Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi

Running with Dinosaurs


dinosaur mural

When dinosaurs roamed free

I ran another trail race on Saturday, Emperor’s Challenge.  I only had to drive 1200km round-trip to do so.  Yup, I live in the middle of nowhere.  It was also only six days since I ran the trail race in the Yukon (recap here).

I left home late so I didn’t get to my destination until close to 7PM.  I bought and ate some grub, got my race gear together and then painted my fingernails purple.  I started the purple fingernail ritual last May when I ran a PB at the BMO Half Marathon after painting my nails purple, therefore, purple nail polish makes me run faster.

Side-note, I have an irrational fear of dinosaurs. This race is held in an area where there are tons of dinosaur fossils – it’s their claim to fame and hence coal mining is the major industry and also the closest I will get to running with velociraptors (dead ones anyway).

dinosaur bones


This was my fourth time doing this race and third time on this route.  They have to change routes as the mining company keeps removing the mountains the race is on.  It used to be a small race, but it has really grown popular and they cap it at 1000 entries now.  650+ people showed up this year.  It attracts a very talented group of fast mountain runners.

Emperors Challenge

The scenery is much prettier than this once you get going

It’s 20km long, is a pile of uphill, some flat rocky areas at the top, then a ton of technical downhill, more uphill, and then more downhill.  The last stretch is a long downhill on a gravel road to the finish (downhill doesn’t always feel good).  Of course the very last bit is uphill.  So cruel.

Emperors Challenge

the views are pretty nice

I ran 2:06:27 (my best time yet on this course – see purple nail polish does make you faster) and placed 5th in my age group (141 total) and 14th out of the women (414) so I’m not going to complain.  I will complain about changing in the backseat of my vehicle and giving myself a leg cramp and then driving 6 hours back home.

Two hours into the drive, I took my first break and ate way too many french fries and a large iced coffee which kept me pretty entertained for the next four hours.  I don’t drink caffeinated drinks very often so it hit me pretty hard.

Do you have any odd pre-race rituals?  Are you scared of dinosaurs?  Would you drive 6 hours to run a trail race – with dinosaurs? 


Author: Angie

I live in northern British Columbia, Canada. I found my dog Kobi in 2011 when she was only 5 weeks old and we've been having running adventures ever since.

10 thoughts on “Running with Dinosaurs

  1. I’m with you, I’d drive far for a trail race!

    • I replied to this via my phone, but it doesn’t seem to always work! Oops!! Trail races are so worth the effort of travel. I kind of like the smaller races and smaller crowds too.

  2. Love it! I always have to travel to run trail races… Even though I live in the middle of nowhere with lots of trails. What gives? I kind of like the long drives by myself though. It gets me in the zone.
    Way to go speedy chick. I love dinosaurs but you would be amazed at how many people have the same fear as you. My sister hyperventilates at the museum. It’s a pretty common malady!

    • That’s so funny that we both live in the middle of nowhere but have to travel forever to a trail race. I’ve made myself afraid of dinosaurs by convincing myself they’re far scarier than bears. They are, but it is irrational. It keeps my fear of bears in line though, otherwise I’d never run outside.

  3. Wow! Incredible job!!!!

    I would drive 6 hours to go run a cool race like that.

  4. You are really dedicated to drive that far to a race – that’s so impressive!! Great job with the run – sounds like it was a good one!

    My weird pre-race thing is that i will lace and re-lace my shoes about twenty times. I like them pretty loose and the right and left shoes have to be exactly the same. Yup. Weirdo alert. On the other hand, I’m not afraid of dinosaurs 😉

    • It is a race worth driving 6 hours for. It’s unbelievable scenery and a neat crowd, although it’s losing its vibe a bit as it’s getting bigger each year. I really liked it when it was only 200 people.

      It is important to have your shoes laced correctly before a race and if it takes 20 attempts, that’s okay – coming from someone with a fear of extinct predators and who believes purple nail polish makes you run faster.

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