Blackwell Dairy Run 15K Race Report – Year 3

First, I want to give a huge, huge, HUGE shoutout of congrats to Anais, Leigh and Eric’s cousin Katrina. All three of them ran their first half-marathon this morning! Two in Calgary and one in Ottawa.

I remember running my first half-marathon and having such a great experience. It is a GIANT accomplishment so congratulations girls – I’m so proud of you!!


This morning I ran the Blackwell Dairy Run 15K for the third year in a row! This is the only race I’ve ran every year since I started running so I’m kind of excited about that.


I really enjoy this race and was looking forward to it this year despite remembering how hilly it is! I got there a few minutes early and visited with some of my running friends – lots of familiar faces were there. It’s funny to think of how many people I’ve gotten to know in the Kamloops running community the last couple of years.

The race started at promptly 9:00 AM on a downhill. I was hoping for a PR but was not going to push it too hard. I decided to just ride it out and see how I felt.

Mile 1 – 8:50

Mile 2 – 9:33

Around mile 3 the rolling hills that I knew were coming started.


Mile 3 – 10:38

I actually found myself really, really enjoying the rolling hills this year. Ya, it’s kind of brutal to have so many uphills. But when you also have so many downhills it evens out. On this course I didn’t feel like I had to walk very much because as soon as I had finished powering up a hill I would have a downhill to ride down – this would leave me refreshed for the next uphill!

Check out the elevation map from my garmin so you know what I’m talking about with all these hills!

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Mile 4 – 10:03

At mile 4 I was reminded why I love this race. The amazing views.


I was just really, really enjoying myself at this point. I had a huge smile on my face and was having a lot of fun.

If you’ve never experienced a runners high, go run some hills, nothing feels as good as conquering a huge hill and cresting the top. It is such a powerful feeling. I just kept putting my head down and pushing myself up the hills and then cruising down the other side with a HUGE grin on my face!

Mile 5 – 9:36

Around mile 5 I literally said “OH YA” out loud when I remembered the one huge hill you have to run up (photo from last years race):

giant hill.jpg

I forced myself to power up it and I felt SO GOOD at the top of that hill. It was like I got a second wind. I couldn’t believe how well the race was going. When I sailed back down this hill I got a little teary-eyed thinking about how much I love running and how blessed I am to have a body that can carry me through races like this.

You know it’s a good run when it makes you emotional 😛

Mile 6 – 10:30

It was around the 10K mark where I walked for the first time (I had only walked through 2 water stations so far). The elation I was feeling from conquering all the hills was beginning to wane and my legs were feeling jelly-ish. At this point, my love/hate relationship with the hills turned to HATE!

Mile 7 – 9:24

Another second wind came at mile 7 and I took off from the couple I’d been running along and chatting with. I felt really good for the next mile or so and was cruising along enjoying myself.

Mile 8 – 9:32

At the end of this race they do something really evil; They make you go up, up, up!

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I walked a lot the last mile. It was tough!

Mile 9 – 11:15

Mile 9 – 9.3 – 9:41

Final Garmin Stats

9.33 miles – 1:32:28 – 9:55 pace

And then came the real reason I put myself through the hilly torture year after year…

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Not only does this race offer a pancake breakfast afterwards, they also offer free ice cream. Ummm, yes please!

I felt stronger than I have in awhile running today and I certainly felt a lot better and happier than my last big race. I’d call that a huge success! This is a well-organized, fun, pretty race. I highly recommend it and I’ll likely be out there again next year!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend, the sun has finally peeked out here so I’m spending the afternoon getting my bike ready as next week is Bike to Work Week here. I have committed to biking to work 3 times next week!

How’s your weekend going?

22 Responses

  1. Anais says:

    Thanks Amber!!! And congrats on YOUR race! I can see why you love this race – the views do seem breathtaking 🙂 I’m glad we both had a good running day today!

    And I totally know what you mean about having a run make you emotional… I almost cried at the end of the half! I definitely had tears in my eyes 🙂

  2. Pancake breakfast and free ice cream!?!?!? That’s a great race!!!! 😛

    But seriously – massive congratulations to you!!!!!

  3. Nice! That sounds like a beautiful race course. And now I’m craving pancakes, thanks for that.

  4. Holly says:

    If I could run with views like that, I would DEFINITELY run more often! Running around my city neighbourhood just isn’t the same. My weekend’s been great – extremely productive, but with lots of time in between big projects for relaxation 🙂

  5. Way to go!! You ran a really strong race – esp considering how hilly it was.

    You are way more positive about hill running. I hate it and even when I get to the top and can coast to the bottom, hills still make me feel grumpy and out of shape. 😉

  6. Leigh says:

    Congratulations on your awesome run! The pancakes and ice cream would make any run worth it to me 🙂

    Thanks for the shout out and all of your kind words through my training! I really, really appreciate it!

  7. Stephany says:

    Way to go on such an awesome race! Those hills seem hard so great job on conquering them and having such a good attitude about them! And yummy after-race treats?! Definitely a plus!

  8. Congratulations to you. I guest, that was your best experience so far. Despite the ups and downs of the hill, every step we made on a race is very memorable. Even if we are already tired but above all, experience counts it all.

  9. Kelly says:

    Man I really need to do a race where I get free ice cream at the end! I got a banana today, but that’s not quite as good haha.

    Those hills look really hard and you are amazing for getting through them with a good attitude. I can understand getting emotional running, especially in such a beautiful spot. I was really close to that when I started running today because I was really happy I can run again pain free. Of course now my knee is killing me, but I ran through the race pain free and I guess that was the point haha.

  10. Amber, these are some great photos! Pretty scenery. Sounds like you really enjoyed this race. Those are the best where you feel strong and enjoy the ride.

  11. Katrina says:

    Thanks!!!!! I’m soooo proud of myself!! I did the training and ended up bunking up my knee but it was still an amazing day! I got to run with Steve and cross the finish line with Taylor. Some said running after just having a baby was crazy but I dont agree….I LOVED IT!!! We’re looking for another in the fall 🙂

    What a hilly run you had, that’s awesome!! I got all emo at the end knowing my babes was just around the corner waiting with my parents lol

  12. Congrats girl!!! You did great!!!!

    I had an awesome weekend 🙂

  13. I would definitely run for pancakes and ice cream! Congratulations on a great day!

  14. Becky says:

    Wow, those hills are crazy! Glad it was such a great experience for you!

  15. Free ice cream at the end of a race is probably the best idea ever. Pretty sure that would make all those hills worth it.

  16. Woah, that IS hilly! Way to go, Amber!

  17. Emily Jane says:

    Way to go!! Ice cream at the end is SUCH a good idea 🙂

  18. Ris says:

    I’m so impressed! Sounds like you had a GREAT race!

  19. Lauren says:

    Great job on the hilly race! Those views look beautiful.

  20. mandy says:

    Congratulations on another great race, Amber! My grandpap did a race walk over the weekend, a half marathon. He did great!

  21. Nicole says:

    Wow you weren’t kidding about the hills! Looks like an amazing run and so worth it to have a great post-race breakfast like that.

    Great job!

  22. Shachar says:

    Inspiring story.
    Thank you