Having grown up in Grande Cache, it’s pretty hard to NOT go home every August long for the Canadian Death Race, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to run with (and meet) lots of fun teams year after year. This year was no exception. I lucked out by meeting Lisa as part of my Sinister 7 team, and she put me in touch with a team who needed a runner last minute for Leg 3 of the Death Race.
Sugar Coated Sneakers ended up being an awesome team of ladies from Athabasca/Edmonton. These gals were no strangers to the Death Race and it was fun to be able to join their team.
It was a hot day to say the least, and at about 27 degrees, leg 2 was a killer. There were tons of soloists (and even teams) coming off of leg 2 looking totally spent. It was a tough leg this year. Our leg 1 and 2 runners did really well, but it was a tough slug and I was getting a bit nervous starting my leg with less than 2 hours and 15 minutes to spare for my 20ish km run before we would miss the cut off to start leg 4. I knew the trails were wet and that I would have to haul if I wanted to help my team keep going.
Leg 3 is a great leg (very runnable), but it sure was hot in the trees and I struggled to keep my pace up as I dodged the large rocky puddles. I was able to pass several soloists and teams, who I tried to encourage along the way. It was a hard day for a lot of runners, and it’s never nice seeing anyone suffer. I think some of those soloists would have paid big money for a fresh pair of quads after hammering down Grande Mountain and then onto the long downhills of leg 3.
I was really panicking as I got to the highway knowing I had 3.5kms to go, and less than 1/2 hour. There was no shade, and I was fading pretty fast. Luckily, Dad was cheering on the side of the highway with about 1/2 a km to go. This gave me the extra kick I needed (as per usual – thanks Dad), and I finished just under the wire (umm, 4 minutes to spare I think ;)).
Our team did great and finished right in around 21 hours. Congrats ladies, thanks for letting me be a part of your team.
Also, huge congrats to all the racers, it was a tough day out there. Special shout out to JJ who is an amazing young guy who attempted the race solo, raising money for the Kidney Foundation. Way to go JJ – you’re an inspiration.
Last but most definitely not least – special thank you to my favorite cheering squad: Mom, Dad, Lee, Ron, Uncle Dave, Danielle and Heather. Thanks so much for your support.
See you all on the trails next year…go death racers ;).