Sunday, January 04, 2015

Running from one year to the next

New Years Eve, 2014, a friend, Louis Nadeau, and I, set out around 11 p.m. to trail run from one year to the next. It was a clear night, just below freezing when we headed out to what we call, the Pipe Line Trail. This starts at the Puntledge River power station in Courtenay, B.C., and runs up to the head of the Riverside Trail. Most of it is a gravel pathway, until it enters the forest after 6-7 kms. We had run this route several times before in the dark, early morning, so we had some idea of the risks we were taking. With only the moon, and head lamps, for illumination, I figured it was good ultra training, for those long runs that go through the night, or begin early mornings.
We both wore hydration packs, with a mix of gels, and other nutrients, tucked into the pockets. We weren't running for long when we noticed the cold temperatures caused the water in the hydration pack lines to freeze-up, so we had to be careful to take frequent sips to keep things from clogging up with ice. We were midway through the winding forest trail when the New Year rolled over. I stopped at that moment, and let out a few hoops, and hollers, yelling, "Happy New Year!".
We took turns leading on the trail, as it wound its way through a fir tree forest to the Comox Lake dam. While passing through this we noticed a temperature difference, that it was several degrees warmer in the thick woods, even though we were at a higher elevation.
Unfortunately I tripped over a root on the return trip from Comox Lake, totally flipping onto my back. The hydration pack cushioned the blow, but spilt most of its contents. My headlamp went flying off into the undergrowth. I'm sure Louis thought my trip was amusing, though I didn't hear him laughing. He found my headlamp and helped me to reseal the hydration pack, which was now soaked. There was still some drink left for the remains of the run, but not much. The biggest problem was the wetness on my running tights. That caused my legs to freeze up, and my running pace slowed to a crawl.
The 25 km run ended up taking around 3 hours to complete, due to the tripping accident over the root. Over all it was well worth it though. What a great way to ring in the year 2015.

1 comment:

Sarge said...

Only our Rob would think this was a great way to celebrate his birthday and welcome in the new year.
Mom and Dad