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Monday, February 21, 2011

Frozen Ass 50

I ran the 25k edition. I call it my half ultra. Thanks TONS to Gord from Gords Running Store and his awesome team of volunteers or putting on such a terrific race.

I met a bunch of new people, the least of not which is Ellie Greenwood.  Ellie is one of the worlds fastest Ultra Runners! Nice to meet you today! I asked if I could take a picture. She seemed a little weirded out by this giant unshaven freaky wannabe dude, but was a good sport anyway!

I ran into lots of my good running friends – Joanne and Darren, Laura, Ron, Barefoot Paul and then met a good number more during the race. It’s true what they say, Bacon at the 18km aid station is AWESOME Ultra Runners are the nicest people.

the race started with a ‘go’. The runners up front kinda looked at one another, ‘Right now?’… yep, GO! Ok! we were off and running 110 people in a really nice orderly single file line.

We went probably 2-3 k like this with very little opportunity to pass, what with the shin deep snow if you went off the packed trail. It was ok as I got into a 3 person train with Darren and a Girl who I cannot remember your name (even though I ran with her for 3/4 of the race, know that she is training for the Sinister 7 ultra, is in 3rd year Nursing at MRU and this was her first Ultra, give me a comment to remind me of who you are please!) The other person was Darren. We chatted a little at the start of the race when his toque got knocked off by a tree branch and I retrieved it for him, then again a bit later, but it wasn’t until about the 20k mark that we ran together and chatted about all manners of things and actually realized we live a couple blocks from each other. too funny!

Here is my unnamned friends ass (sorry, the view finder on the little green camera is unviewable in the bright light)
Here is the back of her head too!
And this is her in the Purple shirt at the turn around (my finish)
And this is Darren coming in for the 1/2 way snacks (He ran the full too!)

I had a really nice time out there. The last km or 2 got a bit tough, but since this was supposed to be a training run, I didn’t feel overtaxed at anytime. The scenery isn’t the best for a race, but with the company I kept for most of it, the miles just seemed to click by! there was a moment at about 15k where I thought I might make the turn and head back to do the full 50k, but I had planted my vehicle at the turn and would have to retrieve it later. I am happy I had the excuse to stop at the 25k mark, as I probably would have taken 9 more hours to finish. I also think I under fuelled, what with all the talking and enjoying the race, that I felt the start of some calf cramps with 1 k to go, and then again as I stretched out after the race.

I ran the 25k in 2:50, with probably 25-30 minutes attributed to the tough conditions where the path was not maintained or melted off. We actually ran on the canal instead of the path as the Snowmobile tracks were much better for running on! Pretty stark scenery hey? we ran down here for the better part of 45  minutes. (remind me to shave next time, OK?)
Here is Ellie Again coming back on the return trip, thanks for hamming it up for this weirdo's camera!

Ok, the stats.

First half :       12.5k in 1:24:55
Second half:   12.5k in 1:25:24

What does that mean? It means the extra minute I took at the 19k aid station to eat the 5 pieces of bacon cost me a perfect race split. Dammit that bacon was good, and really surprisingly palatable at that point of the race! The other problem at that aid station was I ate 3 frozen Ju-jubes and it took me 4 kms to pick the gluey bits out of my teeth. (would it kill the volunteers to keep the Ju-jubes in their pockets please?)

Here are the splits



It was a really terrific day for running! I actually burnt my face a little in the sun. nice tanline!

neil suntan

This was a really important confidence building journey as I have been feeling a lot of doubt in my running, what with the life events that are going on and the lack of training the last week and a half or so. This race is just what I needed to get a swift kick in the pants back to my usual dumb training self. (dumb training = just going out and pounding the miles as scheduled without much thought to the overall picture, just trusting in completing the run that is directly in front of me is the only thing in the plan that matters at the moment) Make sense?

That’s pretty much all I have to tell, I did put together a 10 minute video of my experience.

And here are the rest of the photos,

I took this shot of the 25k finish when I dropped off the car before the race. Thanks Dad for shuttling me to the Start line!
Hi Ron, Hi Laura

Gord gives us the state of the union prior to the run!
Hi Daren, Hi Ron!
Hi Laura
The Aid station food was left up to the discretion of the volunteers. There were mixed reviews on the Bacon and Peanut Butter Tortillas!DSCF3139

All in all a Fantastic Day! Did I ever tell you I love racing!


  1. Darn Bacon!!!
    congrats on your race!
    I LOVE these pictures!!!!
    Frozen jujubes are a killer...I remember these as a kid...ha ha!

  2. The snack table looks like a kid's birthday party. Yum!

  3. Who wouldn't stop for bacon. Hey, I would stop, start running again and then turned back for more.
    Glad you got you got your running confidence back. Just that was worth freezing your a$$ off. Good job, Neil.
    As usual great photos.

  4. Bacon! Now that's a treat, even if it did mess up the split! Looks like a good, fun race! Congratulations!

  5. Great Pictures do awesome race reports. Bacon??? All I ever see is bagels and bannanas...have a great week

  6. Great race report. BondiBand tan line? Too funny...

  7. Wow, It looks like a fun race. CONGRATS on your finish. All the pictures are awesome. I'm digging the food to.

  8. Great "Half-Ass"...mmm, bacon.

    The best part of ultra running is the AS tables...that and not needing to shave....

  9. Good read!

    For another good read on how kids are helping kids, check out the linked article below;

  10. Great job! I loved all the pics. And now I want bacon.

  11. YUP I LOVE, LOVE BACON!! But holy cow Neil you're awesome!! It looks cold and snowy all of it! Way to go!!!!!!!!!! Yipppeeeee!!!!

  12. freaking awesome race!

    Where's the photo of your OWN ass?

    If I ever do race with you . . . . I'm staying BEHIND you.

  13. Congrats on the race! New to your blog and I wouldn't have gone out in that cold. You got ... something! Nice pictures too!

  14. Ditto what EMZ said.

    Looks like a great fun race. Nice job.

  15. To be clear, the ass photo was an accident... :oP

  16. Good read, good run, and great to meeet you neil. Hope you don't mind but I have borrowed one of your photos for my blog - let me kn ow if you object! Happy trails :)

  17. Looks so cold but SO fun! I love reading about ultra running and loved reading about YOU ultra running. I wonder if I'm an unformed ultra runner? Only time will tell.

  18. Great review of a great event! I love all the photos! One day I'll live my dream of running in snow (must sound funny to you). Well done, that's a good time as well.

  19. Great may have been stark, but it was really pretty. Glad it went well for you!

  20. Ok, I have never heard of bacon at a race before - and I grew up in Iowa and ran a billion races there! :)

    I'm glad you didn't crack a tooth on a frozen JuJubee! But picking them out of your teeth for a few Ks gives you fuel longer!

    Nice job, Neil - looks like a really fun race. And wow, I didn't know you were so close to the mountains! Me too, only a little further South! :)

  21. Can you please "accidently" keep taking more ass photos during your next race?

    Nice job Neil. Your enthusiasm was all over this race report.

  22. Great report for what looks like a fun race. I may have to tackle that one next year.

  23. Awesome!

    BTW every time I see Gordie I think of Chris K's blog! :)

  24. Hey Neil
    Nice commentary on the race !!
    Great memories, thanks for the company for the first 20k, great adventure.
    I am your ass shot, and unknown racer friend. :)
    I finished the rest up right and smiling, what a great day:)

    See you at the next race.

  25. Looks like a ton of fun!!! You captured some great photos.

  26. Thanks Neil for a great report & pictures. I especially loved you posting my pic with you as I am technologically challenged yet my girls love seeing what "mommy" was up to while she was away. Great seeing & hugging you again ;)

  27. Congratulations Neil.

    Thanks for the great pictures. I loved running on the canal...very surreal and your photos captured the feeling perfectly.


  28. Great race report. Mind if I use some of the photos for a recap on

  29. Thanks for the video. You had to show me stuffing my face didn't you. I will try on the Merrells next time I am at Gord's


    Barefoot Paul

  30. Nice to see another barefooter on the trail! I ran in moccassins that day (26K, 2:00:20 finish), but I can't wait for the weather to once again become barefoot friendly!

  31. Donnie_O Sorry i missed you. I would have like to talked to you.
    Yes I am very much looking forward to summer and getting rid of these shoes and socks


  32. FELICIDADES, NEIL!! and very inspiring! such beautiful scenery, too. love your race reports!