in Vibrams is exactly like running barefoot, they have very likely never ran barefoot…

With all that said, I got myself ready and was quite stoked to finally be able to try my BondiBand Skull Cap! My short review on this cool cap is that it ROCKED! I normally have the salt streaks down my face and times when I am struggling with sweat in my eyes, but not today. Whatever the wicking properties are in this hat, they WORK! it is very thin and lightweight, but was everybit as good as my thicker hats I own. $20.o0 over at BondiBand.


I got to the Zoo at 7:10 ish, early enough for the 8am start time. Wow, did if feel cold out. They do a pretty good job and have a lot of warm areas to wait including the very long tunnel under Memorial Drive and the C-train station. This is the tunnel, which serves at the entrance to the zoo as well. They have all sorts of wild bird and animal noises playing as you walk down here.


I was in my sweats and fleece hoodie still at this point as I didn’t know if they had a bag drop or not. Not. So I went back the the cube and got into my race gear. Long sleeve compression shirt (no Nipguards needed), short sleeve race shirt, running shorts, injinji socks, vibrams, the bondi hat and some thin gloves). I then sprinted back to the warm confines of the waiting areas. They had a volunteer check in tent just to the right of this picture. Poor buggers were bundled up arctic style…


I met Kelly and Ally in the Karsten Discovery Hut (the zoo admin building), and waited around. Kelly said she was FREEZING, so I suggested we go for a warm up run. That seemed to work. That is Ally having a stretch, and Kelly in her throw away shirt. She even looks cold in this picture…


As people started making their way outside we figured it was race time, so we followed the masses out and got in line.


I saw Dave there, he gave me his best ‘I’m not posing’ pose for the photo. Not sure if he’ll be happy with this shot or not?…


We moved up in the queue and got close enough to hear the RD yelling out instructions…


But there was no way that anyone farther away could hear her. I heard some people mumbling that they couldn’t hear anything, so in my ever so helpful way, I turned and shouted “IT’S OK, SHE’s NOT GOING TO MARRY RICHARD!!!”

DSCF2652  Hi Daren! (Center, black outfit)

We also ran into Joanne again (and Daren, obviously) but who the hell is that guy next to you Joanne? (No idea…) he looks like he belongs tho doesn’t he? Joanne got second in her AG! Way to go!

UPDATE: The guy is Adam! And just because I don’t know him, doesn’t mean someone doesn’t know him! Turns out he’s FAST! Finished 6th overall.  I added his finish photo below as well!


Ok, on to the race… It was pretty gnarly for the first 5k… the zoo paths are narrow and windy and hilly and twisty. It would be fun to run, it was pretty tough to race tho. I will for SURE do it again next year. What an experience running on the Zoo paths. So unique!


I am sure there were a few people that got messed up. I did save a few as proofed by this fun video I took on the run. The dinosaurs are animatronic and I was trying to get their movement in the video but almost wiped out instead.


Large humped ungulates…


I know we had pre-opening access to the zoo, but I would have felt better if they had put the tigers back in the cages before we went on our run. They assured us they had eaten already, so not to worry. They also said that if they approached you, to not run…


Look closely at the blur, there are mountain goats up there.


Thought this was worthy of a stop…


We made it out of the zoo with with only a mild case of vertigo and was treated to flat and straight for most of the run from here.


Had plenty of runners asking about the Vibrams, but not nearly as many as when I go Barefoot. However, I did get a bunch of “Hey did you run ‘X’ race barefoot? I saw you there!” Cool… I like that!


I stopped for this, I had too! Hi Anthony! Congrats to you and Shannon on your 3:02 and 3:23 marathons in Detroit today! Feel free to use this photo AC, Click on it for a larger version.


There were a few more cool photo ops! The building under construction is now the tallest west of Toronto in Canada! 60 stories! wow!


Running under the C-train tracks


At least once a week a cube van gets jammed under the lower deck of the Center Street Bridge.


Only 3 k to go!


We Finished really strong. the 15th k was the second fastest after the 2nd!! I am super proud of that! I am sure it had a LOT to do with my excellent fuel products and fuelling strategy courtesy of all my GU stuff!


Here is the teams finishing shots as taken by the race people.

adam Adam! woo! he finished so fast it was still cold out!



AllyAlly (who is an Ironman!)


Ok, here is my question. Notice my left foot, it has the timing chip. Notice Kelly's left foot, it has the timing chip. Finish line

How does the time end up like this then?


Do they like the ladies better at this race and give them a 1 second head start?? Hmmm?

Here is Dave! You look good Dave! Nice run!


Overall the event was really well done. There are a bunch of cool stories regarding where the money goes from this run, and while the speeches took quite a long time, we couldn’t complain as they had probably the best post race venue setup I have seen! Muffins, bananas and lots of Starbucks coffee for everyone, in a large tent with comfy seating! Perfect! Thanks Gorilla Run! It was a fantastic day!


I got home right at noon, had a shower, then Andrew and I zipped over to Subway to pick up some lunch. After lunch we loaded up in the car and got ready for some ‘Benture!!

We drove out east of the city this time. There are alot of combines out in the fields bringing in this years harvest and so we stopped so Andrew could have a look at the process. What he said next still blows my mind. Please keep in mind that this little guy is only just 3 years old and is a city raised kid.

Ok, so we see this. and just ahead is another one combining the same field.


Me: “What do you think of this Andrew? Pretty neat?

Andrew:  “They will be finished dat field in no time!”

Me and Traci: stunned silence.

I have no idea where he could have formulated that thought, and be able to articulate it so perfectly. Blew me away.

A bit earlier we came across remote control airplane races. We spent an hour enjoying these! It was really cool to see and boy were they FAST!


We moseyed on down the road, following the Iphone geocaching app until it took us here. Are you kidding me? We have driven within 6kms of this place for the last 13 years, but never made the turn. Is that pretty cool or what? Geocaching rocks!



We went down the hill and into the thickets to find our treasure! The boy was UBEr happy!


We carried on to the other side of the river chasing the next one! We found it pretty quickly after some creative hiking over the Dam gates!


You can tell how big the weir is; you see the car over there for some perspective?! This is the Carseland Weir, and it provides irrigation canals to much of South Central Alberta.


We found the cache, it was micro, as displayed by the boy. A micro typically has only a little notepad inside for signing the log, and no trading items.


We got back to the cube and started to head out. Wait, where is my brand new IpHone 4? Dang… There it is.


I left it on the fence post.


Still happily displaying the cache details…


That was our day! It was a great day indeed!

  • Barefoot mileage since June 29th : 215.1km
  • VFF mileage since July 7th : 64.7km (12 on trails)
  • Shoe mileage since SOBF (start of barefoot): 5km (25:30 5k race PR on July 1st)


    1. What a lovely way to spend the day - doing what you love with friends and family. Sometimes life is so good.

    2. My wife's first race last year she ran faster than me even though we started and finished together. Crazy timers.

      Our family loves geocaching!

    3. You do the most fun looking races!! The adventures afterwards are just the icing on the cake :)
      Love all the photos and the videos!

    4. Nice save on the phone - lucky!!!
      The Gorilla race sounds really fun, glad you enjoyed it. Aren't you suppose to wear gorilla costumes, though? There's one here in Denver and they all wear these gorilla suits and it's so funny to watch them run. And yea, chicks rule, even if it is just for 1 sec. :)

    5. That race looks like it was fun and I love your commentary along the way! I've only taken my camera on a race once - seeing your pictures makes me want to do it more often.

      Your son is such a cutie, and YES, three-year-olds are incredibly smart! Love the stunned parents. :)

    6. Brrrrr. on your run! And I love to watch farm machinery. Love it!

    7. I don't think I could run at a zoo. I would be stopping at every cage to look.
      OK, I've decided, our next trip we are going to look for some caches. We used to do that and then for some reason stopped. You reminded me how much fun this can be.

    8. Way too much to comment on buddy! Way too much.

      Thanks for the mojo for my race and all the well wishes.

      Firstly, the chip thing ... maybe her plant foot had the chip on it, and your back foot had the chip on it.

      Secondly, there's a Bengal tiger sitting on that roof ... I bet you were afraid!

      Thirdly, you're running the wrong way - look at the arrows!

      “IT’S OK, SHE’s NOT GOING TO MARRY RICHARD!!!” LMAO ... did anyone walk on people's heads after that? LOL

      Dang ... doh! found the iphone!

      thanks for the adventure.

    9. awesome.

      BTW - you get the award for most photos used in a single post. Love it.

    10. Ha! Hi Joanne! I'm the guy next to Joanne. :)

      Great post.

      - Adam

    11. 'Benture! LOVE IT! So dang cute. What a smart kid you have there. It's probably because he's called Andrew. All sons named Andrew are fabulous.

      What a great rr. Love the pictures and the video. RARRR @ the dinosaur. Holy cow it's cold in Canada.

      Thank goodness you found your iphone. Phew!

      Women are awesomely fabulous, therefore the universe automagically gives them a 1 second lead.

    12. Love the Gorilla Run T-shirt! And the cold weather runnin' has got me pumped to run in the cold for a change.

    13. I love Kanadia! So clean and cold and polite!

      Did the race have a start mat? She must have hit it before you. Because neither of your times matches up to the clock time in the pic.

      That's all I can figger.

      Re: Articulate Andrew:

      The language skills sometimes come in BURSTS. Soon, you'll be able to have him ghostwrite your tweets.

    14. I just want to say thanks Neil for not putting up the picture of me at the front, I am sure I didn't look very comfortable up there all by myself.

      Hi guy next to me...!

    15. Heh... That last comment was Joanne, if anyone wonders. And the Anonymous Guy next to Joanne in the Picture is Adam, he took 5th overall. FAssssst!

    16. Ha! Love the photo.
      I guess that means I have to turn around and everyone else goes straight.
      Rejected again.

      Thanks for the shout out. Congrats on a strong finish! And damn, your blog has just exploded in popularity. You da man!

    17. Congratulations on getting stronger as the race went on! Very nice.

    18. Great race and good blog! Ouch, terrible picture of me.

    19. Dude, I can't even guess how I chicked you at the finish, although I will so take it! Fit women over 40 will rule the world :) Another very fun race together and I totally love our final few k's getting faster and faster - we ROCK.

      As always, the best part is Andrew geocaching stories.