Race Day for the Around The Lake Give R Take 30 last weekend dawned with the promise of sunshine as the volunteers scurried about setting everything up for the big event. As with all races, excitement was in the air as the runners prepared with their rituals and nervous chatter filled the air. This year I was happy to be at the race even though I was volunteering instead of running. I felt a part of the excitement as the racers took their place at the start line. Since the runners have to do a loop around the residential part of Cultus Lake before heading up the mountain, I had time to get to my aid station where I enjoyed seeing the racers pass by after their first bit of elevation.
After the last runner passed my aid station I was able to run back down to main beach to watch some of the 60km runners do their second loop of the residential area. This year was the first year where the committee added the “around the lake and back again” option which 11 runners completed.
Sometime during that time on main beach I got convinced to join the “sweepers” as they ran behind the last runners to pick up race ribbons and close up the aid stations. The weather continued to be amazing and laughing and talking with the race sweepers made the kilometers go by quickly. Of course my trusty running partner Maureen was the one who dragged me with her to sweep part way, but it ended up being the highlight of my day.
On the way down from the monastery to the relay trade off point I had a chance to talk to two of the 60km runners, Tom Brown and Steve Chapman, as they ran the gradual descent towards Watt Creek. They had started their race in the dark at 4:30 AM and were both in amazingly good spirits when I caught up with them. We chatted while we ran and I found out that Tom had done more ultras than he could remember and still going strong at age 67! His partner Steve had just ran the Victoria marathon the weekend before but bravely he took on the 60km challenge 6 days later! The two of them were very inspiring and interesting to talk to. They even got me thinking that I might want to try the 60 one of these years! I know, I said my last 50km would be my “ last” endurance run but a girl can change her mind can’t she? Time will tell.
Trail running is such an amazing life sport and the people you meet who compete in these races are as exciting and interesting as the trails themselves. I am so proud of the community of Chilliwack for hosting such an amazing event. If running trails interests you at all you can contact the Vedder Running Club for details about times for meeting etc. If you like a real adventure, head to Mt. Waddington’s to pick up a headlamp and join us on our Thursday night trail runs in the dark! Until next time….
Trail running ambassador