They are rare, but a few times per race season I get to enjoy some lower key, casual races, and that is precisely what this beautiful August long weekend was all about. A time to have as much fun as possible with family and friends, while throwing in some “fun” racing. A great chance to get the kind of quality intensity training in that would be impossible to do on my own while also avoiding going too deep into the pain cave that is needed for the more important “A” type races!
Saturday and Sunday in Canmore was the second annual Xterra Enduro. Here is how it unfolded…
Event 1: 3000m swim at Quarry Lake (47:50, 10th overall). With a 10:00am start time, it was tough getting my family organized in time to leave Calgary but we arrived with about 20 minutes to spare until the start time. Quarry lake was the perfect temperature to swim with a wetsuit. It is so clear and gorgeous you feel like you could just drink it up while swimming. We did 6 x 500m laps, with a short beach run each lap. I missed a small pack ahead of me, and the first lap probably felt the toughest as I didn’t get time for a warm-up, but settled in and one of the guys I was swimming with said we picked it up each lap so that was cool! Check out the incredible conditions that made for a very enjoyable swim!
Event 2: 40km mountain bike at the Canmore Nordic Centre (2:43:46, 4th overall). After some time for a lakeside picnic it was time to head up to the Nordic Centre for a 2pm start for the 40km mountain bike race and it was hot!! I went through 3 bottles and three gels and was definitely feeling thirsty most of the race, but actually felt a bit stronger and more technically on by the 3rd and 4th final lap. On pretty much the identical course to last year I was 6 minutes faster so that was encouraging. This demanding course involves pretty much all the climbing at the Nordic Centre but of course it is mixed with fun descents like laundry chutes, the Albertan and the coal chutes.
After the bike race, it was off to Kyle, Carrie, Fin and Will’s house for an awesome BBQ. Zoe and Nico had a blast chilling in the backyard and you can see why!
Event 3: 20km trail run at the Canmore Nordic Centre (1:50:30, 5th overall? still waiting for run results). Sunday morning, it was back to the Nordic centre with beat up arms and legs to line up and run 20km on the trails on the same course we rode the day before meaning major climbing and lots of rooty descending. After a wee bit of “yogging” around the stadium to warm up we were off. Like a delayed brick, the legs were feeling pretty heavy the first bit. I actually started to feel better on the second lap and got my downhill root running coordination working a little better! After one lap, the second woman was about 10 seconds behind me, so I decided to pick up the pace up the climbing to the laundry chutes. I didn’t see her again but had some good back and forth running with some of the guys out there. And I managed to take a good seven minutes off my time from last year, so another good sign of hopefully improved fitness, or maybe just a willingess to go a little harder in this challenging race, ha!
After some food, socializing, and awards, we ended our super fun Canmore weekend with an icy dip for the legs in the glacial Bow River while the kids did some rock throwing. J-F was icing his ankle which he sprained almost two weeks ago, it has been hard for him to be so laid up, but he finally got out for a ride again today! Thanks to him and the kids for their weekend race support – they had some fun trail walks while I was racing. Congrats to all everyone I know who did the race – it was tough! Coach Cal proves again why he is a great coach AND training partner for me – he is faster in all three disciplines – as he won the overall this year! And a big thanks to Tony Smith who always puts on fantastic events. Come on out to his next event, a road triathlon in Canmore on August 19th, for more info go to: www.smithevents.ca