Trail Event

Raid the Rib 2016

Interesting weather for April last Sunday. It was cold, below freezing, damp and even a little snowy at times. Not quite want we expected for a mid-April romp through the woods. It was just perfect weather for Raid the Rib at Albion Hills Conservation Area. From what we could tell the organizers from Don’t Get Lost had a great turn out for the race.

 

Blister Sisters and the Butterfly in action - Facebook images from Don't Get Lost.

Blister Sisters and the Butterfly in action – Facebook images from Don’t Get Lost. Tx.

Our team had a newbie this year, we were fortunate that Stephanie was able to join our team to make up the required team of three – The Blister Sisters and the Band-Aid (although she would have preferred to be called the butterfly strip!) We arrived in plenty of time to plan our route and to fill Stephanie in how an orienteering race works. She was a great addition to our team.

Studying the maps, we picked out the controls that we thought we could get to with in the 4 hour time limit. We did caution Stephanie that this was just an idea we had, we don’t ever really stick to our plan. When alternatives pop up, chances are we’ll take them, so be prepared for anything!

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The first three or four controls were a piece of cake. Partly because of our great map reading skills and partly because the snow cover ground presented a trail right to the control. Track reading goes along with map reading, right?

Off we went down the road and onto the second map. Now, I’ve mountain biked at Albion, it’s a pretty popular place for riding and I have a general idea of there I am when I’m there. I really had no reference for the second map. We had to trust our map reading abilities, which at first proved to be sketchy and we got completely turned around after a couple of controls. No problem, here is where the alternative popped up. We just continued mapping our controls we hadn’t planned on getting but did find just like that. Everything just fell into place!

Other than that little turn around and missing one control we were sure we were going to find, we had a great race. Stephanie survived and we made it back to the finish with minutes to spare!

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Iditarod record earned

Awesome blog post about Tim Hewitt’s record breaking 1000 mile trek in the Iditarod Trail Invitational by Craig Medred! Worth the read.

Craig Medred

10570347_10153392429056611_2091238505391719584_n Tim Hewitt on the Iditarod Trail at White Mountain/Joanna Wassillie photo

You can’t begin to do what Tim Hewitt just did in walking 1,000 miles across the godforsaken, frozen wilderness of Alaska in less than 20 days to set a record in the Iditarod Trail Invitational, and he doubts you’d want to.

Who’d choose to beat themselves up this way?

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Categories: #happydays, Trail Event, Ultras, Winter Running | Leave a comment

Peak to Peak Adventure Run

Weekly Smile!
The Blister Sisters were at it again! So much fun stumbling around in the forest! What at beautiful day for a run!

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Today was the Peak to Peak hosted by Don’t Get Lost Adventure Running Club. We really like their races, they are fun, challenging and well organized and they give us great maps! We save them all, you never know when you’ll need an orienteering map of somewhere near Hamilton, LOL

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This run was in the in the beautiful Dundas Valley near Hamilton Ontario. I love running in the fall!

You might guess from the name of the run that all the check point are on top of peaks in the Dundas Valley. It was a lot of fun, a butt burner getting up the hills and a butt burner getting back down!

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The Blister Sisters and the Band Aid at Raid the Rib!

We have been waiting three and a half long, cold months for our first event. It was worth the running in the brain numbing cold to be ready for it.

Yesterday the Blister Sisters and the Band Aid ran the Raid the Rib Adventure Race. To do this event we needed a team of three so we enlisted our good friend Jean to be our “Band Aid”. Jean runs like a gazelle over the trails but this is the second time she has joined our team so we must be doing ok to keep up with her. We had so much fun, we just laugh the entire time.

Blister Sisters and the Band Aid

Blister Sisters and the Band Aid

 

The event was held at Rock Ridge Ranch on the escarpment near Milton Ontario. This location was great, the escarpment terrain offers a lot of navigational challenges from rocky ground to cliffs and creeks, nothing about is it flat and rolling. Besides the spring thaw with mud and flooding, at the ranch location, you are also dealing with horse trails that twist and double back so there wasn’t an easy route to any control.

The Don’t Get Lost organization hosts great events always with little twists thrown in to even out the field. The Rib Raid was a scramble so every team could plan their own route. There was no set course, which is just what we like, if we couldn’t find something we could just move on. This time it was mandatory to head back to the start midway through the race and each member of the team had to do an individual navigation challenge.

The morning started out on time for us, but Jean was a little late arriving at the Ranch. She was driving in from another direction than us. She got behind a Don’t Get Lost car and decided it would be easy just to follow it to the Ranch. Unfortunately it didn’t come directly to the ranch, so she was just a little lost (Get it – Don’t Get Lost! LOL) and little late arriving.

This left us a little less time to come up with our plan of attack, but we managed to pull it together and we felt we were good to go at least for an hour or so. This was a 4 hour event so we were going to have to plan on the run as well.

All was good until the start when the entire field took off running in the opposite direction than we wanted to go! We sort of stood there dumb struck and then trotted off to follow them, having no idea where we were going. Then our brains kicked in and we hauled butt in the opposite direction to find our first control. Now we were in charge of our plan again. The first and second controls were right were we thought they should be. We over shot our third control and got a little turned around. I even had to pull out the compass to see which way was north, I hardly ever do that. (We really need to take a navigation course). After some bush whacking, we ended up on a double track trail not really knowing where we were on the map, but three heads together, we took a good guess and we were right. We found more controls before heading back for the individual challenge.

found one

Oh Yea! Found one!

 

Now it was supposed to be 10 degrees C with some sun, but in reality it was windy and cold, I froze waiting at the individual challenge, luckily none of us took too long to find our controls and off we went with an hour to go to finish the race.

Now we were in those twisty horse trails I mention. They just seem to go in circles and they looked the same. The land is treed and rocky with a few outcrops and bogs. Tough going, we eventually, after a spectacular fall by Glenis, decided we had better figure out how to find our way back to the finish.

Needless to say we didn’t win, but we didn’t set out to win, just to have a great time together. We would defiantly recommend this event and any of the Don’t Get lost events to anyone interested in trail running with a twist of navigation thrown in.

After a nice barbeque (we even stayed for the awards) we gave Jean a hug and set November 8th, Raid the Hammer, for our next team adventure.

The sisters now have a month to figure out how to mountain bike again before our next race at Storm the Trent! I guess we better get our bikes out now! Oh yea and that canoe!

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#happydays 50K Done! Haliburtion Forest 100 – 50K

Haliburton Forest 50K

50K done!

A big thanks to Helen Malmberg and her crew for putting on another terrific race and to the Haliburton Forest Center for hosting it in their beautiful forest.

There are a few lessons to learn running this type of race.

  • It is an emotional experience, you might cry.
  • You will have a lot of time to think about things. Be grateful.
  • Your feet will take a beating.
  • Recovery is a bitch.

We took our time on this race and did a little videography. Have a look at our movie of the race to see the beauty of this run.

 

Highlights of the run were:

  • The huge rain and electrical storm Friday night.
  • The forest.
  • Sleeping in the van in the rain.
  • The dark morning rain.
  • The beautiful single track trail.
  • The aid stations.
  • The 50k turn around.
  • Did I mention the forest?
  • The amazing runners that passed us. They were just awesome.
  • The gnomes.
  • The cheering at the finish line.

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#happydays Haliburtion Forest Trail Run

The Haliburton Forest Trail run is just two days away.

The excitement is building! This year is the 21st anniversary of this event which features a number of distances from 12k to 100 miles through the beautiful Haliburton forest. We haven’t run at Haliburton for a few years, but we do have some experience, running the 50k a couple of times and finishing the 50 miles distance. It will be fun to be back at the beautiful Wolf Center.

We really like this race not only for the great wilderness trails it follows but there is no time limit for the shorter races. As long as we finish before the course closes for the 100 mile race on Sunday, we are good. The 100 mile racers have 30 hours to cover the course so we won’t have a problem.

Haliburton Forest Tail Map

Haliburton Forest Tail Map

We are heading up to do some van camping Friday night so we will be rested and ready Saturday morning at 6am – in the dark – with headlights – running in the wilderness – up hills with a bunch of great runners who are, oh so much faster than us!

Nightlights, that reminds me of when we ran the 50 miles. It started to get dark about 8pm in the forest and we pulled out our tiny flashlights. Both of them started to fade and we were forced contemplate running the last bit of trail in the pitch black. As we trudged up the forest road to the trail head in the dark; we mumbled “hi” to two figures walking by with flash lights. One of them called out “Glenis”! OMG, it was our husbands! They walked out from the finish to see if we had passed through the 2nd last aid station yet! We quickly exchanged our dying flashlights for a pen light and a wind up flashlight. Those two tiny lights got us through the last 10k! Too funny!

So Saturday morning 52 amazing runners will head off to run 100 miles through tough single track tails and 67 of us will head out to do a fraction of that distance. Let the fun begin.

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#100happydays Day 84 Run for the Trails!

#100happydays Day 84 Run for the Trails!

We are always happy when we have a local event to promote. Run for the Trails is a local event that will be held on September 14th, 2014 at Scanlon Creek just outside of Bradford, Ontario. Put on by the Friends of Scanlon Creek, this race will showcase all the work the group has been doing the last few years to make Scanlon an excellent place to run. Proceeds of the Run For The Trails will support of the revitalization of the Scanlon Creek Conservation Area.

Run for the Trails

Run for the Trails

The run, as you might have guess, is all on trails. Scanlon offers wide swooping double tracks, some challenging single track trails as well as lots of great hills with a little bit of woodwork thrown in for fun. The day includes challenging 7 Km trail run/walk and a fun 1 Km trail run/walk for a maximum of 150 enthusiasts.

You can register on line here or I believe if the race isn’t full there will be race day registration starting at 8am. The race starts at 10am. Click here for more information.

 

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#100happydays Day 66 Surviving with a scratch!

#100happydays Day 66 Surviving with a scratch!

Happiness is comparing warrior wounds! Too Funny! (Check out Glenis’s nails!)

A map of the war wounds from the last two races!

A map of the war wounds from the last two races!

Categories: #100HappDays, Mud Run, Trail Event | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

#100happydays Day 52 Planning our next race – The North Face Endurance Challenge

#100happydays Day 52 Planning our next race  – The North Face Endurance Challenge

We are making plans for our next ½ marathon. The North Face Endurance Challenge is next Saturday and Sunday at Blue Mountain. This two day event features an 80k, full marathon and marathon relay on Saturday and a ½ marathon, 10k, 5k and kids race on Sunday.

We are planning on running the ½ marathon. It should be fun. After reviewing the course it looks like we run up the mountain on single track trails, do a little road running and then back on the trails along the top of the ski hills winding back down the hill to the finish. There is a 1700 foot difference in elevation so it should be a lung burner and a lot of fun. A lot of the course will be familiar to us because is includes areas we ran through on the Snowshoe raid last year.

The North Face Endurance Challenge 1/2 Marathon map.

The North Face Endurance Challenge 1/2 Marathon map.

After the race,  The North Face is hosting the Ontario finish line festival in Blue Mountain village with includes a meet and greet with Dean Karnazes. The North Face Global Athlete Team Member, Dean Karnazes, the ultramarathon man, will be answering questions, taking photos and signing autographs. Although Glenis and I will never be in his league, it’s always nice to rub shoulders with the elite!

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#100happydays Day 32 Memories in worn out shoes

#100happydays Day 32 Memories in worn out shoes

Worn out shoes

While tiding up my shoe box, I look at all my worn out shoes and remember where they have taken me and the fun I’ve had in them. I just want to keep them because they store all those memories.

#100happydays Worn out Shoes

This is a pair of Brooks Adrenaline shoes that I wore for a Halliburton Forest 50k.

 

Running Free has a good thing going for worn out shoes. They collect them for recycling to send to feet that need shoes. Most running shoes that we think are too worn out to run in still have life in them for someone who doesn’t have any shoes. Nick and his team ship them off to places like Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Cuba, Bolivia – and to aid services in Canada. I have had people come into the store and thank me for the shoes they got through our collection and recycling program. So that’s probably where my shoes with memories are going, to collect more memories.

Running Free's shoe collection box

Go into any Running Free to drop off your worn out running shoes. They’ll make sure that they get a new pair of feet.

Categories: #100HappDays, Trail Event | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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