Dirty Feet 21 KM Race Report

Yesterday I ran my first race of 2013 and it was also the longest race I’ve ever ran this early in the season. This was the first race of the Dirty Feet Trail Series. All you have to do is take a quick scan through my race recaps page to see I’ve done several Dirty Feet races in the past but I’ve only ever done their 10 k, and once their 5k, distance. So this was a whole new experience for me!

I actually did the 10K distance of this same race two years ago (remember when I originally signed up for the 21K and then dropped down to the 10K?) Well the funny thing is THIS YEAR I was originally signed up for the 10K and then bumped up to the 21K.

IMG 1354

I shuttled up to the race start with two friends, another friend who was doing the 5K and my friend Tara who I’ve been training with was also doing the 21K. I also ran into several people I knew including all my trail running friends.

IMG 1353

Everyone pictured above also has dogs who are Chloe’s friends. All our dogs were very mad at us for not bringing them out. Speaking of dogs, I had to share this picture of our group when we did a training run on these same trails a few weeks ago. There were six people (two not pictured) and five dogs out running around. We were a random group.

734122 10151561717563767 394353476 n 1

Anyways, back to the race report… We all stood around and chatted for about an hour before the race started and it was COLD. I was kicking myself for not bringing gloves so my friend Kim lent me her red olympic mittens to wear for the first 5K loop and I had plans to drop them with her after that. I also ended up dropping my jacket because even with the wind/temperature the sun shining made me warm up real fast!

IMG 1356

Before I knew it it was 9:30 and we were off! This race had us doing three different sized loops so we ran past the start/finish two times before coming in to finish finish.

Screen shot 2013 03 24 at 8 51 33 PM

Mile 1 – 9:58, Mile 2 – 11:43, Mile 3 – 11:06, Mile 4 – 18:09 

The first 5K was relatively flat/rolling for a trail run. I felt kind of bad the first 5K because my feet had gotten really cold when we were waiting around and took awhile to thaw out. When they did thaw out they HURT. I was freaking out they were going to hurt for the entire run but after about 5-6K they felt fine.

We hit the neverending hill at Mile 4. This hill just kept going and going and going. It was brutal and the sun was shining right on you. I was so glad I dropped my jacket!

IMG 1357

The view from the top was pretty spectacular though!

IMG 1358

Mile 5 – 10:28, Mile 6 – 10:36, Mile 7 – 12:58, Mile 8 – 11:23, Mile 9 – 11:40

We did the 5K race loop twice and the second time it felt a bit never ending.

IMG 1360

Mile 10 – 11:48, Mile 11 – 12:42, Mile 12 – 15:02, Mile 12 – 12.75 – 11:19

Going past the finish line the second time before finishing was pretty tough. But I knew we only had about 30-40 minutes of running left. We were pretty much on our own by this point and ran around the backside of the hill you can see in the above photo. It was really pretty! Then we climbed, climbed, climbed again. The same hill I did in the 10K a couple years ago. So at this point Tara and I were right at the back of the pack. Literally the last two runners in the 21K. I was totally OK with it because there weren’t a lot of runners doing the distance and it was early in the season. Plus I wasn’t out there to be competitive, the longest run I’d done training for this was a 2 hour / 15 km trail run.

Anyways, we knew we were really close to the end when we rounded a corner and saw a girl kind of bent over in the distance. We thought maybe she was tying her shoe or getting a rock out of her shoe or something. As we got closer and we realized she hadn’t moved in several minutes we stopped and asked if she was OK. Turned out she had a really bad cramp in her calf and couldn’t even put weight on it. We ended up picking her up and starting to carry her towards the finish line which was about 100 feet away. We carried her a few feet and more people came to help. At this point we were able to hand her over to medics and run the last 15ish feet across the finish line together. What a great way to finish the race!

To me this was trail running at it’s finest. Trail running is so much more laid back than road running. People are just out to have fun and be friendly!

Final Garmin Stats: 

12.75 miles / 20.5 km — 2:35:53 — 12:15 / mile pace & 7:36 / km pace — 1,550 feet elevation gain 

IMG 1363

Post-race! I was so glad I bought my scarf to bundle up in.

Another totally weird thing that happened to me is my hands swelled up quite a bit during the race. Check out the comparison from right after the race until I got home about 1.5 hours later:

IMG 1362 IMG 1366

SO weird. I have never had that happen to me before!

Oh and during the race I drank water out of my camelbak and then had an oreo cookie + gummy bears at the first aid station and chips + gummy bears at the second aid station. I love the food they have at trail races. The awesome race directors, Phil and Grace, also saved us some of the amazing banana bread they always have at their races! We said we would be coming in near the end and they would need to save some for us and they totally did. Thanks Phil and Grace 🙂

Overall another awesome Dirty Feet race! And my shoes were certainly dirty at the end…

IMG 1365

My next Dirty Feet race is on July 14 in Vernon, BC and I’m doing the 21 km distance again. That race is exactly four weeks before the Squamish 50 so I’m hoping to feel in a lot better shape than I did yesterday! This race was definitely a big eye-opener for me. I have a lot of training to do before I’m ready for 50K. Good thing training officially starts off this week!

Have your hands ever swelled up while running? What’s the earliest in the year you’ve done a long-distance race? 

21 Responses

  1. Caz says:

    Woohoo! That is so awesome… I was pretty proud of my 29.5min 5k this weekend (on fairly flat terrain) hahaha.

    Anyway, my fingers swell at even the smallest exercise -particularly if its cold out. Every time I run I get puffy fingers, even if it’s only 5k or so. Moreso the longer I go. No idea why, but you’re not the only one!

  2. Amy says:

    Nice! You’ve got me thinking of signing up for the September race. Looks like a good series!

  3. Nice work on this race! I think you did great. That hill looks MASSIVE! It is weird to see no snow!!! I wish it looked like that around here!!

    Years ago I used to do a Valentine’s Day 5k but it tended to be well below zero so I stopped doing that race. These days I don’t race in the spring. As stupid as it sounds, I can’t handle another commitment on top of CFA studying so I just wait until that beast of a test is over.

    That is weird about your hands! I don’t remember mine swelling up after a run, but they did swell up randomly on a trip to Texas last fall – and took days to get back to normal which was weird!

  4. Kristen says:

    Looks like a great race! Congratulations. I hope you aren’t too sore.

    My hands often swell when I do a lot of hiking or walking – though not too often when I run. Is it possible you didn’t get your electrolyte balance quite right? I know swelling can happen if you don’t.

  5. abbi says:

    Love the picture of all the runners with the dogs! Looks and sounds like a great race to kick off a trail running season. My hands swell up when I’m doing long runs out on trails. For me, it’s an electrolyte balance thing. If I feel my fingers getting tight at all, it’s my cue that I need salt pills. Since I’ve incorporated those, it’s helped a lot!

  6. Heather says:

    wow that hill looks killer!! But way to have an awesome time!

    My hands swell too when I run.

  7. Bec says:

    Wow, what a beautiful race course. I can’t believe you did a trail half marathon, so amazing!! Now I am going to spend the rest of my prep period looking for trail races in Ontario. Looking forward to reading about your training for the 50km 🙂

  8. Lindsey says:

    Awesome job! Yes, my hands do swell when I run sometimes. The earliest race I have ever ran was May.

  9. Britt says:

    Way to go! Looks like a fun race (minus the never ending hill…you remember how much I LOVE hills! ;))

  10. Stephany says:

    Way to go! That hill looks brutal. OMG.

    My hands tend to swell when I’m doing a long walk. Mainly due to not drinking enough water, because I’m really bad at taking in enough fluid when I exercise!

  11. Leigh says:

    Congratulations on your finish! I must say that I am jealous that there is no snow in any of your pictures. We don’t have much left, but I’d rather have none at all.

  12. Bronwyn says:

    I really want to try a trail race! They sound and look like so much fun.
    My hands always swell when I’m hiking or walking for long periods of time. I always assumed it was cause your hands are further down (you know not bent 90ish degrees at the elbow) and the blood just has a harder time circulating out of them.

  13. Phil Hiom says:

    Awesome race recap love reading them for all of our races. The swelling hands is partly due to your hands being lower than your heart and swinging. Fluid builds up and cannot be removed quickly enough it happens to most people you just may not notice it as much or as often. But it happens. Thanks again for coming out and enjoying the trails with us.

  14. […] such a weird sensation, that I’ve never had before.  But funny enough, Amber talked about it today in her race recap from a trail race in Kamloops, and it’s how my new friend Andy (you’ll hear more about him tomorrow), started talking […]

  15. Kelly says:

    Aw, I love that you carried a girl. I love when people are laid back at races- I wish I had more trail races around me!

    That hill does look huge though, so maybe I don’t.

    Usually the first race I do is Memorial Day weekend, but this year I did a St. Patricks Day one 🙂

  16. Travel Spot says:

    Great job! I think I remember you post from last year; didn’t you have some trouble? It seems like this year’s race was much better and you really got a good time. Those are some serious hills!

    I guess I don’t really think about what race I do first, since we run year round here. However, I ran one on Feb 10, so I guess that was my first of the year. It was a gorgeous trail race along the bay north of San Francisco.

  17. Nora says:

    My hands have swelled up before, usually when I go from cold to hot, but not always when i’m running. Glad they were ok though! Also, way to go you on this race. That’s awesome!

  18. Shoshanah says:

    I think it’s awesome to hear that you helped carry a girl towards the finish. I think it’s the completely right thing to do, and would hope that everyone when given the opportunity would do it, but it’s be interesting to see how people would react.

  19. Leana says:

    Congratulations on your race! Our trails are still covered in snow here I think. I’d definitely love to try some trail runs soon though. Good thing you were able to help that poor girl with the calf cramp!

  20. […] I probably won’t do an official race report on this one. It was another Dirty Feet half (my third this year!) and was fabulously organized on some of the best trails Kamloops has to offer. It was […]

  21. […] the 21 km trail race I did on Sunday morning! Something that was really cool about this race is I did the exact same race last year so I spent some time last night looking at all these cool graphs and charts that RunningAhead […]