Arc’teryx Squamish 50: More than a 23km trail race, much love to fellow trail runners and volunteers
Arc'teryx Squamish 50 race
23km race, 1000m / 3300f climbing - 1200m / 3900f descending
Saturday August 10th, 8:00am start
Conditions: Hot, humid, dry trails with some overcast for half the race. 29 C
I planned to run the 50km but I wanted to be a part of the event through the Moveo massage tent after the race. The 23km race provided myself this opportunity.
I thought this was going to be relatively easy. Ha! I've never run a 25km ish trail race and thought it was hard. I mean hard as in a similar feeling to attempting to finish 100 miles at Fat dog 100 (minus the hallucinations) three years ago. Humidity played a big part in my struggle to run on my hometown trails.
Let's see...... Stopped sweating, never started eating, goose bumps in high 20 C weather, stopping and bending over on the climbs during the last 7km for fear of hurling the lack of food in my stomach, a few tears and to top it all off the thought of quitting while sitting down on the trail for a couple of minutes. What! 23km race, really! Yep it might not of been my day to begin with but it was HARD. Just when I thought there were no more ups, there was another climb. Not big but ANOTHER climb. Relentless! imagine doing that at the end of the 50km or 50 miles. Yikes!
Volunteers make the race in so many ways. They help put a smile on your face, motivate you, fuel and hydrate you, take pictures for you, keep you going, direct you, make you laugh and inspire you. Thank you! Thank you for all your effort and time on course during all the races.
Like I said this race was tough. We all have awesome races and some not so awesome. I find the one's that are difficult to get through are the ones in which so many people unknowingly inspire and motivate us to keep moving, to get up and not give up. This happened on this day. Trail runners and volunteers. I mean I love trail runners. They would stop for you and give up their race to help a fellow trail runner in need.
The last 7km was a suffer-fest for myself. I cannot count on my hands how many trail runners past by myself when I was hunched over on the side of the trail and asked if I was ok. This was amazing. These are such exceptional people. Of course I was fine and just needed a moment for the nausea to pass.
One particular trail runner selflessly aided me in electrolyte tablets and on getting to the finish line. At the second aid station Derek a father of baby twin girls and a physio from Squamish caught up to me. I hadn't seen Derek for several months and so it was nice to catch up. We left the aid station together after a volunteer fired of a picture of the two of us. I was feeling pretty good after getting some coke into my body. So I powered on ahead. 4km later Derek caught up to me as I was starting to struggle. Both of us had stopped sweating by the second aid station and were feeling pretty tired. He offered some electrolyte tablets which I was able to stomach and thankfully helped with some quadricep cramping.
As he ran on I had thoughts of seeing him at the finish and the next thing I know he is waiting up ahead. This happened several times. He kept me going in many ways because mentally I could of easily walked the rest of the race. But every time I saw him I knew I had to keep running, if even for a few minutes. Nearing the end I said he didn't have to stay with me if he wanted to sprint on ahead but we ran across the finish line together. That was really cool! Thanks Derek! A true testament to the nature of the sport, the people that live and play here in Squamish and the type of inspiring people that gravitate toward trail running and this awesome event.
My husband Andrew who took most of these photos was there to see myself finish. This was awesome as he was such a great support on this day like everyday. I saw Suzanne finish and shared smiles with her and slowly moved toward the Moveo tent to see Kim and Lindsay treating the awesome athletes who finished the race. After eating some yummy food from the farmers market courtesy of the race organizers I went home showered ate some more before heading back to help out at the massage tent with the Moveo team . The spirit was high from 23km, 50km and 50 miler finishers that I treated that day. Though I was sore from the race this was by far the most fun I had at a race in the Moveo massage tent. So many inspiring trail runners from all over with great tales from the day and adventures that lay ahead.
To sum it all up
A well organized, challenging course with the kind of descents that put a smile on your face before another upward battle to the top. The hills are relentless and the single track is stellar. Super fun, full of awesomeness and a great party-like atmosphere at the end. Thanks again to the volunteers and congrats to all the racers and of course the amazing race directors for all their hard work in putting on this awesome race in Squamish, BC.
See you all next year in my hometown of Squamish, BC at the Arcteryx Squamish 50 and trail running festival!!