Chad wearing white jacket, I am behind to the right, Mark with beard, Joe wearing santa hat
Saturday was a day for the truly dedicated trail runners. Race #6 in the Aktiv Trail Running Series took place in -12° C weather, during the start of the snow storm that engulfed southern Ontario for a day. We were out there, on the escarpment, racing in the snowy, incredibly slippery conditions. These are true trail runners at their best.
The muffled horn sounded…suddenly, after trying to warm up a bit, we were off! I was a bit surprised when the horn went off and my legs did not respond quickly. I was trying to shake the cold out of my muscles and get into the groove; I was taking it a bit easy. But not the top guys – they were off in a flurry and I was chasing them. We trudged up the hills, at times slowing to a shuffle up the escarpment, as buried sticks, roots and uneven ground tripped us up. We pushed hard though, despite the slower pace. In the first couple kilometers, I managed to pass several runners, and then I was tracking down the last three: Chad, Joe and Mark (and Wolf who is in another league altogether). I could see them, and slowly gained, catching up to Chad on the large downhill stretch on hydro hill, but alas, the small trail section at the bottom of the hill had an unseen root, which I tripped on. Down I went; it was not to be (still not certain whether Chad threw something out of his pocket!).
Congrats to Chad, Joe and Mark who all raced very well in those extreme conditions. I was surprised at how quickly they set off and how solid they ran on those treacherous trails.
Saturday was a day to celebrate the determination of trail runners in Niagara! I am pleased to have raced with everyone in the series. The fact that we were all out there, giving our best and enjoying whatever weather conditions nature brought our way, is worth celebrating. The first couple races we ran in shorts and tank tops, with sunshine beating down upon us. Race #3 brought the rain. Races #4 and 5 we experienced the mud! Finally, Race #6 brought in the arctic conditions. Nobody wore shorts in that last race!
To all of us who ran the series: we are a flexible, determined crew! To the organizers of the race, Wolf and Barb and gang: thank you for challenging us and putting on such a fun race series.
For Overall Race Series results check out Aktiv Life website.