On Friday, our family went up to Grande Cache yet another time, and this time, we were signed up as volunteer runners. Furthermore, our friend Stuart was soloing the 125 km of extreme racing – his first ultra race ever, and we were eager to see how he would.
It turned out to be a really nice day for running, although for the soloists, it got quite hot on leg 3 and 4. Heat is a runner’s worst enemy. However, it was not as hot as during last year’s race.
After many difficulties with getting the organizers to assign myself, my wife and daughter to team(s), we finally got it sorted out late Friday night. My wife and I ran with a team called No Dafeet, and I was assigned to leg 2, and my wife ran leg 5. Our daughter Karly got assigned to a different team, a North Face team, and she ended up running leg 3. She did awesome and impressed us all. She had to deal with some pretty serious heat on leg 3, but ran very strong all the way.
I enjoyed leg 2, although it was very hard. My quads were sore for 3 days after, and the end of leg 2 is brutal, with a very steep descent from the top of the mountain. This leg 2 is sure a challenge, I tell ya! But I survived.
In the end, we had a great time at the 2010 edition of the Canadian Death Race. We will likely be back next year, probably with 2 teams. Relays are great fun, and especially these adventure racing relays.
Stuart did fantastically well in his first Death Race solo race, and finished in a very impressive 28th place, in spite of having a very sore knee for the 2nd half of the race. Great job!
The male winner of the Death Race was a very impressive runner by the name of Hal Koerner. He shattered the course record with his 12:45:38, and was completely untouchable. I was very impressed by his abilities. This guy is world class.
Just as impressive was the overall 2nd place runner, Ellie Greenwood, who also destroyed the female course record, winning the female category with the stunning time of 13:28:39.
Both these runners left my jaw hanging. Now, beating these times will be a good challenge for future death racers! Bring it on! (as they like to say in Grande Cache)….
Regarding the challenging leg 2, see below.
Description of leg 2:
Approx.1km of pavement, the rest is dirt trail, with rocky sections, mossy/swampy in places, and approximately 6km of hard packed dirt “road.” Net elevation gain-500ft, but total elevation change is well over 6000ft. This section is characterized by long sustained climbing, with steep scramble and about 3km of very rough terrain with two creek crossings. The trail from Flood Mt. to Grande Mountain is the roughest section of trail in the Death Race, with treacherous footing, and many drop-offs. The power line down the front of Grande leading back into town will be the most dangerous section in the Death Race because of the extreme nature of the terrain while running downhill – steep rocky drop offs and unstable footing. This is the most technical section and is rated second hardest leg of the Death Race (although many rate this leg as the hardest of all).
Directions: From the 1st full aid station, racers will exit the rail yard and cross the highway (about 150m west of the train bridge) and proceed up the Flood Mountain Trail to the summit. As you approach the summit, keep a sharp lookout for flagging tape that denotes the steep but direct assent to the peak (we marshal this point on race day. Loop around the survey poll and follow the quad trail west from the summit around the back side of Flood Mt. and gain the Flood to Grande Trail survey line. This is a rough and steep section crossing Washy Creek and traverses the high country from Flood Mountain to Grande Mountain (crossing Carconte Creek). At the intersection of the survey line trail and the Grande Cache Radio Tower road there will be an emergency aid station available. Racers will proceed to the summit of Grande Mountain and down the front power line back into town (to the respective start/finish area) along the trail beside HWY 40, turning on Shand Ave. and taking the first left into the Grande Cache downtown square. This will be the 2nd full aid station, and the 2nd relay exchange zone.