In February 2015 I got laid off. So what’s a girl to do with newly found free time? Train for her first ultra marathon, that’s what!
I’ve been considering running the North Shore Knee Knacker Trail race for a while, but wasn’t sure when I would have the time to consistently train for an ultra marathon with over 16,000 feet of ascent/descent.
Now that I had all this free time, I threw my name into the hat for the Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run lottery and won a spot at the start line (!!!). Initially, I thought the anxiety over not having a job would be replaced with the anxiety of training for an ultra marathon. In practice, all this trail running has given me a greater opportunity to ruminate over my anxiety of not having a job while running for hours on the North Shore trail system and wondering if I’m being stalked by a cougar.
Race Date: Saturday, July 11th, 2015 (a mere 6 weeks away)
Start time: 6:00am
Cut off time (aka my goal race time): 10 hours
Distance: 30 Miles (48km)
Elevation: 16,000 feet (4,876m) ascent/descent
The course generally follows the Baden-Powell Trail on the North Shore of Vancouver. The course can be divided into four sections that are about 12km in distance each.
- Nelson Canyon Park to Cypress Ski Area (via Black Mountain)
- Cypress ski area to Cleveland Dam (Hollyburn area)
- Cleveland Dam to Lynn Valley (Grouse Mountain area)
- Lynn Valley to Deep Cove (Seymour Mountain area)
In terms of course familiarity, I am quite familiar with Legs 3 and 4, however, I have only done the first leg once and I’ve never run the second leg. In addition, the cut off time for the first leg is 3 hours, and I’m not confident that I can complete it in under 3 hours. Mental note, must practice on Legs 1 and 2 of the course asap.
A WORD ON ELEVATION
Let’s circle back to the elevation info for a moment – let’s reference this handy graphic posted on the Knee Knacker site:
Hmm, so I summit Black Mountain and then I run 36km back down to sea level. That seems really bad-ass, I better get back to training.