Ultimate XC Marathon - Quebec Edition - 6:17:56
Courtesy of: http://www.ultimatexc.com/gallery.aspx?serie=1
Official Results: 6:17:56
2008 Ultimate XC - Val Morin, Quebec Results
Graph and Beaver Dam Picture Courtesy from Kelly Dorey
On Saturday I competed in the Ultimate XC challenge in Quebec. I'm addicted to this type of competition right now. Just when I thought running on the bridle path for once a week would suffice for this type of competition; I was wrong. The course was mostly uphill with unfamiliar terrain. The carefully marked course featured mostly uneven rocky paths as well as numerous muddy sloshings. In addition to that, the marsh-like terrain took me by surprised as I fell deep on the water up to my waist and had my legs stuck on the muddy surface. I fell several times with a nice little gash on my left knee after 20 minutes of racing where I slipped on the stupid rock. There's one thing I learned after 20 minutes of racing. Don't overanalyze! Just run without thinking; but scan ahead. The moment you doubt yourself on some footing, you'll either tweak something (ankle, knee etc) and fall ;)
The scenery over several summits were amazing, but I barely had any time to soak in the beauty of Val Morin because I just wanted to get this race over with! The constant uphill and some downhills really wrecked havoc my knees and quads. Yes I cramped on both of my legs (knock on wood for the first time) after 4 hours but was lucky enough to have "Mary" (my savior and great runner) lending me a packet of salt to relieve the cramps. The uneven rocky and muddy trail really destroyed my ankles. Thankfully they were not sprained but very sore. I ran mostly by myself for a good portion of the race and met several runners (Rob, Sean, Mary, Anne, Lauren) from time to time.
Affirmative, there's one stream crossing on mile 20(they call it beaver dam) where we need a wire to get across. After beaver dam, the worse was yet to come as I had to climb up the damn steep hill by latching on to the tree trunks and using my hands to climb the wet ground. That was when I thought "what the hell did I get myself into?!" But then again, I had to keep going 'cus I was ahead of kieran, my other competitor. Just when I thought I was leading him on the last pitstop, he just arrived. Seriously like 5 hours later, I had a WTF moment and I was like "shit, did I slowed down by that much?!??!"(j/k) Hahahaha, no worries, it was good to finish the race with him 'cus I was basically running the last 1 hour by myself and needed another push to get across the finish line.
At the last pitstop, the lady told us we had 3KM to go. I was relieved to hear that, so we figured we would finish the race in 30 minutes. As 20 minutes have elapsed, we could hear the echoes of the speakers from the race event. 30 minutes, then 40 minutes later we could still hear the announcers but was nowhere near the finish line. I was getting anxious to see the finish line and just hated the fact that I was being toyed at. Over an hour later, we finished a race at 6:17 or 6:18 (unofficial).
Would I do this again? Hell yeah! The cuts, the bruises, the soreness, and not to mention over 22 mosquito bites was all worth it. After the race, I just had to be happy to complete and competed hard on my first grueling trail marathon; as this one no walk in the park. Forget the race time and getting my arse kicked by kieran, I had a better time in the race then the rest of my marathons. The people and runners were just amazing and from time to time we all looked out for each other. I'm looking forward to doing this next year since the Jay Challenge falls on the same date as the NYC half! Val Morin, I'll see you next year! Holla!