If you thought you were seeing double at the annual Royal Lepage Snow to Surf Relay this past weekend you weren't alone! Team ELM once again had two teams racing side by side and head to head in the masters women category of the exciting 9 staged relay race. 20 high energy women kitted out in ELM blue and white jerseys were hard to miss as we cheered and jeered each other on from leg to leg throughout the day. It was a tight race between the top 3 teams and first went back and forth a few times from mountain to ocean.
Team ELM (my team), had a rough start after downhill skiier, Deb R, took a fall on the crazy first leg of the race. It was a yardsale and ski patrol saved the day by collecting her wayward ski and ensuring she could continue with the race. Luckily she was ok and managed to finish the leg!! Phew!
Our snowshoers, x-country skiiers and runners raced each other around and down the mountain - chasing and/or running scared;) Team Too was in first place for the first 7 legs of the race so that had my Team ELM sweating bullets and working hard!
We were about 8 minutes back and in 3rd place by the time I left on my mountain biking leg and I had to go into full attack mode to try and gobble up some minutes and chase down Team Too. All I wanted to see was a blue jersey in front of me and the leg flew by in a blur of intensity. I ran out of real estate on the 40-45minute leg and never even caught a glimpse of Team Too in the trails...I managed to make up 7 and a half minutes (according to our amazing play-by-play time keeper Lo;), catch the 2nd place team (after some serious heckling and elbows out charging to the finish with biking buddies lol:) and all three of our kayakers put in the water less than 30 seconds apart. Intense!
Team Too took off on the water, with superstar paddler Annie B wreaking havoc in a racing surf ski and putting in a few minutes on us at the start of the road bike. Team Too couldn't hold us off after that, however, and Audrey E experienced the bittersweet challenge of passing our friend and teammate, Arran, to finally put us into 2nd.
From the road bike to the Marina it was all Team ELM as our rockstar paddlers (animals in a green machine) Lyse and Rani destroyed the canoe leg once again, passing who knows how many unsuspecting teams and thankfully securing our fate. What a race!
In the end it was an ELM sandwich on the podium with Team ELM in first, Gold Gun Girls in second and Team ELM Too taking third for the Masters Women. We managed to take 2nd overall with only 7 minutes off first place- which you can't complain about either! Woot Woot!
Left to right: Lynn, Kim(downhill skiier) and Lo, X-Country skiiers, awaiting their team snowshoe runners...intense!
It has been such an awesome experience having two teams on the course. One minute you are cheering your lungs out for them and the next you are racing your legs off to try and beat them! I am so grateful to know these amazing women. We are all in it for the experience, the laughter and the team camaraderie first. Anything above that is completely bonus. We all feel the same way and that is what makes it such a great group- everyone is so supportive of one another no matter what happens during the race. We have women ranging in ages from nearly 30 to 70 who all bring different experience to the team. We all come together to inspire each other on this great day. It really is a unique team experience and one that we look forward to more and more each year!
ELM entered their first women's team, Team ELM, in the Royal Lepage Snow to Surf Relay in 2007 and moved up to the top of the podium quickly. They have now taken first place in the masters women category for 6 years in a row, with 2 first place overall women finishes and a team best of 24th overall. Team ELM Too joined the fun in 2012 and has hit the podium for the past 2 years in a row, beating their sister team for the first 7 legs of the race this year!
Audrey and Arran moments after finishing their road bike legs:)
ELM has been offering 'fun fitness adventures' and exercise therapy services in the Comox Valley since 2001. ELM's next team event will be an Off Road Half Marathon in Hawaii. ELM will once again be offering a 14-week training plan in preparation for the 2014 XTERRA World Championships on December 7th. For more info go to www.elmhealth.com