Week 10 – CTRR Baby!

As reported to fellow Running Maniacs:

Cabot Trail Relay Race 2007 – Team: RunningMania.com – Leg 7 – 13.1 kms – 1:20:53 – 53/65

As usual, I loved seeing all the Maniacs, especially those from away who we so rarely get to see, or hadn’t met in person before. Smile I had the pleasure of picking up Heather, when she arrived to stay a few days early with Ang, then Kristi & Darren on our way to The Trail.

Kristi & Darren were also our support crew buddies for the duration, and we had a fantastic weekend. Thanks for putting up with us guys!

Friday was a fun time meeting up with the team, photo ops and food, and of course the notorious Ceilidh. I think qmp & I were the only ones up dancing at any point though. I carb-loaded a bit more than I needed to Wink but it was still a much earlier night than past relay road-trips. Smile

Hmmm…. “The Good one” eh? 😉

Saturday morning we slept through leg 1(knowing most of our vehicle had a sleepless event ahead of us), got up during leg 2, and made our way to the finish of leg 3/start of 4. We got a chance to support Ang, see her cross the finish line and see Kristi off! Smile Supporting up smokey gave one a real appreciation for the challenge of running CTRR. When we finally reached a point where it was possible to pull over near the top of the mountain, I decided to keep Kristi company for a while. It looked like a lonesome place to run with no opportunity for support, up until then. Once she made it to the top, and was under steam running again, I eventually dropped off so we could get ahead and support her further down the line before heading to her finish. I loved being able to do that. Smile

Leg 5 got under way, Kristi came in and we made a stop in support of Lisa, before continuing on to get Ian to his start, at Leg 6. Darren and Kristi took over driving so I could have a snack before my leg. The one disappointment for me, was that I couldn’t fully support Ian’s leg, but at least I was there in plenty of time to see his finish. Smile I knew he’d finish toward the middle (a very quick pace, especially for a non-runner/cyclist-type Wink ), so we were better off only making a couple of stops to cheer (and shoot photos) before moving on to park at the high school and get ready to my run.

Ian’s finish, my start:

I wasn’t exactly nervous, but didn’t feel entirely ready… I wonder why? I’m sure it had nothing to do with having lightly sprained not one but BOTH ankles just four weeks ago at the ECO-challenge. I have run once/week since. On Sunday when I last ran, my ankles were a little achy partway through, but felt better by the end of the 9K, I felt confident they’d hold out for the 13.1K leg I was slated for. Good thing I’d asked for one of the shorter legs, back when I’d hoped to run something at the Bluenose a week prior (which obviously didn’t happen).

Leg 7: “A rolling leg but the first 8 km climbs steadily 90m and then falls quickly to finish 0.2 km past the Dingwall garage.”

Leg description, in Nick’s words
“There are no “flat” stages, there are only ones that are “gently undulating” (GU) but that’s OK.
Leg 7 & 8 are GU”

Leg 7 starts partway up a “little” hill on the Trail. It was a long gradual climb, and not a great way to warm-up. I knew I should warm-up before hand as my heart-rate likely shot through the roof as soon as I started, but for whatever reason, didn’t. So, 5K of steady climbing, at a pace slightly slower than I’d hoped for. I did manage to pass a couple of runners on the hill. Smile Then the hills started rolling down, and up (not just climbing) a little. I was running 10:30 to 30sec walking intervals, and began picking up pace steadily after my first walk past the water station. I gained a few minutes and was back on track for my goal time within 3K.

Team 51, who’s runner finished 2 ahead of me, was providing incredible support all the way. I made a point of finding them (coincidentally they were seated next to us at the banquet) to thank them. I didn’t know who their runner was, until later, but I had her in my sights for a long time, after I made really good ground and passed about 5 people in the second half of my leg. I just couldn’t quite catch her. During the steepest decline my ankles started twinging. I worried about my pace, but decided to go with it and see what happened. Not only did the ankles hold up, but eventually stopped aching again. Smile

One of the runners I’d passed caught up and passed me again in the last km… I wanted to kick it up and keep her behind me, but my right calf was tightening up and felt like it’d give if I picked up my pace any. I heard the finish line and nearly jumped for joy thinking I’d made my *real* goal time, of hitting the mats. Much to my disappointment when I turned the corner to discover I’d JUST missed it!!! Sad I should have realized when I noted that the 1K marker was already gone. As I cooled down, I had the frustration of watching the truck pull away with “my” mats inside. My support team knew how badly I wanted to hit the mats. In fact when I realized I’d gained as much time as I had, I told Darren as he followed along side me while I hydrated, that if I missed the mats *now* I’d be pissed. And was I EVER! I honestly think I was about to cry while I watched that truck roll away. Silly, I know, but there you have it. A 6:11 pace doesn’t quite cut it.

Regardless of missing the mat, I am happy with my time, especially considering the month of un-training I did. Thanks to a great support crew, and to the rest of the team for the cheers! Smile

Brendan got Ian and I to a little family restaurant during Leg 8 – while my van continued on to transport Stephan to Leg 9. We had run through the supper hour, and had been eating road-trip/running food all day. I needed a hot meal, bad. Had some fantastic fish and chips at a little place, before meeting up with the gang to support Leg 9. I was awestruck watching that Leg. I don’t know if I’ll EVER be crazy enou
gh to sign up for that one! Stephan rocked it.

We got to see Jeffrey start Leg 10, and cheer for him as we drove by. Leg 11 we missed entirely. From there it was time to get to Cheticamp for some rest. I knew I wouldn’t sleep, with the prospect of getting up at 1am in order to get Darren to Leg 13, but at least we could get out of the van and stretch out. We left Ian at the motel for the duration of Darren’s leg so that at least one of us would have enough sleep to be safe to drive back to Halifax on Sunday.

We saw Brendan running a few km before the finish, as we drove Darren to the start of leg 13. Brendan made it in, in plenty of time for us to see him finish, and get his reflective vest from him for Darren’s leg. Then we supported Darren’s leg. It was a ton of fun, out there under the stars on a clear & calm night. Darren made it in in the nick of time for Brendan to get the vest back and start his leg. After the start of Leg 14, we headed back to Cheticamp for another short rest before heading out for the water station.

Darren’s start:

I didn’t sleep then either, as it was less than an hour before we had to get up and get moving again. On our way to the water station we cheered for Nick on Leg 15.

The water station (Leg 16) was a blast and was very well received. Who knew a construction crew on a running route would be so well-loved? Smile I got a great pic of Ed Whitlock running through our water station, very near to the head of the pack! Jeffrey came through with big smiles.

Once we packed up our supplies after the last runner came through, we cheered for Jeffrey along the way, then stopped to see his finish and Heather’s start. Knowing we couldn’t support Heather much along Leg 17, we headed straight for the finish, playing her song as we drove by her a couple of times.

The finish line is an incredible sight. So many out to see the last leg in! The cheers were incredible, and all were in high spirits. That last runner in, has a very special place! Smile

It was once again a fantastic weekend all around. The banquet was well organized and my lobster really hit the spot. Smile A few more pics, hugs all around, and it’s time to head back to the ‘fax. I’ll be catching up on my rest/sleep for a week. Smile Thanks team for a great weekend!

(For the remainder of my photos, go to RunningMania.com –> Members –> Pictures -> Trish -> CTRR 2007)

About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two