The 12mile Creek Half Marathon is a local Trail Race Classic. Trail, creek, rolling hills, steep hills, bridges…..all the best that nature has to offer, followed by pizza, beer and live music. The St. Catharines Road Runner have organized this successful event for 26 years. I have had enjoyment of running it for the past 4 years.
It is a challenging course, alternating between single track narrow Bruce Trail sections and wider gravel paths, with the large climb up the escarpment on Hydro Hill (behind Brock U) at the 18th km. Trail races are much more technical than road races, with the uneven footing and constantly changing terrain. Leaping over roots, jumping over puddles or sliding through them, keep you constantly “on your toes”. Trail races are so interesting that the kilometers do seem to fly by – and suddenly you have completed a half marathon.
I defended my title again this year – I had a solid challenge from Ashley Powers from London. We ran together for the first 12kms. Slowly I pulled away; she stayed strong and finished in second place. My finishing time was 1:30:54, quicker than last year, however a few minutes off from the course record that I set in 2011 of 1:27:16 . Check out all the race results (divided into age groups).
Kevin Moore won the men’s race in an impressive 1:19:56 . I was proud of my friends who posted great race times: Karen Natho, my running buddy, ran a half marathon Personal Best of 1:35:14 (rare to PB in a trail race – all the more impressive!). Melani Pyke, who has only run a few half marthons, ran a 1:43:49. My running buddy Dave Smith was brave to run this race after being in Europe for two weeks and surviving a year of running injuries. The fact that he completed this grueling race, shows his grit and determination. (It does not matter that it was a PW – Sorry Dave!)
I look forward to seeing everyone out at next year’s race. This is a race you simply can’t miss.