Oktoberfest Trail 8km Race Report

I had a really awesome time running a fun trail race on new-to-me trails last weekend so I thought I would share my experience on the blog. It feels like in 2015 I mostly ran races I’ve done before so didn’t do many race reports this year.

Last weekend a group of five of us drove up to Harper Mountain, which is a small ski hill about 30 minutes from town for an Oktoberfest 8km Trail Race. My running partner Tara had ran the race the year before and said the trails up there were amazing so I was really looking forward to it and it did not disappoint.

The five of us convoyed up in two cars, got checked in and had a coffee in the lodge and before we knew it the 9am start had arrived.

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There were not a whole lot of people doing this race, maybe 40 or so, but because the trails were single track it took quite a while for everyone to spread out.

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Most of the trails around Kamloops are very open and bare. We do live in a very desert like climate after all. The trails up at Harper Mountain were amazing! They were technical with lots of roots and rocks and you were almost always under the cover of the trees. They also had some amazing single track trails and most of the race was on rolling hills so it was a very runnable 8km.

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One of my favourite parts of the whole race was near the end when we broke out of the trees and ran along the side of the ski hill. I looked behind me and the autumn colours were beyond stunning!

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Such a fun Sunday morning! The group of us that went up together are the same people who tend to run together every Friday morning for an hour. Those early morning runs on Friday are more about social time than they are about getting a workout in. I even get up for them on days when I don’t have to work, like this coming Friday.

I feel so lucky to have made so many amazing running friends since I first started running in 2009.

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As of right now I don’t have anymore races planned for 2015 so the Harper Mountain Oktoberfest 8km trail race was the absolutely perfect way to cap off my race year. I will definitely be back again to do this race next year!

I also had an awesome run in the trails last night with Carmine, Donut and Chloe! Gosh do I ever love fall trail running. I really don’t want this season to end.

Do you have any fall races planned? If you trail run what kind of trails do you prefer? 

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A full weekend outside in the sun!

WHEW! What a weekend! Actually, what a month. May was insanely busy with lots of stuff happening at work and almost every weekend jam packed full of stuff. I do have to work both Friday and Saturday night this coming weekend but after that I have four glorious weekends in a row with almost zero plans and I intend to keep it that way! Here is a recap of this gloriously sunny and beautifully weekend where I spent about 90% of my time outside!

Friday 

Honestly I can’t even really remember what I did on Friday night but I do know I was in bed by 9:15pm for an amazing 9.5 hour sleep! I knew I had a crazy couple of days ahead of me and wanted to go into them with as much sleep as possible.

Saturday 

I was up early on Saturday for some puttering around the house and an early breakfast on the deck!

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After breakfast I headed to an amazing and super sweaty hot flow yoga class. I hadn’t been to yoga in three weeks and my body was really craving it. Post yoga I did a quick Farmer’s Market trip but all I got was lettuce as they were sold out of eggs. Definitely time to start going earlier in the day. I then grabbed a quick brunch with my mom and grandma.

Right after brunch on Saturday I headed over to my good friend Geralyn’s house where I was co-hosting her baby shower! It was a beautiful afternoon and we held it in her backyard.

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It was a super fun afternoon! I didn’t get any photos of myself and baby Cohen but I just had lunch with Geralyn and the little man the day before so got lots of quality cuddle time in then 🙂

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Super fun day! On Saturday evening I took Chloe for a long walk, got frozen yogurt and prepared my things for the next day when I had plans to run a trail half-marathon.

Sunday

Sunday was the day to end all days. It started when my alarm went off at 4:45am. I was then on the road by 5:30am and picked up friends Carmine and Tara along with coffee before driving 2+ hours to Kelowna for a trail race! Two other friends were already there. Three of us did the 21km trail race and two did the 10km race.

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This was another Dirty Feet series race. I actually did the 5km in this race about four years ago with my friend Jamie and remember it being really, really hard. Yesterday I tackled the 21km.

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It was soooo hot! I wanted to jump in that lake the entire time.

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We ended up finishing in 3:22 and my friend and I actually chatted for the first 2.5 hours so the whole race went by fairly fast. It was definitely a brutal course though with lots and lots of climbing. Check out that elevation profile… I was very grateful for those last 5 or so km that were all downhill.

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I was really happy with our time considering I haven’t been on my feet for longer than 1.5 hours since February. Also I actually felt way better after 3+ hours and 21km on my feet in the trails yesterday than I did after 1.5 hours and 15km on the asphalt last weekend. Amazing how much better the trail feels for my body!

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We weren’t quite as attractive at the end as we were at the beginning… Sooo sweaty! And my legs were absolutely filthy.

After the race we cleaned ourselves up as best we could with wet ones and headed for a much needed lunch. I scarfed down the most delicious burger + poutine.

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After lunch we immediately got on the road again and drove the 2+ hours home. We literally drove straight to the baseball diamonds and played two back-to-back baseball games for 3+ hours. I thought I was going to be much more exhausted at baseball than I was. I ended up feeling OK and had a lot of fun.

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Finally a full 16 hours after I left the house that morning I walked back in the door and settled myself on the couch to watch Game of Thrones. I worked on this blog post while watching and as soon as I hit publish I will be collapsing into bed. I better sleep well tonight after all this activity, busy-ness and time out in the sun this weekend. Don’t worry, I was lathering on sunscreen even though I still got a bit of a burn on my shoulder.

I kind of feel like I need a weekend to recover from my weekend now 🙂 And of course I have a busy week ahead with an event tonight, a meeting Wednesday after work, meetings Friday night and an event to attend on Saturday night! One more busy week to get through though and life should suddenly be sooo much quieter. Can’t wait!

How was your weekend? Did you spend a lot of time outside? 

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2015 Blackwell Dairy 15km Race Report

My very favourite local Kamloops race is the Blackwell Dairy Run 15km that happens around May 24 every year. I did this race three years in a row but have not ran it since 2011 due to being out of town the last three years. Check out my 2009, 2010 and 2011 race reports of this great race!

Finally in 2015 I was able to run it again and I was very happy about that. So many of my local running friends were at this race! Definitely a far cry from 2009 when I was a brand new runner, had no local running friends, Eric didn’t run and I did the race all by myself.

This year Eric, my mom and I all went together as my mom walked the 3km option they have as well. We got there early to pick up our bibs and then spent some time hanging out before the race started visiting with friends.

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Before we knew it we were off! Eric immediately took off far ahead of us but my friend Carmine and I decided to run together and did so for 13km. We spent the majority of the race chatting back and forth and complaining about the hills!

The one great thing about this race – and what I always tell people about it – is that while it is super hilly, it’s more rolling hills. So almost every time you get to the top of a hill and feel ready to die you get a downhill to recover. The last 2.5km is pretty much all uphill though.

Mile 1 – 9:02, Mile 2 – 9:22, Mile 3 – 10:01 

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Carmine and I just kept trucking along through all the hills, walking a little here and there but mostly running, and chatting away. At one point Eric waited for us at an aid station and we all ran together for maybe a kilometre or two but then he was off and running ahead of us again.

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Mile 4 – 9:44, Mile 5 – 10:33, Mile 6 – 10:19

One thing I really noticed is how many more people are doing this race now! Three years ago I was almost all alone on one of the straight stretches and could only see people way up ahead of me. This year we were always surrounded by at least a few people.

It was fun seeing Eric at this out-and-back which came around Mile 5. He rocked this race!

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The clouds look ominous but it actually only rained a little and that felt quite nice since it was SO HOT all week!

Mile 7 – 9:30, Mile 8 – 9:52, Mile 9 – 10:11, Mile 9-9.3 – 8:02 

Around 13km / 8 miles Carmine and I split up for the last little bit and I plugged in my music and found all this extra energy inside of me! Top of the World by Imagine Dragons blasting in my ears didn’t hurt. I passed about 5 or 6 people in the last two km!

I finished the 2015 Blackwell Dairy in 1:31:13, which is a personal best for me at this race by about 1min15seconds!

Considering I hadn’t ran more than 11km since February and went into this rain feeling majorly undertrained that’s not bad at all! Just a testament to how far I have come with my running over the last three years and also how much of a difference regular strength training has made for me!

After the running was done the real reason I sign up for this race every year happened….

Pancakes and ice cream 🙂

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So so grateful to have this guy alongside me at races now 🙂

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Oh and my friend Sam ran the 3km with her family at 34 weeks pregnant! She’s amazing!

I then spent four hours playing back-to-back baseball games on Sunday evening. Let’s say I slept very well on Sunday night! I was a bit stiff and sore on Monday but felt back to normal by Tuesday. Seriously, I cannot go on enough about how much strength training has changed my body — it’s helped me run faster with less actual running training AND it’s helped me recover faster!

And I definitely need to recover faster as I’m tackling a trail half-marathon this coming Sunday. That will be interesting!

Do you have any favourite races you try to do every year? 

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