This race was much different than North Face Endurance Challenge DC 50k that I ran 3 weeks ago. Taking a plane, staying in a hotel and running a much larger trail race gave it much different feel. This time, it didn’t even seem like a race weekend until I got there on Saturday morning.
On Friday night, I went to my friend’s house for dinner and left early to go home and get to bed. It was nice to sleep in my own bed before a race and because of the 9am start time, I didn’t even have to wake up that much earlier than I usually do during the week.
I left my house around 6:15 and I got a ride up to Horseshoe Heights. Callum came up later in the morning with our dog. We got up there about half an hour before the race, set up our stuff and picked up our race kit.
It turned out being way warmer than I expected. I was planning to wear something very similar to what I wore at NF in DC (compression socks, shorts, long sleeve, and a jacket) but it was already warm enough for just a long sleeve at the 9am start. Thankfully, a friend from my running group offered my her singlet so after the first loop, I changed into that.
Pick Your Poison is a 12.5km loop so for the 50km, I ran around it 4 times. Overall, the 50km had 4,200 ft. of climbing and it takes place on a ski hill so there was a lot of going up and down and back up again.
The first loop, I ran with my running group which was really nice and went by really quickly. We saw a bear cub so I was really happy to not be alone when there was a bear sighting! I think it’s the first time that I’ve been so close to a bear in the wild.
I left for the second loop by myself and ran the majority of the next three loops by myself except for the end of my third loop when I ran into one of the people that I’d driven up with and ran with him for a while. I passed a bunch of people that were having trouble with the heat (it was around 15C but it hasn’t been a very warm spring) or the hills.
At the end of the second loop, I was having some trouble thinking about going around that loop two more times but I knew that Callum and our dog would be waiting at the end of that loop so I just concentrated on that. Nothing very memorable happened on the third loop. On the fourth, I was super excited about being done so I ran pretty quickly. I had told myself that on the last loop I would take my phone out of my pack and take photos so that was good incentive to be excited about that loop.
Overall, I actually really liked the multiple loop format. I like knowing where I’m going and getting a sense of distance so it worked really well for me. This realization actually makes me feel a lot better because my 100 miler is a looped course that you go around 8 times so I’m happy to have confirmed that I like the format.
Nutrition wise, I had trouble eating the 250 calories an hour that I was trying to but I ate some pretzels and a fig newton from every aid station with some gels in between and that worked fairly well. For the first time in a race, drinking coke hurt my stomach which is terrible because it usually really helps me in the end of a race. I’m hoping that it was just a fluke and I’m back to being okay with coke by my 100.
I had a lot of fun and it I couldn’t have asked for better weather. My sunburn is almost gone now! Instead of a medal at the end, you got a pair of socks which is great because I don’t really need more medals. The race shirts are really soft cotton shirts and at the bib pickup everyone also got a jar of honey!
Next up is the Seaton Soaker 25k in two weeks! I did the race last year and the only thing I remember about it is having really good pizza at the end so I’m really excited about that.
What’s the best race swag that you’ve ever gotten?