All posts for the month November, 2019

Coming off a great race at Sinister 7, I signed back up for my annual Iron Legs race in Bragg Creek. I love this race because its close, well organized and covers some great terrain. This year I signed up for the 100km, but was a bit bummed that Moose Mountain was cut due to the fire lookout construction.

Regardless, I packed up my gear the night before and tried to get some rest. I arrived with about 10 minutes before the race started and rushed to get out to the starting line.

Sunrise at the start line.

My intentions were to go a bit quicker this race than usual. I wanted to get ahead of the long row of people that get jammed up during the first 8km of single track. I ended up going harder than I probably should have, but I was feeling good.

As soon as we started climbing up Powderface Ridge we encountered snow, lots of it.

Starting the climb to Powerface Ridge
Starting the decent

The snow added some challenges on the decent, but the weather was perfect and the cool damp weather was most welcome. After descending down the backside of Powderface and reaching Ford Knoll Loop, the warmth of the day arrived and it was starting to feel like August again.

This year took a detour bypassing Moose Mountain due to the fire lookout construction. Its too bad because its one of my favorite sections, however, this year took us up Prairie Mountain, which I have never done before.

getting above the tree line

Prairie Mountain turned out to be a steep scramble, instead of a run, and I took a wrong turn on the way down. Eventually the trail ended, luckily I had downloaded the route on my phone and using the GPS realized I needed to traverse a scree field back to the path.

Top of Prairie Mountain

By the time I got back down Prairie Mountain I was starting to feel fatigued. I met up with Craig and started the climb up Pnuma with some company. His wife and kids were waiting for him at the top which was cool to see. We dropped into the Moose Mountain aid station and had some warm soup. The volunteers there were amazing: super helpful and full of positivity.

The drop from Moose Mountain is nice smooth single track, but its long. By the time I arrived at the last aid station the sun was going down and it became a good time to toss on my headlamp. On the way back it became unbelievably dark, I missed a turn at Fullerton Loop, but it didnt add much extra distance and droped me back on the correct trail after a few kilometers.

At one point I started to think I made another wrong turn and doubled back for a bit just to verify. I figured I was on the right path and turned around again to continue forward. At this I ran into another headlamp, and it was great to see it was Craig. He was running towards me, the wrong way down the trail as he had doubled back thinking he was going the wrong way. Glad to see me, I reassured him we were going the right way (at least to get to the finish) and we continued to follow the flagging. Being dark as it was, and as tired as I was, it was nice to have some company for the remaining 10km to the finish.

We ran in together, yet I wanted Craig to run in first as he would have been long ahead if he had not doubled back to much. I came in with a 16:45:43.

Running it in together.

I felt great at the end, definitely tired, but all around good. I had some stew, but didn’t stick around long as it was a really cool evening, and once you stop it gets pretty chilly. I also had to drive myself home and I wanted to get back before I was too exhausted to drive, or risked falling asleep en-route.

Race end adrenaline

I’ve now completed the 60km, 50Miles & 100km segments of this race. Its still one of my favorites and I’m looking forward to next year whatever distance I decide on.