Jul 28, 2008

Momar Race Report

It was a last minute decision to race in the Momar race due to an unexpected change of events and so on Friday evening I found myself at Shawnigan Lake. This is a beautiful area of the island that I have never gotten the opportunity to explore. It was also nice to race amongst fellow adventure racers and friends. The Momar series is nice as it somewhat feels like an extended family, a place you know you will reunite with some great friends and racers.

I decided to race this race with a good kayak friend Marshall. We had never raced together but thought it would be an interesting change from racing with my regular team the Yogaslackers (they were off climbing tall trees in the US for a documentary their friend was creating). A change of pace is always healthy and keeps people on their toes.

The race began with a 10km kayak. Marshall and I raced in the XT Fenn double surf ski and it proved to be a good choice in boats. We killed it. It was definitely a fun experience to lead the pack out on the water especially since I've really started to paddle more and have been in the boat at lot more than in the past. Unfortunately, we were a little unprepared to be so far in front and lost some time and confidence in finding our correct way back to the transition. We managed to hold our lead despite stopping twice.

The bike was next. I won't elaborate too much as it still hurts a little too much to think about our mistake. We basically over shot a turn off and found ourselves about 1.5 hours off course doing a large large hill repeat. I suppose I subconsciously felt like the bike section was too short and decided that adding 1.5 hours would make it much more suitable…haha.. Following this terrible detour and mistake we found ourselves way back in the pack and just had to suck up our loses and keep on trekking until the end. This was mentally a tough spot for me to be in as to be honest, it is a rare occurrence. On the bright side, I'm glad it happened in a smaller race, with an understanding teammate and I was able to learn from it. I was able to eventually get over the mistake and just enjoy the rest of the race while still pushing hard and using it as an awesome training for some of the bigger/longer races to come in the near future.

The river run was a fun little addition to the race. I'm not sure how I felt about swimming with a noodle though…it kept sliding out from underneath me. Onto to the trek we met up with Curtis who also took a bike detour with us and managed to finish off the orienteering section in good spirits.

I learnt a lot from this race and its nice to know I am able to brush off the mistake and move on. It is an adventure race and it happens to everyone,,…I suppose it was our turn this time.

All in all it was a good time as every Momar I've raced in has been. Thank you Bryan/Momar and Helly Hansen.

I am now off to Ontario to be a maid of honour in my sister's wedding. I can't wait to see the fam!

Live, Love, Laugh,….DREAM!

Jul 23, 2008

Gorge Games Race Report / Momar Shawnigan Lake / Yogaslackers in Vancouver

Gorge Games race Report/ Momar/ Yogaslackers in Vancouver

Yogaslackers made it to the Gorge Games this past weekend to compete in the 24Hour Adventure Race
This is how our week was played out…Sometimes I’m shocked I even make it to the race start let alone the podium…

Wednesday am: July 16th We did not have any kayaks to race with

Wednesday pm: Lina’s friend of a friend of a friend lent the yogaslackers an interesting double kayak (Thank you!) and Tom from a skin boat company lent us 2 single skin boats. At least we had boats

Thursday all day: Team gets themselves to Portland from around the west coast. I had the sweet pleasure to hang out with two awesome Camp Olson friends Kristi and Risa.

Friday: We get the double kayak, four bikes, four people, gear and a trailer on the peace/love car and make it to the race start…phew…Typical adventure race: it always seems that the toughest part is just getting to the start line

Friday-Saturday: 24 hours 4 stages 3 rogaine sections, beautiful views, no sleep and lots of fun.
Kayak: 3.5 hours of doing laps….with our interesting boat compilation our number of laps were greatly reduced. Jason’s boat although great started to gain lots of water as the kayak leg went on. It’s unfortunate that the wind and waves caused the race director to change the original kayak rogaine section. Safety is number one in adventure race, which has the ability to incur great risks. After this painful 3.5 hours it was off onto the bike for a 2 hour bike rogaine

Bike Rogaine: Interesting leg, this section was done in the dark and led to biking hard in order to attempt to make it to the TA and get all the check points in just over 2 hours. We managed to get all but the big point one thanks to Jason’s spur of the moment energy and quick decision making skills. The rest of us were a little nervous about the time cut off. Like Mergeo we thought we had to be there by 11:30pm (fortunately we had some more time without penalties) but Jason had a plan in his head and luckily it worked out for the better for us.
10hr Run Rogaine: I thought we did this leg very well despite not getting all of the check points. About a quarter of the way through the run we ran into Dart-Nuun and it seemed like we were on the same path to get the check points. Later Mergeo and Wedali linked onto the train. At one point Jason made a different decision than Glenn and we separated. From that point onwards for the rest of trek we would seem to run into team Dart-Nuun here and there.
7hr Bike Rogaine to the Finish: feeling good after the run we headed into the last section of the race. Pretty much off the bat it seemed like we took a different route than most teams but it turned out to work out really well for us. After some big climbs and descents, following some energy highs and lows, it seemed like Jason stepped it up and made sure we kept moving at a good pace. Daniel and Jason did an awesome job at picking up the check points at good speed and accuracy. The final stretch were some check points in the city. This was probably one of the most exhilarating parts as the time was quickly running out but we were determined to get all the city points. After climbing too many steep stairs to get the last 80 point check point we were exhausted but had about 4 minutes left to get to the finish line without penalty. We motored it down to the water and managed to cross the line with 2 minutes to go. Phew.
Yogaslackers managed a 3rd place podium finish behind Teams Dart-Nuun and Mergeo both from the northwest regions.
It was a great race with a great team. I’m already looking forward to racing the Coast Raid in Quebec in August.

Thank you to Helly Hansen for providing with some fantastic clothes that kept me cool and comfortable throughout the race. Ibex for supplier our race jerseys, Ergon for some comfortable bike grips, Nuun for keeping us well hydrated, Inov-8 for comfortable packs and awesome trail running shoes and Steed Cycles and Giant for such a fabulous bike (Giant Trance XO)

Sunday: Lots of acroyoga in the park and some quality time with my ladies (Kristi and Risa).

Monday: Sam, Jason and I eventually make our way to Seattle for an acroyoga class, run out of gas, get some intense questions at the border and finally roll into North Van.

Tuesday: Lina’s introduces Sam and Jason to Deep Cove Tuesday Night Races
Kayak, run, swim, run, kayak…..fun stuff. They loved it. Deep cove is such a beautiful place to kayak, its no wonder its my new passion.

Jason and Sam from team yogaslackers are going to hang around and hopefully not cause too much trouble before heading back south on Friday. I will miss them dearly.

While Jason and Sam will head back to the states to continue their adventures I will head to the island to race in the MOMAR # 2 Cowichan Valley. I missed this momar race last summer due an unexpecting but exciting new nephew so am very pumped to check out the terrain. I will be racing under Helly Hansen/Yogaslackers and will team up with Marshall House.
Here is a quick summary of what to expect for the MOMAR
Distance: ~50km
Estimated Completing Time: 4-8 hours
Disciplines: Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Trail Running, Orienteering/Navigation, Water Challenges, Coasteering, Bushwacking, and other great Mystery Challenges...

Live, Love, Laugh,…DREAM!

Jul 15, 2008

Knee Knacker Race Report

Knee Knacker race Report

Knee Knacker is a 50km trail run race. It begins in Horseshoe Bay and follows the Baden Powell trail along the North Shore Mountains to Deep Cove. This is one incredible trail with many steep climbs and technical descents. It’s not your average 50km: It’s better. If you check out the results page, times are about 1hr slower than most runners average 50km times. It truly is an exceptional race: the course, the volunteers, the organization, the support, and the racers. I didn’t quite understand why good friend Kim Steed was so bummed he didn’t make the lottery into the race this year until I crossed the line myself.

Now to tell my story….
To begin with, for some unknown reason I never got really excited to race this race. For me, it was just another race among a list of many races to do this year. Therefore, my training never really focused towards this particular race…so leading up to the race I began to feel nervous and unconfident in my abilities. Going into the race I really wanted to set my goal on time rather than placing as “time” is a controllable goal whereas “placing” is not (we can not control other racers). My goal was to be between 6-7hrs.

6am: the race begins. I find it’s such an interesting feeling standing on the start line before a really long race as it feels a little daunting to think how far you are about to go. I started off at a good steady pace. My heart never took off so I didn’t feel tired at all. The climb to the top of Black Mountain was steep but kind of fun with a boulder section, a skreet section and some pretty knarly rooty/rocky sections. I love climbs like this one as upon reaching the summit, a glance around makes you realize the hard work was all worth it. The views were breathtaking…It’s too bad we were racing as I could have hung out there for awhile. I did a 360 glance around, smiled and was off. Once at the top we had to run through some mud and snow in order to reach the 1st water station. From there, it was steep switch backs down to Cypress Bowl. Although my downhill running is improving I definitely have a mental block (fear of falling) that is preventing me from just opening up and rippin’ it down. I got passed by a couple of folks at this point. From here to Cypress Bowl I was feeling great. Two women caught Sasha and I on the snowy cross country trails but I didn’t mind. I was feeling great and felt as though this was going to be a killer race despite a little lack of specific training and confidence.
Coming down cypress Nordic the trail is great but steep and rocky. There was about a group of 5 of us running down not too far from Cleveland Dam when for me my ‘race’ was suddenly going to change. I took a pretty spectacular superman fall that shook me up pretty good. Luckily, nothing too major happened, just some scraps and bruises, minimal physical damage…but the mental battle I would face from here on out would affect the next 1.5hrs of my race. Not too long after my initial fall I stumbled again only to amplify my mental uneasiness heading downhill. I reached Cleveland Dam (halfway) a little frustrated.

I ran up Nancy Green Way(I was angry) making up ground on the group that left me behind after my fall but couldn’t quite catch them all (I would eventually catch a couple of folks). Between Grouse and Lynn Valley is where I had most of my problems. Despite trying to push myself through the downhill sections for the first time ever I had some stomach problems. What proceeded was 3 bathroom breaks within 20 minutes. The good news is after my last stop I felt fantastic. From Rice Lake to the end I was generally running completely on my own which at points I found difficult. In such a long race sometimes you slow down, forget you are racing, get lost within your thoughts. Some of these help get you through painful moments but generally end up slowing you down.
I managed to sneak by a couple of people close to the end and finished strong. The end was a pleasing sight. Deep cove provided us with a spectacular view, welcoming crowd and the knowledge and satisfaction of completing such a demanding race.

I am lucky to have some great supporters that help me accomplish the many adventures I find myself trying to conquer. I would like to thank Kim Steed and Steed Cycles for all his support, Marc Campbell and Helly Hansen for providing me with a wonderful HH top and for all of my friends and family fort he constant support.

Kelsey and the volunteers you made this race one of a kind. Before the start I didn’t think I’d be saying this but “ I can’t wait until next year!” I truly can’t.

Live, Love, Laugh,…DREAM!

Jul 7, 2008

Seek the Peak and Biathlon Training

SJ and I headed up to Squamish on Friday and spent some good quality SJ and Lina time chatting about life and catching up. The weather wasn’t looking too hot but we had plans to meet up with SJ’s friend Ilmar (the provincial biathlon coach and a great cook and cyclist)…. We met up at Corsa cycles after the boys came back from their weekly Friday night hardcore road rides…we had some beers and I got to run into an old friend Mike…It’s always nice to catch up with some good people…following beers at the bike shop (p.s. I love beers at bike shops…one of my favorite things to do) we headed to Ilmar’s and got treated with lots of wine and good food euro style…good convo, great wine kept us up until late…

8am driving to the Olympic Nordic Park for our first Biathlon training…SJ was a sharp shooter, can’t quite say the same for myself…but I was looking through the wrong hole…that’s my excuse. After shooting practice we got to try out some roller skiing…fun stuff but a little different than the snow. SJ and I had to boot it back in order to bring back the rental car in time in Van…our plan was to ride the trails back to Squamish….to make a long painful story short….there was lots of rippin our mtn bikes down the road in the pissin’ rain… we learned some lessons the hard way that day.

Seek the Peak

I joined some fellow lady VANOC colleagues in a relay race up Grouse Mountain. It is a wonderful event that supports breast cancer research. I was the second runner. 6km up….I’m not sure what my time was but it was good fun….I got a little frustrated with people who didn’t understand the words “on your left” but gotta take those things with a grain of salt….they just weren’t used to someone running by then at lightning speed…haha.. We ended up a solid 1st place in the all female relay category. Nice work Ladies!

I later got to enjoy and check out the MEC paddlefest down at Ambleside Park, some pizza with fellow adventure racers at Taylors crossings and a solid mountain bike ride on the Mt Seymour trails.

All in all a wonderful weekend spent with some fabulous friends.

This week its all about rest for the big Knee Knacker Trail Run on Saturday. The races are on the rise again for the next month and a half…bring it on! Woohoo!

Live, Love, Laugh….DREAM!

Jul 1, 2008


Maybe it’s not people that I need as much as It is the outdoors that I need and crave…for so long I thought I needed people to get to the wild/outdoors/camping but I proved myself wrong this weekend. Although adventures are fantastic with company they are not out of one’s scope on one’s own.

I had a difficult past 5 days.. I reflect upon my thoughts while sitting out by the ocean, beside some roaring falls by my new tent on my own…I have created some new perspective that I wish I had about 4 days prior to this moment when my little wonderful world cane internally crashing down on me.

As humans we are emotional beings and believe it or not event he most optimistic, positive, inspirational people have their “down” moments. I suppose I had a lot of stuff going on in the little unconscious mind of mine and without realizing it a series of small unfortunate events eventually lead to this internal melt down.

I believe that people are such an important part of life. In the end though each person has their own life to live and the one and only person you can ever count on is yourself. What I am trying to say is don’t wait for others to take you by the hand and show you the way…you most likely will never get to the place YOU want to be. It is up to you to make the effort, take the chances and risks to live the life you want and deserve. That is what I learned this weekend.

Although in my mind I had a mild training weekend in hindsight I think I did quite a lot it just seemed broken up.
Friday: 1 hr trail run; 1.5 hour kayak (surf ski); 3 hr road ride
Saturday: all in all probably 6 hours on my mountain bike (I biked to the ferry and biked on the sunshine coast for the day.. neat place, looking forward to exploring the area more)
Sunday: 11km surf ski kayak; 1.5 hour trail run
Monday: 3 hr trail run; 3.5 hr kayak (touring on the epic 18x kayak (a fantastic boat), I decided to do a solo kayak tour/camping trip down the Indian arm)
Tuesday: 2 hr kayak (touring); 2.5 hr mountain bike

I feel like there is a lot more I would like to write as there was a lot going on with me this weekend but at the moment I can not think of the proper words to put my thoughts onto paper.

I’ve reaffirmed my passion for the outdoors and adventure and I’ve found a new confidence in myself through my solo kayak tour/camping experience down the Indian Arm. I CAN do it…

Anything is possible

Remember to live with passion and as always….

Live, love, laugh,…DREAM!