5 Peaks Cypress Enduro Recap aka Hills Of The Up Variety {ugh}

I’m what you would call a newbie trail runner.  I’ve been on trails.  I have run on trails.  I like running on trails.  But trails inherently have hills.  Therefore I spend much of each run “riking”.  And I’m not much of a fan of that!

Last Saturday Colin and I ran (riked) the 5 Peaks Cypress Mountain Enduro trail run.  It was hard!!  However, if we’re going to tackle the 23km course at the Squamish 50 in August we needed to do this 12km race.

We chose this race because we were both able to get in free.  I volunteered at the 5 Peaks Alice Lake race in June and earned an entry.  Colin had a trail running book that came with one too.

Our 10th anniversary was last Friday.  Since we had a race the next day we celebrated by going to bed early!  My parents had Spud for a sleepover on Saturday night so we dropped him off on the way to the race.  It was about a 40 minute drive to the mountain and it was gorgeous out already.  We parked close to the start, which wasn’t hard since it’s a relatively small race.  Colin had to register and I had to pick up my bib so we left our stuff in the car and headed to the start area.  While it was a sunny day the parking lot was in shade.  I wasn’t expecting so many bugs!  Thankfully the majority were of the annoying, not biting, variety.  We got what we needed, plus free water bottle handheld pouches, coffee and protein powder samples and went back to the car.  Once we gathered everything we headed over to the Salomon tent to meet up with Solana, Nikki, Diana, Mariah, and whoever else was going to show up.

The race started at 9am.  It was self seeded so I tried to convince the others we should line up further back.  I was outvoted, though, and we were in “corral” 4, I think.


Photo credit: Warren via Jay’s camera

Originally there were 4 of us that were going to try to stick together.  However, Diana took off like a shot, so Nikki, a met-5-minutes-earlier new friend Emma, and I ran relatively close together.  We entered some single track trail right off the bat.  I don’t think we were more than a couple of hundred metres in before a sport course runner bailed in front of us!  I made sure she was okay and continued on.  For some reason my sleeves made my arms really sore around my biceps so I had to take them off pretty quickly.  I think I maybe wore them for too long beforehand and they were cutting off circulation a bit.  That, or my biceps are getting huge from once-a-week boot camp…

There was a bit of uphill before we reached where the two courses diverged.  I walked when I needed to, which wasn’t any surprise as my hill training has been mediocre.  This is where I selfishly abandoned Nikki and Emma.  You see, I adore downhill running.  And I’m pretty good at it (meaning no tumbleweeding).  I couldn’t help myself.  I had to take advantage of some semblance of speed while I could.  Besides, it was FUN!

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Blurry, but that’s the downhill!

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Yup, run under that tree there…

Once I reached the bottom of the hill (well, at least as far as I would be going) I came to the realization that what goes down must go back up.  Ugh.  I don’t have any idea how the fast runners are fast uphill.  I was good to hike it, but there was not a lot of spring in my step…

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Since I had left the other two, I found I was running almost all on my own.  Normally that would freak me right out, but I think that because it was a race it made it less scary.  There were other runners who passed me , and a few hikers too, so that helped.  It was also really pretty!

After much hiking – not even really riking – I came to a small lake. I thought that I might make my one and only pass of another racer, but as I asked how he was doing he replied, “I rolled my ankle awhile ago,” and the first aid team was coming to meet him.  Dang!  I couldn’t count an injured runner…

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Shortly after passing them – and having really zero idea of how long I still had to go – I found my trail running weakness: I drag my feet when I’m tired.  That is not conducive when you have big feet (size 11 in trail runners) and rocks and roots abound.  My penalty for this infraction was falling UP the trail.  I hooked my left foot into a root hole, hit knee-knee-wrist (turned on watch button)-wrist-chest going up some root stairs.  Thankfully didn’t hit my head, but I guess first aid would have found me on their way back…

I finally reached the aid station / where the routes reconvened and stopped for a quick drink.  There wasn’t much electrolyte drink left, but I dipped in a cup and it was fabulous!  I asked how long to go still and was told about 4-5km.  So lovely to find out that the majority was uphill {insert sarcasm here}.  At least the view was nice and there were a couple of other runners present when the friendly guy with the chainsaw walked by…

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I’m at the top of the UP hill.

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Random flowers.

I wasn’t getting particularly sore from the run, but it was hot and I was just tired.  I ran when I could – and ran faster to escape the stalker bees (or possibly stalker horseflies).  Finally I came upon the “1km left” sign and knew I was almost done.  I came into the finish where this awesome picture was taken by Solana’s friend, Warren.

Photo credit: Warren via Jay's camera

Photo credit: Warren via Jay’s camera

I was impressed that they still announced my name even though the awards were going on.  I hadn’t set my watch so I figured I finished in roughly 2:20.  I was a little disappointed to find out the route was short 12km instead of the advertised 14km, but was proud of finishing.  Later that day I was even prouder to find out my 2:20 was actually 2:08!  Not bad for my very first official trail race!

Afterwards we made a trip down to the Salomon store to pick up free buffs.  I’m sure they’ll come in handy!  The plan was to meet at Solana and her husband Jay’s house to have a BBQ / pool party. So that’s where we went.

Photo credit: Jay

Photo credit: Jay

Photo credit: Jay

Photo credit: Jay

A good run and time with new friends was the perfect way to spend most of the day.


5 responses

  1. Great job and time. Trail running is tough business!

    July 28, 2013 at 10:21 am

  2. Congrats on finishing and surviving your first trail race!!! 🙂

    July 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

  3. Pingback: Race Report: 5 Peaks Cypress Mountain Trail Race | My CMS

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