Cap Crusher 13k.
The lovely people (Gary and Geoff) that brought about the amazing Arc’teryx Squamish 50 have released a series of shorter trail races. The Coast Mountain Trail Series are 4 races in and around the Vancouver BC area. Do not be fooled, however, that these are in any way easy just because the distances are not ‘ultra.’ Gary has a knack for finding the most challenging routes of technical terrain and lots, I mean lots of vertical. The first installment in the series is the Cap Crusher. Touted as Canada’s toughest 8k, there is also a 13k variation. Thanks to Distance Runwear, I was able to join in on the fun for the inaugural Cap Crusher!
I was so excited to take on the 13k distance, with 2100ft of ascent! This was going to be my first race of 2013 and I wanted to see where all my training was leading me. The speed work with South Hill Striders and all my heart rate based training has given me a lot of confidence to run faster and I was anxious to see if I could maintain a higher heart rate. Since I knew the course area really well, I glanced at the course profile and thought “Wow. This is going to be tough. And I hope they flag it as well as Squamish 50.”
I took a Honey Stinger Fruit Smoothie gel just before walking to the start line. I was glad to see so many familiar faces for this event. I darted off quickly but a little restrained since runners like Adam Campbell were just ahead of me and I knew I had no business being that close to them. I started up the first climb and Gary snapped a photo of me. Maybe I was moving faster than I thought. When I approached the turn around water station I was feeling great and ready to turn around and run the long hill up that I am very familiar with.
I was getting in my groove and ignoring the incessant beeping from my heart rate monitor that I was working harder than Zone 1. I had a pretty large training week the week prior which aggravated my soleus but it seemed to be doing just fine. That is, until I slipped descending wet wooden stairs and slammed it on the edge of a stair. I stood up slowly, took a few steps and realized I was sore but ok to get back running hard. As I started approaching the stairs which lead back to the start/finish/9km mark, I realized my left shoe had come untied. I decided I would try to continue running and see if it would stay put. It did not. Begrudgingly, I stopped to bend down and tie my shoe. At this point my buddy Adam Way passed me, the only time I got passed after leaving the start line. I was back running, intent on blasting by him at the next descent, but as I took a few paces I realized my right shoe had come untied! I fixed it and got moving up the stairs, power hiking it and taking them two at a time. I ended up finishing a few seconds behind Adam. There was still a fair bit of ascending to do in the last 4km and he is just too strong of an uphill runner that I could not reign him in during the last descents.
I finished 7th place with a time of 1:11. I am very happy with this result and look forward to pushing myself further and faster in my races to come this year. Speaking of, my first ultra of the year is this coming Saturday!
I am so thrilled for Gary and Geoff in their new series of races. The Cap Crusher was phenomenally well run for an inaugural event and will certainly become a local favorite and classic.