Outdoor Running Adventures

Running in northern BC with my dog Kobi


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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

GRRRRR

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? 

 

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Post Run Polka Dot Pig

Fortunately I have no epic wipe-outs to write about this week (so far).  However, it is currently snowing outside!  Yes, snowing.

Up until today, the weather had been getting warmer and my runs had to centre around Kobi’s need to stay cool and refreshed.  Laying, swimming, and wallowing in water is the only way she can re-charge her superpowers in the heat.

Her favorite superpower recharging location is a small lake that is reasonably close to my home (just under 4km one way).  Getting there involves running in a few areas that bears like to inhabit resulting in my being a bit freaked out.

dog swimming

Kobi swimming away…

I do carry bear spray and a phone.  A phone is likely not all that helpful in a serious bear encounter, but it makes me feel better knowing I might have time to call someone or at least get some cool photos for my blog.  Kobi is also highly sensitized to their presence and turns into a barking Godzilla when she sees one or smells one.

gravel road

This is the road that scares me, but it’s so pretty

I’m quite sure one was close by when we ran to the lake on the weekend as Kobi turned into a 40 lb white, hairy Godzilla and charged into the woods all hackles up and barking.  I felt safe and scared all at the same time.

And then I thought what I always think when I encounter a bear or something scary, “at least dinosaurs are extinct, that would be much worse.”  I’m not sure why that helps, but it does.

wet dog

superpowers restored

Okay, now to the real reason I published this post.  I wanted to attach a funny video of Kobi.  I’m not sure why she does this, but after a run she gets really hyper.  She either runs around the yard at super high velocity, terrorizes the cat, or plays with one of her toys with great enthusiasm.  Perhaps she’s just happy we didn’t encounter any dinosaurs.  In the video she has found her most obnoxious toy to play with enthusiastically (before crashing for a nice long nap).

Does your dog get super hyper after a run or walk or is Kobi just odd?  Have you seen any cool wildlife while out running?  Are you grateful dinosaurs are extinct or am I just odd?