Last weekend was the OUS/OTS Spring Warm Up. The Warm Up is not a race but more like a group long run on trails, with an aid station added and a prize. The prize is nice: free entry to all the OUS races of the season. This year couldn't have been more different than last year's warmup. Last year (in Creemore) we had a mini snow storm during the event, this year the temperature shooted up to about 20C.
It wasn't quite that warm at 9am, but it was still comfortable. The course was a bit vague. Follow the trail to the school and back, which was a 22km loop, I think. That is basically a big chunk of the Seaton Mud Puppies race course. People immediately split up in a few groups and I ended up with the slower group, since I planned on doing two loops. I have been struggling a bit since Susitna, but lately I found that my longer runs were going well (especially on trail) and even though Derrick had planned on me running about 3h30, I had pretty much decided to go longer than that. There were 6 of us, I think, in the group and were kept a comfortable pace, chatting the whole time.
We missed a turn somewhere although we did follow the trail markers and ended up at a parking lot at about 9.5km. The course was not quite as technical as I remembered, but it was still quite challenging. Last year's Mud Puppies was one of my first trail races, certainly the most technical, and it left a big impression. The shoe sucking mud and steep hills were certainly still there.
After the first loop, we ate some pizza and refilled. We lost a couple of people who didn't want to go back out and about half-way through the second loop we lost some more, so it was pretty much me and one other runner after that, although were briefly ran with a third man on the way back from that second loop.
After the run, I learned that I was the Grand Prize winner! That was nice.
So all in all, a fantastic day. About 38km of nice technical trail. My running felt nice and strong. Good company. Beautiful weather.
What more can a runner ask for?
Hynerview Challenge 50K Race Report
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