Monday, May 30, 2011

MOMAR Burnaby Race Report

Team ELM takes an early CP at our pre-race step ahead! Congrats to ELMers Vicky, Lynn, Kathy, Jenn, Chris and theCourtenay crew on an awesome race!

Happy Monday!

Good times on the mainland this weekend with Team ELM and MOMAR Burnaby! It was a great weekend filled with good laughs and endless mis-adventures:) Click here for the final race results on the MOMAR website or read on for all the juicy details...

Six ELM Members on 5 different teams sailed over to the mainland on Friday for the first ever MOMAR Burnaby race. Burnaby? Really? Being from the wild west coast it was hard for us islanders to grasp an Adventure Race in the city. We were in for a big suprise as Burnaby mountain had enough forest lands and trail networks to create a great 'urban-wilderness' experience for the race.

On Friday 5 of us went over early to scout out the Burnaby mountain area and get our bearings on the SFU campus as none of us had been there before. It turned out to be a very good idea and helped us significantly during the main O-course during the race- which took place on the campus.

Friday night pre-race was fun as always with a Team ELM dinner before heading in to racer registration. The MOMAR team was seamless and full of welcoming smiles as always:)

Mr. MOMAR himself, Bryan Tasaka, race director like no other.

Janine Tasaka, Bryan's sweetheart sister, heading up racer registration with a big smile as always.

Trying on the new MOMAR bike jerseys with the designer himself! Kinda looks similar to the ELM jerseys don't you the blues!


After a less than wonderful night of cursing at the dummy who let their car alarm go off all night every 10 minutes, we got up and got down to race central -Barnett Marine Park - at 7am. Dropped off our bikes, set up our kayaks then picked up our race maps at 7:30am which gave us 30 minutes more than we normally have to review our maps at MOMAR races. We all went into our teams to read the maps and plan our race strategies (even though I am a team of one there are a few voices in there to discuss things with).

9am water start in the boats and on the was calmer than I have ever seen Comox Lake! 180 racers took off with tsunami power and before long I was suffering at the very back of the pack with the other solo gals and a couple of plastic doubles. Good times at the back...not! You get out what you put in and I paid the price for paddling only twice since MOMAR Cumberland 2009! Yes, I did just admit that. Thankfully, Eco Marine rented me their fastest kevlar boat so I didn't come in dead last:)

After an all-out effort and 1:20 paddle we jumped on the bikes and I had my work cut out for me. I was coming from about bottom 15 off the water and had a huge crew of racers to try and work my way past throughout the race. It was a short but steep ride up to the campus and I was more than delighted to pass a bunch of teams by riding the epic grade thanks to my sweeeet little XC bike the Giant Anthem (thanks Mountain City Cycle in Courtenay!).

About 45 minutes later I arrived at the O course in the middle of campus and I got to work on the map. No big problems on the orienteering and I was beyond relieved to have done some scouting the day before.

I was back at the start/finish area in less than 42 minutes and popped out in 12 place overall! My AR mantra had worked once again: You don't have to be fast...just smart and sneaky...

Then it was back on the bikes for our first taste of the mountain biking trails on Burnaby mountain. They didn't disappoint! I was lucky enough to be riding right behind a local rider for part of the bike section so I had fun following her lines and getting some flow - which can be challenging when you don't know the terrain. It was super fun with lots of suprises : tight switchbacks, little drops and plenty of low bridges to roll over. Good times!

Half way through the bike section (figure 8ish) we got slapped with a crazy big climb up 'cardiac hill'. It was a gravel path but a very steep grade and I was happy to ride the whole thing and managed to pass a few hike-a-bikers along the way. I absolutely hate pushing my bike so that is always my motivation to stay in the saddle and take the 'seat' as long as possible. Granny gear pulled through and I felt great heading into the second downhill/XC section.

After about an hour on the bike I reached the next transition and took off on foot for a short 4k trekking loop. We had to run up the flipping highway to get into the trails! I must say this is a first for me in a MOMAR and it was the only part of the course I could have done without...but this was the best way to access the trail and so we ran along with the cars - up up up. My legs felt great at this point and I noticed that my long training runs have made an impact on my climbing under fatigue ability. This was a very pleasant suprise:)

But then, after a great run up I had an unpleasant suprise- my first twinge of cramping in the race. My whole left quad threatened to lock on me as soon as the trail flattened out at the top. Crap! I love running downhill and I wanted to take advantage of the only 2kms of downhill trail running on the whole race course! So, I practiced patience ( very hard for this girl) and sat down, gave my quad a massage, sucked back extra fluids and electrolytes, did a bit of visualizing (and cursing probably:) before testing it out on the downhill. After a few strides it was like magic and I was cramp free (for now) so I hauled down the trail and back to my bike.

After a 27ish minute trek it was back on the bike and I forced an entire pack of Stinger gummies into my body along with sucking back a couple of cups of e-load while starting on the last big climb. Noooooooooooo! Now my inner thigh on the same leg started twitching, grabbing and cramping. HELP! I cried in vain to my buddies Shawn & Michelle as they trucked up the hill.

I managed to keep the cramps at bay as I crested the top of the hill going strong. I stopped at an intersection to check the map before hauling downhill towards the finish. When I stepped back onto my left peddle a lightning bolt shot into my left calf and it balled up into a big nasty cramp, pitching me off my bike and into a pathetic heap on the ground. Nothing I could do but scream, bite my tongue and wait for it to pass. At least 3 teams who came up behind me stopped to check on me (THANK YOU!) and I am sure I was a bit of a scene lol:) 'Go ahead...I will be fine...'

After things calmed down I worked as hard as possible to catch up with the teams who passed me and managed to play leapfrog with them at the next 3 CPs' along the bike course. Finally, I reached the final transition just as they were about to leave for the final leg. I grabbed my final O-course map and hustled behind them towards the Marine Park once again. BUT... we had to cross the highway and I MISSED the light! Noooooooooooo! There was a (very nice) crossing gaurd volunteer who did her job very well and I stood on the other side for a few looooong minutes waiting for the green.

Into the O-course and I just pushed my legs as quick as they would go between CPs- all very straight forward except for one oops that made for a bloody-blackberry-vine-bushwack-and-not-so-short-cut to a CP off the train tracks. Then it was a scenic tour around the park before heading for the finish line and crossing under the big MOMAR arches! First solo female 5hours 27minutes, 19th overall.

TEAM ELM had their own epic adventures and it was a blast to catch up with the other 4 teams to hear how their races went. Everyone had a great day and BONUS : Two more ELM Teams took spots on the podium!

Chris Winkelaar (ELM) and Brad Crowe took 2nd spot in the team of 2 men with a time of 4:55 - 7th place overall!

Lynn Swift and Kathy Campbell took FIRST place in the team of 2 women category with a time of 6 hours 38 minutes!

Solo girls- check out the sweeeet swag : a BCBike Race Duffle Bag, Riders sunglasses and MOMAR socks for first place! HUGE thank you to Jen Segger for not entering the solo-female category lol...

POST RACE: We had way too much fun sporting our matching bags like a team of flight attendants at the after party. Team ELM represented on the dance floor and a good night was had by all.

HUGE THANK YOU to all of the MOMAR organizing team and an EVEN BIGGER THANK YOU to the team of volunteers who make this race happen. Thank you for another great race!

Sunday morning reality check: I tore my calf during the whole cramping episode (dejavu) and had to tensor my leg to get up the Grouse Grind with the team on Sunday...maybe not the smartest recovery plan...but it didn't feel too bad...until after...

Time to rest, heal, get treatment and cross fingers that my leg will heal up in time for Kusam in a few weeks...that might have been my last training session for Kusam...early taper?

Enjoying the post race feeling even though I am RICEing today and hobbling on one leg:)



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome Sarah, Lynn and Kathy... way to show those city folk what country life and training can do! Congratulations! ellie