Oh there you are 5am alarm call. We leave our confused cats behind (no breakfast mother & father, really?) and drive through the morning mist to Millarville 20 minutes away. A cowboy directs us to the parking area where school buses are waiting.
The bus takes us out to Black Diamond where the race will start. We are following the race route in reverse, noting every little hill.
|Irrationally excited at being on a schoolbus|
The awesome and blurry Western Canadian chapter of Run It Fast has time to meet pre-race (we are on a roll now at 2 races in a row). Before you know it we are being called outside to the start area and soon we're running. I decide not to look at my watch which goes great until we climb the first hill and I can't breathe by 1km. Okay. Maybe not.
We run through Black Diamond passing by the golf course. I have already walked a couple of sections which is absolutely not the plan. 21.1k is seeming like a very long way. There is a superb downhill which takes us to 5km. We come out into Turner Valley then follow the pathway to the relay change point.
2 saddled horses are by the side of the path on the bend (we are not allowed to borrow them - refer to official rules). We climb uphill onto the gravel road (view looking back above). The clouds are low but the rain has held off this morning.
The next part is lovely and flat! We run up the gravel road toward a very large hill in the distance. Then at 14.5km we reach the buggar.
I stop at the top to take a picture, you can see where we ran from way in the distance. This hill is 27m. I have slowed down quite a bit. I forget to check my overall time at 15k I am so focused on getting up the hill. Off to the left I can actually see the finish area at the market in the land of far far away.
The support on this race is quite remarkable. Knights! On horses! And Blues Brothers! On bikes!
|Photo credit Millarville FB page|
I have a troublingly walky 2k from 18 to 20 where I am afraid of looking at my watch. You see I expected a downhill but instead got a gradual uphill and lost my wits. Cue 20k, forced watch check. Oh, I can beat my Red Deer time *Chariots of Fire music*. Off we go, I break into a shambling sprint and finish the race as fast as I possibly can. I probably look appalling. I don't care. Final time 2:22. Fastest Half of the year!
Then there are cinnamon buns.
And things to buy at market.
We hang out on the bleachers for a while at the end enjoying the occasional ray of sun, loud music and encouraging the last finishers in. Quite the awesome race!