Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spruce Woods 100 miler - another one in the books.

Finished in 22:45, 3rd overall 2nd female.  What a fabulous couple days for a 100 mile race.
Photo by Greg McNeil
Having never been to Spruce Woods before I had no idea what the terrain was  going to be like except from what I heard from others and that there were many hills and sand.  Hills really? This is Manitoba.  Well hills there certainly were and continuous ones to be exact.  I saw a few too many of these signs along the 3 loop course.
Photo by Greg McNeil
The race started at noon under sunny skies with temps to reach 17 Celsius with a low of -1.  Not having had temps beyond this since back in October it was already starting to feel warm at the race start.  There was a big hill right out of the gate and I thought what have I gotten myself into having run only 1 hill run in training and minimal training that consisted of one long run of 15 miles.  Oh well too late to worry about that now.  My strategy was to run the first loop in 6.5 to 7 hours, 2nd loop in 7.5 to 8 hours and the last loop in 9 hours with a 24 hour or under finish.

I started out with the lead pack which consisted of Steven, Bert, Brian, Juraj and Mallory.  I knew a few of the guys were running to fast and in time that would catch up to them.  I was running in 6th place for both the 1st and 2nd loops just keeping to my race strategy waiting patiently to make my move. 

I started the 3rd loop some time after 3am.  I hit the aid station filled my bottle, grabbed some food and got going again quickly as the temperature had dropped to below zero and I didn't want to get too cold considering I was wearing shorts, a short sleeve shirt and a light jacket. I was feeling really good and running well and figured being a bit cold would make me run even faster which it did.  I ended up passing 3 of the faster guys who fell off their pace on loop 3 and got to the finish at 10:45 am.

It was nice to see some 50 mile, 50K and 1/2 marathon runners on the course in the early morning and also to have the bikers on the course keeping an eye on us thru the night and into the next day.  Spruce Woods Ultra was Manitoba's 1st 100 mile race and what a fantastic event it was.  A huge shout out to the Race Director Dwayne Sandall and all the volunteers for making the event as great as it was.


1 comment:

  1. Right on Sue! You are an amazing person: A Manitoba icon in both sport and character! Keep on writing!