Big Bam Vertical Slam Race Report

Well I officially finished my first race since moving back up north, and it was a DOOZY! On Saturday morning I tackled the first annual Big Bam Vertical Slam with my friend Janine and her sister Nicole. Big Bam is a small ski hill outside of the city and they hosted this race as a fundraiser since the ski hill is a non-profit. So you literally climbed the ski hill. We were ambitious and signed up for the 10km option which was two loops as the race route is only 5km long.

Before I get into the recap I’ll just say, this was the hardest 10km race I’ve ever done. The hill was SO STEEP. It really was more of a hike than a run since we had to hike up all the hills. It had also rained for three days straight going into race day so the hill was so so muddy and slippery. You really had to watch your footing! I fell during the first loop and my pants were covered in mud for the rest of the race.

Anyways, onto the recap…


Here we go at the start! Some of these photos will be cloudy because my phone was in a plastic bag…

IMG_1049 IMG_1050

We climbed this hill (which was about 0.5km long) not once, not twice but four times!


This picture maybe kind of gives you an idea of the kind of mud we were running through! It was intense.


The view from the top, we also passed this view four times. This was the first time. Very cloudy and misty still!


You could see a little more of the view the second or third time past.


Yup, it was a muddy one…


2hours 20minutes later and we were done! That is a long long time for a 10km. The winner of the race ran it in 1:05, which is how long it would normally take me to do 10km on the road. So that alone tells you how intense of a route this was! According to the Health App on my phone we climbed 240 flights.

Post race we got a much-deserved beer. Nothing like running/hiking through insane mud like that and then drinking a beer all before 10:30am.



Not going to lie, if it hadn’t been for Janine then Nicole and I would have quit!! Since the conditions were so crappy they gave the option to drop out after 1 loop. And since you come almost all the way back down to the finish line after 1 loop it is very tempting to do so! But my friend Janine was enthusiastic and gung-ho to go out for our second loop so out we did. The only small issue was I don’t think they were expecting so many people so they ran out of water cups. Also, I was not expecting this race to take me so long and didn’t bring any food or gels and the aid stations only had water so I was STARVING by the end. Luckily there were cookies and oranges at the finish line or that one beer may have done me in 😉

Overall though it was an awesome, awesome race especially since it was the first one. I will consider doing it again next year but will probably only do the 5km this time. That second loop was so brutal!

What’s the muddiest, muckiest race you’ve ever done?? 


3 days in Kamloops!

Hi friends! I am currently in Ontario with Eric, my brother and my dad. We are having a grand old time and you can catch up on our adventures via my Instagram account: @amberyharding. I am also on SnapChat (@amberyharding) and have been snapping some of our fun too, so follow me there as well 🙂

Before I recap our trip to Toronto I want to talk about the three amazing days I spent in Kamloops earlier this week. Since we had booked this trip to Ontario way before moving was even on our radar the flights were booked out of Kamloops. So my dad and I drove down last weekend and I spent Sunday – Tuesday in Kamloops. I saw SO many friends and had the most amazing time. Even though I’m technically back living in my hometown now, Kamloops will always feel like home to me!


First things first, how hilarious is this photo of Chloe riding shotgun in my Dad’s motorhome?? It gave us both a laugh on our drive down.

Saturday night after arriving in Kamloops, I immediately headed over to my former coworker / work wife / good friend Geralyn’s. Her and her husband recently bought a new house and this was my first time seeing it! It was so fun to see her, her house, her adorable son and have an awesome catch-up session over wine. I really, really miss working with Geralyn and am always happy for our time together. Sadly we failed to take a photo.

Sunday morning started bright and early with the Blackwell Dairy 15km run. This is my favourite race and as you can see by my race recaps page I have ran this race many times before. Due to my lack of training, Sunday was my slowest time ever doing this race at 1hr 41mins and change. Huge thanks to my friend Jennifer who ran the entire race with me though. Running is always better with company, especially when you’re undertrained.


Our group of running ladies before the race – miss these ladies!! 


Thanks for running with me Jennifer! 


Ice cream after the race! 

My brother ran the 3km distance and it was his first race! He shared a race recap on his new blog, which I highly recommend reading as he is about to head off to Germany for a year so should have some pretty interesting content for awhile 😉

Immediately following the race we stopped by my friend Jen’s parents house for a visit with her and her family. It was so great to see them even if it was just for a quick visit.


Also, apparently when your friends have kids you stop taking selfies with them and just start taking selfies with their adorable children instead. At least that has been my experience!

I spent the rest of Sunday hanging out with my mom and my brother. We went to the matinee and saw the new X-Men movie (meh.) In the evening I went to a birthday BBQ for my good friend Tara and also played a baseball game with my old ball team (and we won!)

I was working from home on Monday so spent most of the day at my mom’s kitchen table on my laptop. Chloe and I met up with Carmine and Donut for a lovely (and hot!) hike in the afternoon, which was great!


Tuesday morning started out with Tara and I going on our 1-hour trail run that we used to do 1-2x every single week. This is our Peterson Loop trail that is very very hilly. It was so awesome to get back out there on our old stomping grounds and also have a full hour to talk and catch up. We talked non stop the whole time.


On Tuesday I popped into my old office and saw all my old coworkers then went out for lunch with my old boss and coworker. It was so so wonderful to see them. I miss my work friends and my running friends the absolute most from Kamloops. I had a really great tribe of people in both places and I know it will take time to build that back up in a new place, but in the meantime I just really really miss all those awesome ladies!

In the afternoon I went for coffee (which turned into sharing chicken nuggets!) with my friend Katie and then for dinner with my mom, dad and brother. It was our last big “family dinner” for awhile since as I mentioned earlier my brother is heading off to Germany soon.

Tuesday night I picked Eric up at the airport at midnight (ugh! He had to stay behind and work though) and then we were back at the airport at 5:30am the next morning for our flights to Ontario.

And that pretty much wraps up my three days in Kamloops. Each day was packed full but it was so good to see everyone and I can’t wait to go back again in August!


Weekend Recap


I really do not have an exciting weekend recap for you at all. I worked the majority of the weekend as next week we are leaving for Toronto for 5 days so I worked the long weekend so I wouldn’t have to take quite so much time off for our Toronto trip.. new job and all 🙂 So the above was my Saturday scene. I grabbed a large coffee from a new little local coffee shop just around the corner from our house! I miss the coffee shops I would frequent in Kamloops so I’m trying to scout out some new ones.


Sunday morning I met up with a new running group for a trail run! We did 9.5km in just over an hour on a really beautiful single track trail through a provincial campground about 15 minutes outside of town. I’m excited to start running with this new group twice a week and find some new trails. I really, really, really miss the incredible group of running friends I left behind in Kamloops. I know that kind of tribe can’t be recreated over night (it took 7 years before!) but hopefully this is the start of some new trail friends 🙂


I worked for half the day after my run on Sunday and then spent the afternoon on the couch snuggling Chloe and watching Gilmore Girls! The sun had come out again but I really wasn’t feeling well and needed some down time. My throat is still really sore but I’m feeling a little better finally.


This photo of Chloe is quite hilarious though – she stood up tight to the fence in the only line of sun in the whole yard! 😀 She was out there for almost half an hour.


Remember the snow on Friday? Well this was the weather yesterday. So amazing! We went for a really beautiful hike with my sister-in-law and two of our nieces.

And that was the weekend – pretty uneventful. Next weekend I’m heading down to Kamloops for three days. Can’t wait to see some friends and my mom and do my very favourite race – the Blackwell Dairy 15km. Then on June 1 we fly out to Toronto for a week, which should also be very fun.

How was your weekend?