Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Knee Knacker 2009 crew recap
(Top 3 males)
The miracle I was hoping for, never happened. But, the funny thing was, I think people were more upset about the fact that I wasn't doing Knee Knacker, than I was. They would look at me with these pouty faces, which I tell you, made it a little harder to stay positive. But, that's what I do, and that's what I did, and it made not doing the race that much easier.
I loved being able to watch the race. Crewing Peter to a 5:37 (with his sister Kathleen) was one of the best experiences. I am sooooo proud of him it's crazy. Nor he, or I, expected him to come in that fast, and he deserves to still be on cloud 9 right now. He has crewed and supported me so many times and it was an honor being able to give back. I got to see the leaders over and over and it was neat getting to see things like, how long they took at aid stations and where they walked and hiked on course. I always wonder how those guys get such fast times and where I could make up time on them.
(Jen Mar, Bitsy, and Gina at the start)
Here is just a little race perspective from my point of view:
(Aaron Heidt coming into Cypress aid station)
Kathleen and I got to the Cypress Aid Station around 7:15. We weren't expecting peter for at least 30 minutes (based on his time estimation). The leaders started to come in. Aaron Heidt, who ended up setting the course record, came through first looking oh so very calm and collective, sparing no time at the aid station. The others came through shortly after and it wasn't long before Ellie Greenwood, the first female, came through. It wasn't but a minute later that Peter comes running towards the aid station. He was 14 minutes ahead of schedule and me and Kathleen quickly grabbed his extra camelbak and gels to swap over. He was in and out in 1 second and kept runnin'. Aaron Pitt unfortunately had to drop out here due to back spasms. I think he would have given the leaders a run for their money. The bugs on Cypress are horrendous, so if you are ever coming to spectate, wear bug spray, or a bug net like the camera man!
(Ellie Greenwood (1st female) coming into the Cypress aid station)
We hurried off to Cleveland Dam aid station where we would see them all next. It was great catching up with a lot of past racers that I knew and wives/girlfriends of the runners. Again, Aaron came in first and was in and out in a matter of seconds. From here on out, the order of runners up front remained the same. Ellie came in, fueled up, and was out. Peter was again only a minute behind her at this point. With a quick exchange of gels and a pack, he was off. Kathleen and I headed towards mosquito creek. He had told us to meet him at skyline aid station but we were both confused on where that was. We decided to head to mosquito and wait there. It was here that I tried my first salmon berry. I must say, they aren't for me, and I was nervous that they were going to do something fierce to my insides, but she assured me they were harmless. Gary came through, keeping a strong pace, but not looking like he was having the time of his life, and the same racers followed. Ellie came through and Pete had closed the gap to under a minute. He not so nicely told us that we were in the wrong spot, grabbed his stuff, and kept going. It was weird, his camelbak was full. I started to get nervous that he wasn't drinking anything but later found out that because we were in the wrong spot (only by 3 minutes) that he couldn't risk not having water and stopped to fill it up.
(Gary Robbins @ Cypress aid station)
Onto the Gazebo! This aid station was great and was packed with volunteers, almost too many. After coming off of Pipeline Bridge there is a mini hill up to the aid station. I have done various things in the past. I've walked it one year, walked/run, and I think one year I may have ran. Every single one of the racers walked it. I just found it interesting and would have assumed the opposite. Racers were taking a little bit longer to leave this aid station. I know for me, I try to get in and out as fast as possible and I certainly don't waste any time. At this point your at the 3/4 mark and depending on how your feeling, a break may be well needed. We had pete's stuff all ready and this time he had requested a hand held bottle of coca cola. He usually doesnt drink coke this early but wanted us to have it just in case. He came in about 20 seconds behind Ellie and grabbed the pack, gels, and did in fact want the bottle of coke. This made me nervous. I guess in my mind I thought, he must be hurting if he wants coke this early. But, off he went and off we went to meet him at the Hyannis aid station.
Again the racers came in perfectly in order but Pete was a little bit farther behind Ellie than I would have thought. I was most certain that he was starting to fade and got nervous. His sister assured me that he was fine and that he would come in any minute now, which he did. He had drank his entire bottle full of coke and we traded off for another. We quickly drove to Mt. Seymour road, where we would see them all again. Gary Robbins came through and looked good and was wondering how far the next person was in front of him. The aid station volunteer told him 20 minutes. I could see in his eyes that it would almost be impossible to catch the next guy. The gaps between people were growing. One guy from Kelowna or Kamloops had some girl running with him. I was shocked because I know you are not allowed pacers in this race. I asked who the girl was and he said she was there for moral support. For some reason this made me pissed but I quickly got my mind onto other things and forgot all about it. There hadn't been a runner in a while and I was getting impatient and ran/walked (I'm gibbled remember) up the hill to find Peter. I quickly ran into Mike Palichuck and cheered as he passed. Ellie was next and I again cheered for her. As she passed me she told me she was "done". I told her to keep chasing down those men! Peter wasn't too far behind. I ran a bit ahead of him and asked him how he was doing. I think I had to ask him about 4 times before he said he was cramping a little. I knew he wouldn't be interested in chatting with me, but he hadn't all day and I just wanted a few words. I let him pass, as I could not run down the hill, and he motored through the aid station. I wouldn't see him again until the finish.
I was suppose to order a pizza for Pete while we were at that aid station but I had totally forgot. I quickly called and got the order in and we drove down to the Raven to wait for it. Once we got there, they said it was only going to be about 6 minutes. I think it took a little but longer than that and we were growing increasingly nervous. He was to be in any minute now. Kath had called her husband to see who was crossing the line and John Foy had just come in. Peter was only about 5 minutes from John throughout the race and we were just freakin'. The pizza finally came, we drove down, parked illegally, and made it in time to see him. Ellie was coming through and had passed 2 guys that had been in front of her all day. I was super impressed. She ran strong throughout the entire race and pushed it right to the end. It wasn't long before Peter was coming down the road. I walked up about 200 meters to see him come down the road before he starts the 100 meter sprint finish. I gave him some words of encouragement as he came through and he crossed the line, looking so strong. This was by far, one of the best races I have ever seen him do. He nailed everything, from his pace, to his nutrition. If you talk to him, he will tell you he could have run faster, as he still power hiked a lot of it. I think in any race it always feels like you could improve in some facet or another.
I have learned that after races, Peter needs time to walk around and get himself together. I waited for him to come to me, and I gave him a big big sweaty hug. I couldn't have been more proud! So many people I know ran personal best's today. My co-worker Jen Mar took an hour and 40 minutes off her time!!!! She was so happy. Jurgen Watts finally broke the 7 hour mark, and he bonked! Bitsy Delany had a PB. Congrats to Adam and Meredith, rocking it on their first attempt, looking so happy as they crossed the line. Hats off to everyone who completed the race. Hope to see you back next year!
The Banquet at Parkgate Community Center was fantastic. It's great to catch up with the racers and here all about their day. The food was amazing; thanks Tommy's Catering! After the horrible food last year, the Knee Knacker team needed to get a new caterer. I used to and still do on occasion cater for Tommy's. Their food is to die for and I put them in contact with each other. It worked out perfectly. There was also a little surprise at the banquet. Bill Dagg's girlfriend went up to get her certificate and finish photo and Bill run's up to her, get's down on one knee, and proposes!!!! It was nuts and so exciting! Congrats.
Thanks to Honey Donuts;I thoroughly enjoyed the donuts this year. They always look so good but after doing the race, they never taste quite right. Can't wait to come back and do it next year. Whether you are watching or running, it's always such an amazing memorable experience.
As for me- It's time to head to the gym and get my elliptical trainer on. I honestly have never been on one. The one time I attempted many years ago, I couldn't figure out how to work it, got off, and have never returned. I guess there is no time like the present! I find out today or tomorrow the results of my MRI. Hopefully, it is all good news and I'll be back running in the trails in no time. I do miss them!