Having a Blast at Rundle’s Revenge

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You may remember from the “The Racing Post” (or as I call it, the “tempting fate post” as no sooner had I clicked “publish” than I was sidelined by injury for three weeks) that i’d set my sights on three key races for this season – Rundle’s Revenge, TrailStoke and the Grizzly Ultra.

The first of these, Rundle’s Revenge, took place last weekend at Canmore Nordic Centre under sunny skies with temperatures in the low 30s. It consisted of a mountain bike race on Saturday and trail race on Sunday covering various distances. For Saturday’s “Kick Ass Bike Race” you could choose from a 12.5km, 25km, 50km or 100km ride. Sunday’s “Mountain Mule Trail Run” offered four distances – 7.5km, 12km, 25km and 50km. There’s no requirement to enter both the bike and trail race but you could if you want and then you have the option of the Donkey Lite Solo (25km bike/12.5km run), Half Donkey Solo (50km bike/25km run) and Full Donkey Solo (100km bike/50km run). The racing took place over a 12.5km course with 450m of climbing per lap and looks like this:

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Initially i’d planned on running the 50km distance but dropped down to the 25km run after my injury issues earlier this year wiped out a month’s training. As it turned out, this was a very good thing as that was one tough course and two laps felt like more than enough.

But don’t get me wrong. While it’s a tough course, it’s also a great course and I had a blast. It’s almost entirely technical single track which always makes things interesting: lots of rocks, roots, twists, turns, ups and downs. And much of it was in the trees and away from the glare and heat of the sun. The first 3km or so was a mostly steady climb out of the stadium to the highpoint of around 1550m. This wasn’t as arduous as i’d expected though I was trying (maybe too hard) not to make the mistake of matching the pace of those who were doing the 12.5km run and going out fast. The next 7km or so was largely downhill but had some flat and some short, steep uphill sections that sapped the legs before beginning the gentle, long climb back to the stadium for the second lap.

My first lap passed by in 1.20.21. The second lap was a predictably slower affair in 1.36.40 but brought me home in 2.57.02 overall, so just under three hours which seemed like a good result for me. Inspired by Rob Krar’s impressive victory at Western States the day before, I had spent much of the race telling myself that “I am Rob Krar, I am Rob Krar”. The winner of my category (40+ men) – Calvyn Zaryski – finished in 1.58.25, while Ciaran Murphy Royal won the men’s open 25km in 1.54.07. The women’s open 25 was won by Marcy Schmidt in 2.18.06. Last but by no means least, the 40+ women was won by none other than, drum roll please, Ms. Canmore Runner!!!! in 2.29.57:

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Ms Canmore Runner, centre, and second place, Candice Mcleod (left) and third place Grace Smith (right).

The full results for all distances are available here. All in all, a fine morning’s work on the trails. Next stop, TrailStoke at the end of August.

All credit to the organizers for putting on such a great race over a challenging and well-marked course; and thanks to those invaluable folk who gave up their weekend to hand out race numbers, run aid stations, point runners in the right direction, and generally make things run smoothly.

Back again soon. Until then, happy trails.

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