This year marked the 5th consecutive year for PACE to hit the trail running scene on Vancouver's North Shore as approx. 25 athletes took to the gnarly, rooty, wet and super-fun single track trails of the Hallow's Eve Trail Race. This event is hosted by North Shore Athletics and I have to say what awesome support they get from their community for this event. Their volunteers out on the course are so full of energy and excitement, not to mention how well marked the course always is and well stocked the aid stations are. What is even better is all the proceeds of the race also go towards North Shore Special Olympics. So you get to enjoy doing something you love to do while giving back and making a difference with a local charity.
Some of the PACERs arrived on Friday night while other made the trip on Saturday. Those peep's that came down on Friday night meet for nachos and beers in the pub by the Holiday Inn North Shore to make plans for the following day. It has been tradition to hit the grouse grind, loiter with coffee while we gear shop and eventually hook up at TanPoPo for all-u-can-eat sushi the night before the race. Well, those who are not taking the race too seriously the following day, anyhow.
After a full afternoon of lunch (love the Red Burrito) and hitting all the rad gear shops we hooked up at Tanpopo for a dinner and a little team meeting. Another tradition started 5yrs ago that has stuck. Something about filling up on all that sodium that really enhances the performances the following day! Or maybe it was the cupcakes...
Usually I am not wishy washy about race entry. In fact, if anything I am the keener that signs up right away for races as I find it more motivational. However since the TransAlps the last thing I have thought about is 'racing'. I have been active and riding my bike, coaching some of the PACE runs and teaching my fitness classes but I didn't really want to get in 'race' mode for Hallow's. When we were picking up our race packages on Saturday my husband Trent and I decided that we would just make it a fun event and run together. Make it a hot 'date' if you will. So Sunday morning we took to the races, uh I mean, date scene and had the best time ever! We ran hard but didn't kill ourselves at race pace. We chatted the whole way and really made it fun. Jeanette ended up on our 'date' for about 3/4's of it as we all fell into a similar rhythm and it was great for me to get to spend time running with her too, as I missed much of this season's clinic being away in Europe and she was one (of a few) person I didn't get a chance to know very well. Which is another reason why the weekend was so great for me. I got to spend some quality time with athletes outside of the "PACE" norm. A.K.A. coaching scene.
All'n'all, I was very proud of everyone who raced that day. We had a pre-run meeting on race strategy where everyone made their game plans and then had the opportunity to execute it. After 10 weeks of speed work and endurance runs, I already felt proud of all the focus, commitment and work that went into getting to the race. We had some podium finishes and some people who were experiencing their first trial races. Some PACERs just wanted to finish off their season with a training run and kept it light and fun, and others ended up meeting up at some point and through friendship stuck together and finished together. It was all around a really great weekend and such a positive way to finish the PACE race season and head into 'Maintenance' mode! Thank you to all the participants of the 2011 Run Amok Trail Running Clinic and to those who made the road trip down to Vancouver for the Hallow's Eve weekend. I appreciate you for choosing PACE and for trusting me and my team with your trail running, fitness and health goals!