The Knee Knackering course essentially follows the Baden Powell trail which traverses
I was woken at an alarming 3:45am. The race started at 6am. I like to eat breakfast (plain oatmeal w/ banana and honey) at least 2 hours before. I got my drop bag, camelbak, and post race gear all in order and waited for my training partner Peter to come pick me up. We drove to Deep Cove to meet a friend and he drove us to the start of the race in horseshoe bay. It is much more convenient to have your car at the end of the race instead of having to get a ride back to the start. Most people drive to Deep Cove, leave their car, and take a shuttle bus to the start of the race.
The week of the race I am usually pretty calm, the day before I am really excited, and the morning of I am super nervous. People were coming up to me and asking me what time I was planning on pulling off this year and whether or not I was going to win. All these kinds of questions add unneeded pressure I prefer to focus on other things. The same people come year after year to this event and catching up with everyone is one of my favorite things. Participants are selected based on a lottery format because they only accept 250 runners. The last 2 years I have ran this race, everyone has got in. This year there were so many applicants, that 75 people weren’t allowed in. I knew many of them and it was nice to see that even though they couldn’t run today they were out volunteering or race crewing for someone, providing support all along the way.
I checked my bags and got my spot in the start line. I did not start near the front. The thing about this race is that the first hour and a half are directly up
The next part of the race takes you from the downhill ski area over to the cross country trails. It is a very technical undulating section with lots of rocks and routes, thick fallen logs, and patches of snow. I quite enjoy this section because you have just gone straight up for just over an hour and then straight done into
Nancy Green is the road that takes you to the base of
I was having a pretty good day and my nutrition seemed to be working well. I was having 1 gel approximately every half an hour and washing it down with plain water. I never took any food off the aid stations tables but did stop to refill my camelbak bladder in Lynn Headwaters. The day was starting to get hotter and I was starting to sweat. I have always cramped in this race but today it came sooner than expected. Fortunetly, I had my thermolyte salt tablets in an empty mini m&m’s container. I usually just start taking them when I start to cramp but I think the real trick is to start taking them early (approx. 1 every half hour) to prevent cramping. I must have had 15 within an hour and 10 more the hour after that. Cramping is very debilitating and can make or break you in a race. I was able to calm my cramping but it was an ongoing issue for the rest of the race.
After the Gazebo aid station at the
One of the special things about Knee Knacker is that they have a big banquet at Parkgate Community Centre every year. There they have food catered, drink service and hand out awards and prizing. The banquet allows you catch up with other runners and share your experiences. The top 3 woman and men receive a hand crafted native carving; the top age group winners also receive a free pair of Montrail shoes. I was happy and proud to collect another carving to hang on my wall.
I would highly suggest this race to anyone who loves trail running and is looking for a serious challenge. I truly believe anyone who puts their mind to it can participate because I have seen people from all walks of life doing this event. I hope to see more first timers out next year to experience one of the
Special thanks to all of the volunteers who repeatedly come out year after year to support all of us racers. It truly means a lot to have you out there!!
See you in the trail,