Sunday, September 16, 2012

Race Report: Run at the Ranch 5k

Aside from the 1:30pm race start, I was pretty pumped for this race.  First year in a beautiful, brand new provincial park.  Small field.  Last chance to beat my 5k goal for the year.  And a shiny new medal at the end.

Almost got everything on that list.  Definitely got a short little Runventure out of it....

I picked up JS just before 11 and we made it to the parking at Crowfoot LRT in record time.  It meant we were on the very first shuttle bus and out to the park far too early!  Ah well - lessons for next year.

Package pickup hours were odd - 2 hours yesterday at Crowfoot Running Room (way in the far northwest) and then before the race in the park.  So we did onsite pickup...and it was fairly efficient.

Awesome shirts and a bunch of other swag - coffee, Ultima sample, collapsible water bottle.

And with still over an hour to gun time - we had plenty of time to explore.  We headed to the start line, where they were still setting up.

We figured we'd check out a bit of the course.  We actually would have had time to walk the entire thing, but we did want some surprises so just walked down the hill at the start and then went in search of the nasty uphill at the end...

found it!

Steep.  Switchbacks.  Gravel trail.   It was going to be an interesting finish to a mostly downhill 5k.

We had so much time to kill that we had lots of stops at the potties.  Then we ran into April and Anna and headed for the start area to see them off on their Half Marathon walk.

Talked to the horsies at the start line

This was probably the smallest half marathon start line I had ever seen

20 mins after the halfers took off - the 10k had their turn...also the smallest 10k I've ever seen...

and then, 10 mins later - it was our turn!

The gun went off at 1:30 and it was all downhill from there - literally....JS and I got to kick into our favourite downhill gear and we took off like little rockets - leaving most everyone in our dust.   At the bottom of the first hill, we turned off the paved pathway and onto gravel.   A quick glimpse over my shoulder showed that we were quite ahead of most of the pack and that only a handful of people were ahead of us.  This must be how the elites feel!

At 2k, I needed to walk so I waved JS on to hunt her own PB and I snapped my first on-course pic...

And then a REALLY awkward one of myself...

I picked up my run again and was clipping along at a great pace.  The photos don't look like much, but it was actually pretty beautiful out there.  The river isn't far from here, but we didn't ever get to run along it.

On my last "scheduled" walk break - I was still on the flats along the bottom of the valley.

And then I passed the last water station (so nice that they had 2 water stops on a 5k)  and the course took a nasty turn.  My plan was to make my best attempt to run that final hill.   But, a glimpse ahead showed that not one person was running it.  I tried a few steps, but between the grade of the hill and the loose gravel - it wasn't happening.  It was hard to even pump my arms and keep any sort of decent pace going.   Up to 4k, I was on course for between 26 and 28mins.   I pushed myself hard walking up the hill - the hill that it seemed would never end...and as soon as I was at the top, I could see the finish line - I dashed as hard as I could, huffing and puffing across the finish and stopped my Garmin at exactly 30:00!

and no one was there to put a medal around my neck.

Because there were no medals!   The first words out of my mouth when I found JS were "Where's my medal?"  LOL

I had actually emailed the organizers before I registered for this race to confirm that there were medals for all distances.  It had been confirmed.  In no small part was it a reason why I registered.   I was there for the medal!   And now I hadn't gotten one!  I was more than a little peeved.

Even worse - I had plugged the race on this blog as being one with a medal.  I don't know how many people signed up because of me - but I don't like to look bad like that.

I actually asked the staff announcing finishers near the finish line...and they feigned ignorance.  My suspicion is that they found out organizing a race was more work than they expected so they enlisted Running Room to help and that ate the medal budget.

At least I could get my official results onsite.

Official Chip time: 30:32
8th Woman Overall!!!!!!!!!!

Finish line photo!

Garmin Geekery:

I find my splits HILARIOUS!  look at that last km!

 Last thoughts on this race - it's a beautiful course.   The wind kept it pretty cool, though I ended up quite sunburnt for mid-september.  The downhill is really nice - that final uphill is my personal hell...and, funny enough, I now feel I have a nemesis to conquer.  I want to come back to this race and beat that hill.  And, knowing that it is there to train on anytime - I will likely run it a lot next summer to prepare to kill it next long as the race continues.   I hope it will.  This was the first year and it has a great deal of potential.

But you'll never catch me running the half.  ESPECIALLY if they don't start giving out medals.


  1. I remember them advertising a medal, but it's no longer on the website. I would've rather them be honest about it instead of pretending they didn't know what you were talking about #fail

  2. Congratulations on a strong race and finishing 8th overall! That's pretty darn good! Sucks that they were being shady about the medals...if you emailed and asked, and they didn't produce...I'd be mad too!

  3. I wrote to them this morning and this was the response I got:

    "Unfortunately, as this event is a fundraiser and registrations were lower than expected, we had to make some cuts several months ago. "

    I question the "several months ago" bit because I believe I registered in late June and I recall the info being on the site not long ago...but at least he was honest with me...

  4. LOL!! I'm not into medals, but I feel the same way about t-shirts!! They are like my "proof" that I ran, that I conquered! :)


  5. Congrats on your finish place! (I'll bet you can kick that hill's butt next year.) ;)

  6. Beautiful photos, love the switchback. The no medal thing is disappointing especially since I know how strongly you feel about earning them. Hopefully they will have more people next year so they can offer one. They should consider a different weekend than the Terry Fox run. So many races, so little time!

  7. Awesome job, especially with that killer switch back hill at the end!! And with time to take pictures? Love it!
    I can't believe you didn't get a medal! It's one thing to race and know you aren't going to get one but when you expect it? I'd be more than peeved!!
    Looks like a great race though. Beautiful scenery.


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