Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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Racing Thoughts

runner and dog

Just us, pondering life and which way to run.

Howdy y’all. We’re full on in the season of Almost-Spring. You know, winter in the morning (ice and possible snow flurries) and then spring by afternoon (snow and mud). Soon enough it will be full on mud.

In the spirit of Almost-Spring, I’ve been thinking about my summer racing plans.  Okay, more like my lack of summer racing plans.  Because I’m so remote and have to travel far and wide to races I’m just not feeling the racing travel love.

I’ve decided to race close to home and will maybe just do a few out-of-town races, or not. We have some decent races up here, except 3 of them are ones I help with so I don’t get to run them. But, the ultra-cool news is that I wanted another local race so I’ve hit up the rec department and we’re going to host a mountain run! I’m not going to miss running this one because it’s in the mountains and there is nothing more beautiful than running with caribou in the mountains with your dog.

two dogs

Kobi is playing with her sister Caribou. She also likes running with the other kind of caribou.

Because we have no idea how many people may show up and we’re not really sure how the logistics of a remote race are going to work, we’re making it free!  We want folks to come out and run and provide input as to how to make it an even more super awesome event next year.  Oh and there will be no swag. That’s right, no stuff. No race shirt, no medals, no water stations, and you have to time yourself. Boy, I’m not selling this one very well.

You will get to see views like this (hopefully with less snow).

summit mountains

So pretty

There will be some perks, such as:  water and snacks at the finish line, you can bring your dog, and the Parks guy promised he’d chase the grizzly bears away – I’m serious.

This is going to be awesome! Come on, it’s in the mountains, it’s gorgeous and shouldn’t running be about running, not the swag?

In case any of you want to travel north and see some stunning mountains and wildlife, you can register here (remember it’s free). It all happens on June 20. It might cost you a little bit in airfare, but if you get yourself here, I promise I will drive you to the race – it’s a beautiful 1.5 hour long drive – as long as you don’t mind Kobi kisses. She likes to kiss passengers.

snow dog

Kobi sends kisses

Would you test out our mountain race? Ever run with caribou? How about grizzlies?  Is it springtime where you live?

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Running Along

dog in the snow

Kobi with a silly expression on her face.

Howdy y’all.  I figured you needed an update as to what’s been going on up here seeing as I’ve lost hold of time yet again.

I’m still running in the snow, like usual.  I haven’t skied much as it was quite icy, then it was quite cold, then it rained and made everything all icy again, and then it snowed again to cover up all the ice.

Rather than bore you with details of all my adventures with my sidekick Kobi, I thought I’d just mention a few that were extra epic.

I decided to do a slightly longer snowshoe run a few weekends ago so I ran to a little lake, circumnavigated the lake and then ran back home.  That was hard.  It was only 10.5km, but about 2km of it was breaking trail.  Not easy.  I discovered that running in snowshoes gives me a new appreciation for running without snowshoes.  Kobi likely ran 15km as she was off tracking caribou and ran back to me several times to make sure I was still moving.

snowshoeing

Epic Snowshoe run

snow running

Us, circumnavigating the lake.

I was so excited about that snowshoe I had to do it again last weekend, only it was +5C out.  I didn’t realize that snow sticks to the grips on your snowshoes at that temperature (because it’s usually not that warm out) and turns into a giant snowball that just gets bigger and bigger.  Before you know it your foot is at a very bad angle thanks to the giant snowball and you have no grip.

snow running

This was the not so epic day. It looks like fun, but it wasn’t

Of course it took me 2.5km to finally recognize that this snowshoe run wasn’t working out and that I had better turn around and head for home, but not before taking my snowshoes off.  I ended carrying them while I ran, one in each hand.  It was easier than running with them on my feet except my arms got sore carrying them.

I am ashamed to admit that I was carrying only 1.25 lbs in each hand and my arms got sore.   My excuse is that I had CrossFit that morning and my arms were experiencing a form of fatigue unknown to most of humankind.  Unfortunately Kobi wouldn’t carry them for me, something about not having thumbs, so I was on my own yet again.

dog

Kobi digging the run

Have you every circumnavigated a frozen lake in snowshoes just for fun?  Isn’t it cool that we have real live wild free-range caribou up here?  Kobi thinks so.  What can you put on your snowshoes to keep the snow from sticking – anyone have experience with this?  

PS  I’m sad Leonard Nemoy has left us.  His character Spock has always been role-model for me.  


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More Snow Adventures

 

Summit Mountain

Aren’t mountains pretty?

To change things up a bit and take advantage of the beautiful weather, I went up the highway on Saturday with a friend and her dog (Kobi’s besty).   First stop, a pretty little canyon and a frozen river.

Canyon in Stone Mountain Park

We walked up the river a bit, but it was scary as you could hear water under you and the ice was cracking in places.

After the river photos we headed to a trail that led to a radio tower.

Alpine

Sort of the start of our snowshoe. Pretty hey?

There was still plenty of snow up there (elevation start is 4,250′) so snowshoes were a must.  The snow was packed quite well so we didn’t sink too badly, but we also used poles.  Those really help decrease the number of face-plants you take.

Dog on a mountain

One of the few times Kobi was close enough to see. She was running around like she’s never been outside before.

The weather was stunning!  We didn’t need jackets until we got to the very windy summit.  I have no idea the elevation gain, maybe 1,500′?

Stone Mountain Park

More of the view(s)

We saw a few interesting things along the way.  This was the first.  We’re convinced it was a bear den.  Or someone who just dug a whole in the side of the bank.

Hole in the snow

I’m convinced this was a bear den.

Then we saw some tracks.  Kobi saw them first, or smelled them first.  She started barking, had her hackles up and then ran back to me.  That means it was something she didn’t want to tangle with or had never smelled before.  At first I thought they were canine and then I thought maybe it was a bear that had woken up way too early.

I did some Googling when I got home and I am 98.9% certain they were wolverine tracks (not the Hugh Jackman X-Men character).  I deduced this based on the location – alpine, Kobi’s reaction – fear, and how they looked – cross between a canine and a bear = wolverine.  Not a critter I want to run into.  Actually, it is one of the scariest critters to run into.  They are fearless, strong, carnivorous, and did I mention fearless?  I’ve heard they go after bears.

 

alpine

More views along the way. I was too scared to take photos of the beast tracks

We continued onwards and upwards, quite literally.  We could see our destination, the tower, way off in the distance.  After what felt like forever, we finally made it to the top.  Of course we startled some caribou also hanging out up there.  I always hate when I startle cute wildlife.  No photo as I was frantically calling Kobi to get her leashed up so as not to chase the poor critters.

Summit Tower

The tower way off in the distance.

Alpine

The tower way off in the distance, but this time on our way back. Our tracks go on forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

girl and dog

Me and my wingman (girl) at the top. We took our snowshoes off for the last 200m as the snow was all blown away.

Mountain portrait

My friend and Kobi’s besty Dino.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I checked the map when I got home and we snowshoed 12km!  That explains why I was so tired.  Kobi is still sleeping today.  She ran like an absolute maniac the entire time we were out there, you would think she had never been outside before.  Seems to be how she rolls.

What’s cool is this is only an hour and half drive (less actually) from where I live.  There also wasn’t anyone else out there – kind of cool and kind of spooky.

Do you think that was a bear den?  Do you think I deduced correctly in identifying the wolverine?  Ever felt like you’ve been running, walking, hiking, snowshoeing forever and it’s only been 15 minutes?