Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blackfoot Ultra Weekend - Race Report

IF I WAS A MOOSE, I WOULD LIVE HERE!!



Or maybe here.....


DEFINITELY here.


If I was an anti-social moose, I would live on this island.

But I'm NOT!!


New trail friend Carol of St. Albert

It was a great weekend to participate in the Blackfoot Ultra! The weather was gorgeous as we made the drive from Banff up to the Cooking Lake - Blackfoot Recreation Area, East of Edmonton and Sherwood Park. I had never been to this corner of Alberta before and totally enjoyed the change of scenery. Change is good and change of scenery when it comes to running on trails is something that always gives me great pleasure!!

I had a big smile on my face as I cruised by lakes and islands, rolled up and down soft double track trail and through forests of spring green leaves. I felt sensory overload as I listened to the incredible chorus of this beautiful land, the breeze, the birds and the frogs.






There were 6 of us who made the trip from Banff and Canmore, myself and friends Miles, Mike, Laura, Steve and Brenda. Hugs to Laura for being an all-round superstar and hanging at the race all day, despite not running! Thanks for the love!

Mike, Laura and Steve


I know all of us enjoyed a great day on the trails and appreciated the soft cushy cruisy trails, the sunshine, the great company and the scenery. Speaking of great company, thanks to Carol for joining me for the first 25km on the trail and her man-sherpa-loaner-slave- husband Wayne for taking care of me and listening to my trail chatter! It was fun!

After the first lap, I decided to pick it up a notch and play See-How-Many-People-You-Can-Catch. I love this game, but it only works when you are feeling good. It doesn't work when you are The One With Lead Legs or for that matter, The One Bent Over In the Woods.



The One Who Loves Potato Chips



When you play this game, it is imperative that you say Hi to all and stop and give and receive hugs along the way. If you manage to snag a few photographs, you get bonus points.....




Hugs for Terry


Hugs for Ken (KEN - LOOK AT THE CAMERA NEXT TIME!!)

Overall, I had a great day and I know the friends sure did. EVERYONE had a stellar day - and there were so many firsts for many of my friends. Steve smoked the course and came second overall in the 50k, Mike was super speedy and rocked his first Ultra, Miles finally put away his skis and made his first long run in awhile look easy and Brenda was a superstar who finished her first 50 MILER strong and smiling!!



Yeeeeeeahh! Go Brenda!!






Virginia, all smiles after her first 50 Miler


After the race, there was a whole lot of socializing to be done as we relaxed, ate, got re-aquainted with old friends and some new friends and waited as the 50 Mile runners and the 100km runners came in to the finish.

Hugh put his comfy chair down right in the finishing chute and was "receiving" visitors all afternoon. It was great to see Jamie and Tasha (Tasha conquered the 100k) and it was great to see all of the guys from my last years' Jasper weekend. My bunkmates, Hugh, Allan, Adrian, Ken and Miles. Hi boys! I think Adrian set a new course record for his age-group and pushed those younger dudes to some speedy times! Allan was a super-star by finishing his 50 Miler all tired, but happy!


Speedy Old Farts Hugh and Adrian

Trail Trash



Allan "The Laminator"


It was great to see my friend Neil Runions in action, he finished the 100k looking stong and mmm-mmmm, salty! I think Neil has got himself signed up for every Ultra in Alberta, which means the whole Alberta Ultra Series. He was feeling inspired by chasing the lovely and speedy Norma Bastidas to the finish line. Norma ran her first half marathon only one year ago and really did rock her first 100k finish. Happy, smiling and looking good - Norma you were fantastic!

Neil and Norma

Thanks to the Blackfoot Crew and volunteers for putting on a great event! Thanks to the Banff friends Mike, Steve, Brenda, Miles and Laura for being great company and sharing some quality time at Kawtikh Cabins. Thanks to Mother Nature for the awesome weather and beautiful scenery. The Blackfoot Ultra made me smile!

http://picasaweb.google.ca/banfftrailtrash/20080525BlackfootWeekend


I had a big smile on my face as I cruised by lakes and islands, rolled up and down soft double track trail and through forests of spring-green leaves. I felt sensory overload as I listened to the incredible chorus of this beautiful land, the breeze, the birds and the frogs.


63 comments:

Mike said...

That was an awesome weekend with great company. I think that was the most enjoyable race I have ever run.
Hmmm, maybe 50 miles next year...

Sunshine Girl said...

Glad to see you have "runners amnesia" already!!

Norma Bastidas said...

Leslie,

It was so nice meeting you. One thing i forgot to mention is that you are stunningly beautiful!, I was shocked that I actually finish that I couldn't talk much, i just kept on smiling.

i will link my blog to yours,I love your pics.

cheers

Norma

Sunshine Girl said...

Way to go Norma, for your first 100km you did amazing. I was very excited for you. And thanks for the compliment, hey, I'll take it!

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

I like this 'fun' style of race reporting!

Sunshine Girl said...

Howdy Dave. Ah, yes. The ol' photo running documentary. It is kind of fun, isn't it??

Leslie

DEANNA STOPPLER said...

Way to go girl! You are so freakin' funny. I'd love to run with you sometime. Vermont has a 50 miler in Sept. and a 100, which I may do next year.

My pa lives west of Edmonton, near Entwistle, AB. He has some land and 15 horses.

DEANNA STOPPLER said...

Thanks for the comment about my hot green shorts--I laughed! I was telling a co-worker today that I didn't realize I was wearing those until after posting the photo--they are an oldy, but goody. Dave says they're awful, but man are they comfy.

I don't wear them in public . . . too often!

Donald said...

Hi - thanks for the help with deciphering graffiti!

Were you at Diablo? I think I read your report linked from the race site.

Great report here. I love all of your pictures. Congrats on your finish.

Sunshine Girl said...

Hi Donald!

Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I was at Diablo and Miwok. Apart from having a little red face and melting a wee bit, I had a swell time at both!! The change of scenery was inspirational and it certainly got me fired up as our season has only just begun.

Now go take some photos of WS so we can all see what we are missing! Good luck!

Carol 'n Wayne said...

'Love your blog and especially your sense of humour Leslie... You kept me inspired and laughing in the first loop... and you rocked the 2nd one - way to go! It was great meeting you and definitely a memorable part of my very first "ultra" experience, so a big thank you...

ps our sherpa says hi!

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