Thursday, July 16, 2009

Race Report - 5 Peaks Rattlesnake Point 12.7km

Believe it or not, Saturday, July 11, 2009 was the first time I've ever been in a running race that was delayed due to thunder storms. The Rattlesnake Point 12.7 km trail race is part of the Southern Ontario 5 Peaks trail running series. It's the only one of the series of races that I will run this year but I'm considering them all next season.

True to the criteria I set out in my 2009 race schedule post, this was a unique and interesting race. If it had been dry, the terrain would still have been somewhat treacherous. After being delayed 45 minutes because of a storm featuring a downpour, the course was a muddy, rocky, vertical mess. Without ever seeing the course, I had set a goal of 5:45 per km. I actually came close at 5:53 but I worked extremely hard to get that due to the mostly single track trail and rugged conditions.

The course is located along the Niagara Escarpment near Milton, Ontario (just west of Toronto). The escarpment is infamous for its rocks and cliffs. Some of the rocky climbs during this race could almost be considered cliffs. Luckily, you don't have to take my word for it. I had the fortune of following the cameraman from and their web site contains a video of the race partially filmed from a helmet cam by an actual runner in the race. I do appear in the video, however there is no timer on the video so I can't tell you the exact point. (Update: If you go full screen, there is a timer and I appear at 1:35 and last for a few seconds.) All I can tell you is that you see my back and I'm wearing a dark blue Adidas tech shirt with faded green Adidas shorts and a really faded black Adidas hat. Do I support Adidas? No. Just blind luck that I'd be wearing the Adidas ensemble. I was wearing a pair of New Balance 767's that were retired after the race after putting in around 750 km.

It was a great run. I finished exactly halfway in my age class and somewhere around halfway overall. It was hard to gage positioning because it was a wave start. It didn't really matter anyway. There was a friendly atmosphere that you might not find at a road race I think mostly due to being out in nature and all being in it together against whatever Mother Nature could fire our way.


I just want to say that I still have Ontario Provincial Park day passes available for anyone who wants one (or two, or three...). See this post for more details.

Also, anyone wanting my copy of The Man Who Swam The Amazon can see this post. It's still up for grabs.

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