Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Coming into the finish!

Around the Lake Giv'r take is one of my favorite races of the year. It consists of 30 glorious kilometers up, down and around Cultus Lake, where the race starts and finishes. The race is organized by a few folks from the Vedder running club and they do a hell of a good job. The entry always includes a great hoodie and the volunteers all bring food for afterwards. The food is really what makes the race as there is delicious warm soup, meats and cheese plates, and enough home baking to feed an army! I am such a sucker for home baking so maybe that is the reason I really love this race. I have done this race twice before and have been fortunate enough to have won and taken home the greatest prize ever: A hand carved walking stick.

Kerry, myself, and Dirk, the overall winner post race!
As per usual, it was a grey rainy day but I was very excited to get out running. This is a race I always go balls out and give it my all. The course begins with a short loop  around the residential area near the water which spreads the field out before we get onto the single track trail. At this point you head straight up and climb steeply for a while. I usually run this entire section as my hiking skills on steep trails is just not fast enough. Today was no different and I ran whatever I could. Peter was right behind me pushing the efforts, however he was hiking steadily while I ran. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the road before we get to go downhill and I am always incredibly relieved and ready for some fun. I had Peter pushing me from behind and stayed motivated to run fast through this section. We leap frogged with a guy who was very strong on the short uphills here but we would quickly pass on the downs. Eventually we got out onto a flat gravel section and Peter said "have a good day" and then I was all alone.

To make a long story short, the 2nd half was awesome and if you are not climbing your going downhill. There are only 2 longer climbs of about 10 minutes each and everything else is undulating and fun. I managed to catch all the other women who were doing the relay and pass a few more guys doing the solo. In the end, I finished 1st female and 2nd overall behind my good friend Dirk. I was a bit off my old course record but could not have gone much faster on the day. I had such a blast! Dirk you are one fast 46 year old mofo! I salute you!

I was stoked to add another hand carved stick to the collection. Thanks again to the Vedder running club organizers for putting on another fantastic event. Rain or shine it's always fun. Thanks to all the volunteers who cook up the best spread of post-race goodies! This is a race to put on your fall list for sure.


- 1 ultimate direction handheld bottle (my favorite)
- La Sportiva team shirt
- La Sportiva crosslites
- Defeet socks
- 3 cliff gels (vanilla)
- La Sportiva Headsweats Hat

See you in the trails!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The weather we are having in Vancouver/BC is just craziness. It's reminding me of my time in Australia where I woke up to sunshine everyday. Even though this streak is coming to an end later on this week, I can look back and say that I have taken full advantage of it.

Lot's of changes have occurred/or not occurred over the last couple of months- the biggest one being that I decided after 2 days of massage therapy school to "drop out".  Yup, it only took 2 days in a classroom to realize that this is not where I should be. I followed my guns and have no regrets. For some reason, I only saw going back to school (again) as a means of closing a lot of doors versus opening new one's and it's hard to want to be somewhere with an attitude like that. I wouldn't say that is my attitude with most things so I took it as a sign that it wasn't meant for me at this time.

Some of the fun things I have gotten up to lately are:

- Howe Sound Crest Trail: Five years ago, I began a journey with the love of my life and we decided back then that our anniversary was the day that we first did this run. It also happens to be one of the first long adventure mountain runs I ever went on. On this day, the weather was terrible, and there was not a view to be seen. To this day however, out of the 5 times I have done this route, this one is by far my most favorite. Sometimes it's not about the views, but about the adventure and I definitely got my fill of it that day. Peter and I do it every year (usually with some close friends) on Sept 16th to celebrate our anniversary (corny I know).

- Coliseum Mountain to Burwell: A week after doing the HSCT, we made out way up coliseum and over to the peak of Mount Burwell. It was a foggy Sunday morning and it was hard to believe that there was no one on the trail. As we climbed higher and higher it was hard to tell if we were going to be rewarded with any views at all. As we got above the trees however, we got above the clouds and were blessed with the most amazing view I have ever seen. All we could see were pillows of clouds with peaks popping up out of nowhere. Slowly the cloud burnt off and this underworld was revealed. It was just THE BEST!

Juan De Fuca: I had a few days off for the thanksgiving weekend and decided I wanted to head out for an adventure (what else is new?). I called up my friend Jenni and asked if she wanted to go run the JDF. As someone who likes to get out and play as much as I do, Jenni excitingly obliged. We drove up Saturday and set up tent in the parking lot. After a good night sleep, we were off and 47 beautiful km's later we were at the finish. Peter asked me what the favorite part of my run was and I had to say the sound of the waves crashing. There is something so calming and about being next to or near the ocean. To top things off it was a bluebird day and the trail so heavenly dry, as usually it is very muddy. We hitchhiked back to our car and the mission was accomplished.

There have also been some amazing mountain bike rides and climbing adventures thrown into the mix.

I have taken advantage of every lake swimming opportunity that has been presented to me since I have been back from my travels. I had this huge sense of disappointment weighing on me because I didn't do more of this while I was away in NZ/Aus. I passed up so many opportunities on some of my adventures there because I wasn't prepared with a towel or a bathing suit. Now, I just don't care and deal with being wet or just go dipping in my skinny. This way, I have no regrets!

I have been so inspired this year by so many people (especially you mom!) and it has really driven me to get out there! Keep it coming!

As Brooks says- Run Happy!