Monday, June 18, 2012

tour de lac brome - first trail race

I first found out about the Tour de Lac Brome last June. I was looking for local races but heard about it a little too late and couldn't justify the $50 entry fee. Since then, I have been obsessed with the "duck race" so I was very excited to finally be there this weekend.

After a much longer than anticipated drive out to Lac Brome due to construction traffic and an accident that closed a stretch of the highway, we arrived with plenty of time to pick up our bibs and to watch the kids (ages 7-15) 2km trail race. We could tell by their muddy legs (and the fact that one kid crossed the finish line carrying one of his shoes) that it was muddy on the trail, but really had no idea what the course was like. Since we didn't want to bring the camera out with us on the course, I decided to pose for a picture that created what I figured I'd look like on the trail. And yes, I know my colours coordinate beautifully - I'll be happy dispense fashion advice to all who need it:
apparently i figured i'd be catching flies out on the trail
Since it was the first time I'd ever been part of a trail race, I was especially thankful for the pre-race meeting where the race director told us to follow the arrows (the arrow pointing to the left meant go left...who would have thought?) and to follow the flagging tape. He assured us that there was a LOT of flagging tape out there so we shouldn't have any problems. He was right. Even if I had been out there alone with no one to follow, it would have been easy to find my way. Once the meeting was done, we were off!

I hadn't done much to specifically prepare for a trail race other than to buy bug spray, remember to bring a hat, and tie my shoes extra tight in case of mud. I somewhat regretted not running a few more hills in the last few weeks when I was out on the course, but since I was just out there to have fun and not break my face on a tree, I was ok with being a little slower and doing a little more huffing and puffing than I'd normally like to do.

The best part though was all the mud! When we hit the first mud section, a few of the people around us were not so impressed and tried to go around it. I decided to run right through it and was treated to mud up to my mid-calf. There were several similar sections throughout the loop - and then we got to do it again! (it was a two loop course) Since much of the trail was uneven and soft, the second pass through it was tougher - my legs were getting tired and it was harder to get through all that mud.

pretty muddy - glad for the calf sleeves
In one of the first muddy sections of the second loop I ended up knee deep, which brought me pretty much to a stop, and had Jordan not been right next to me to help pull me up, I probably would have ended up face-planting into the mud pit. While that would have made for a great post-race picture, I was glad to stay on my feet. It wrenched my right quad a bit though and I was definitely feeling it for the next kilometre or so (and I'm feeling it a little today as well).

There were definitely a few sections in which I slowed to a walk to avoid falling or injuring myself and the last steep uphill kicked my ass a bit. But by the time we were heading down the last descent in the woods, I was still smiling and trying to run it in as fast as I could. When we came out of the forest and had to do the last 400 or so meters on the road, I saw a lady in pink up ahead and decided I needed to pass her before the end. Ahead of her was a lady in blue and I thought "but I probably don't have enough kick to get past blue shirt." Once I made it to pink-shirt, Jordan said "ok, now time for the lady in blue." Clearly, he had NOT heard what I had been thinking before...but I decided to give it a try. Sure enough, I caught up with blue and passed her. Just after I did that, I felt her surge a bit and thought "sorry lady, this last 400m has made me feel like barfing a bit...there's no way I'm letting you get by me" and managed to beat her to the line. I finished feeling slightly barfy but smiling.

Even though I was super muddy from the knees down, I don't think I got a speck of mud on my shorts or my shirt.
sweaty, muddy, and smiling
Overall - it was a great time! The race was really well organized - from parking, to bib pick up, to bag check, to post-race meal - no complaints at all. They do an entire weekend of events (including a "weekend marathon" where you run 22.2 km on Saturday and 20 km on Sunday) and they do a great job of it. As long as the timing works out, I'll be back next year. Plus, a race that feeds you dinner with a beer gets two thumbs up.
duck race!
Definitely a successful first trail race. It made me want to run more trails and made me want to come back for more. Thanks for a great experience Tour de Lac Brome!

13 comments: said...

Sounds like fun! Trail races always kick my ass in a different kind of way. And I'm glad you didn't bother trying to avoid the mud. That would have taken extra effort. I never understand why people do that?

"I decided to pass the girl in pink" Love that simple to the point thought process while racing :)

Glad you had such a good time!

Rebecca said...

I'm pretty sure that when I ran with Max last month people were saying "cant let the girl with the baby beat me!"...hehe :-)

Nice face with the first picture! Gotta love that Ottawa 10K shirt - goes well with other neon colours!

Ali Mc said...

That weekend marathon sounds like such a fun idea! though I don't think I could do that for a few years ;) lol

I love the looks of this whole weekend!

Heather said...

But what about the duck supper?!?!?!?!?

Cotter Crunch said...

oh no way! Now that is a fun race. I wish we had more of those around here. Muddy, messy, and fun!

joggingjeans said...

Knee deep mud! Sounds awesome!

MelissaNibbles said...

Running through mud like a boss! Glad you had so much fun. It sounds like a blast!

April Tock said...

I did it too! It was so much fun! I'm happy to say I was neither the lady in pink-nor blue. I was the lady in green who was also running down a lady in blue! happy to say that I succeeded in passing runners going to the end also. Took me 1:04 to do the course. Never have I had so much fun running! Can't wait for next year!!

kristen said...

Thanks everyone! It was a fun race!

April - not sure if you are going to check back, but were you in a long green tank top? (and on the second loop did you step on a big piece of wood and it almost took someone out? if so - that was me throwing the f-bomb at the stick...not at you! :) I finished in about 1:04 as well...

kristen said...

Oh - and the duck supper was delicious. Duck sausage, bean salad, and pasta salad. And beer. yum

Marlene said...

Well done on the mud! It should be against the rules to try to avoid it. Sounds like you had a blast and you sure look happy! YAY for real food and beer post-race... those trail races know what they're doing.

April Tock said...

OMG!!! Yes-Kristin!! That WAS me (in green)who stepped on that log! I was so relieved that you were ok.

I had such a good time-think now I may try the Asics Xtrail in Orford in October. Game?

kristen said...

April - ACK! I don't think the timing will work. But if it does I'll try to let you know - send me an email (moultgard at gmail dot com) and I will let you know if I will be there.