Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nice out..

So nice to step off the plane this morning into this gorgeous day. After the brown/white treeless sprawl of Calgary's suburban nightmare, I felt like I had been granted a pass from Erebus (the not so nice part of Hades) to the Elysian fields. Frosty air, the colour green and clear, white peaks. I sat on the Canada line and just took it all in.

By 11:30 I was on the trails in Lynn Valley. Amazing what a few days away will do for your appreciation of this place. I forgot to take my gloves so my fingers were a little numb trying to snap pics of things I wouldn't normally bother with. I just felt so invigorated! I snap my fingers at the cold! well I would if I could feel them that is..

Perfect trail running weather. You can't beat it. I was running with a smile much of the way and a nod from the old man with white beard and red flannel shirt, hiking in the opposite direction, told me he was having the same experience. Yah, you know what I'm talkin' about Santa! Come to think of it, he did have a bit of a twinkle in his eye...

Good to be back. Looking forward to more of this weather for the Crescent Park xc run on New Year's day. Hope to see some of you out there. Since you're up in the Arm of the Salmon, Tom, can I have your post race pizza slice?

Not expecting miracles against the trackies and a little sore anyway from following Curb's gym program he put together for me. Thankfully it gets me in and out of there pretty quick. Pretty soon I'll just need a hat and a pipe and I'll be lookin' like Popeye! :p

On a side note... I often get asked what I looked like with hair. So, since I was visiting family, I dug up some photos. Had to go a loooong way back to the days of film! Here I am circa 20 years ago. Oh, to have back our youth, non?! ; )

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hare and Hounds #2

Date: Saturday, December 11th
Time: 9:15am
Place: Starts by John Henry Bike store on East 5th Ave, North Van. Turn north onto Brooksbank Avenue and go to E 5th St and turn right. You're there. (It's basically opposite to the Park and Tilford shopping area. You can park your car in there or try on E 5th if there's room). See map.

Distance of the Chase: just over 11.5km
Course: See maps below in the description section
To Bring: 3 quarters (I'll explain at the start. No, it isn't coffee money for me)

This will be a fast out and back course with a little loop at the top. Most of the trail follows Lynn Canyon from John Henry to the Gazebo at the top of Lilloet Rd and back. Start/Finish is also a short walk to JJ Bean for coffee after!

The mostly out and back means there is less risk of people going off course and the opportunity to perhaps see your pursuers/quarry to keep the excitement level up. (Thanks to Tom for that idea.)

For a description of what a Hare and Hounds run is look at the posting on my blog about the first Hare and Hounds (basically below this one).

Course Description:
There is a gravel path by the river just east of John Henry Bike store. The start and finish is there.

Starting out you run north along this gravel path following the river underneath Hwy 1 and continue for another kilometre up to a footbridge over the river. Turning right, you cross this bridge and turn immediately left after crossing, onto a broad gravel path.

You continue north on this along the river bank. After about 800m the path narrows into a dirt trail that takes you into the forest and the start of a long steady climb through the canyon. Just stay on the trail. There is nowhere to go wrong ... (Princess...!).

About 3.5km out from the start this trail then meets the Baden Powell trail at a junction. Stay left and descend down a steep, technical hill (Girl Hill) to a boardwalk at the bottom. It's flat for a bit then climbs some stairs again and goes to a bridge (not suspension bridge). Stay right and follow the trail on the East side of the Canyon (which you have been on since crossing the footbridge near the start). The trail goes up more stairs and little climbs and takes you to the junction for the Suspension Bridge. Turn left and go towards the Suspension bridge but don't cross it (....Princess!..). Stay right at the Suspension Bridge and this will take you down to the Ten Foot pool and the start of a big stair climb. At the top of the stairs stay left and follow the gravel trail out to the pipe bridge. Don't cross this bridge. Instead turn right and go up the gravel path until you can see the Gazebo structure. Turn hard right again though before you get to it, onto another gravel trail that loops you back to the Suspension Bridge junction.

Once there you now just return by the same route you came out on. Easy! Then it's coffee time! :)

So far (Wed night) I have 7 or 8 other people and myself ready to go. Feel free to join us. You can indicate on the comment section on this blog posting if you want to come or have some questions, or just show up.

The important thing to do now is to try to guess as close as you can the time you think it will take you to cover the course. This determines the order people set off, who the hares are, who the hounds are and also a couple of other things. If you want to post your estimate on this blog you can, or just hold on to it until start time.

I'll start things off and say It's going to take me an hour.