20 Nov 2012

Meet you Maker 50

Posted by pricey

A tardy race report to round out my 2012 running season, and goal of 2 50 mile trail races in the space of 3 weeks.  Like the Squamish 50, run a few weeks earlier the Meet Your Maker was an inaugural race that I simply had to be part of.  A 50 mile trail race and relay that took in the Comfortably Numb trail as well as a full climb up Blackcomb Mountain, a peak to peak gondola ride to Whistler Mountain and then a screaming descent into Creekside village.  Too  much fun to pass up.

Leg 1

It was a bit of a late start, but the plan here was to just ease into it, warm up a little bit and roll into the Wedgemont carpark in around 60 minute.  I picked up some good company in Mike (Aussie) and Julien (South African) and then a bit later Kurtis (Canmore?).  We pretty much just shot the shit through the 10km keeping a super easy pace, walking some early hills.  I rolled into the first aid station happy to see Stacey, grab a new bottle and something to eat.

Leg 2 – Comfortably Numb

This leg stands on its own as a separate race and having not run it before, I was pretty excited to try it out.  I had a pretty generous budget of close to 3 hours, again, the plan was to keep the pace really easy and just enjoy the trails.  Pretty easy to do on this leg as the trails are rolling, flowing and constantly changing.  The first half was a gradual climb that just never really felt like it.  Some stunning views along the way and some engaging conversation with Julien that kept the cougars away saw us through this section a bit ahead of time and feeling good.  I rolled into base 2 and picked up my Salomon pack for the hike up Blackcomb.

Leg 3 – base 2 to Blackcomb gondola

After the initial grunt of the hike up to the FSR was over, I found myself in a mix of wanting to run but felling like I needed to walk.  I was still in a conservative mind frame but feeling strong on the climb.  I kept pace with Julien again for 15 minutes or so before I decided to pull back a bit and hike.  I mixed run walk for a while before switching back to an easy run.  I was pretty happy to see Donald Peterson just up ahead so pushed a bit to catch up so I’d have some company on our way to the peak, it was worth the push as we kept pace and worked our way up to the gondola.  Once we cleared the tree line we were rewarded with some stunning rocky single track as we worked our way over to the Peak to Peak Gondola.

photo credit – Robert Shaer

Leg 4 – Blackcomb – to Whistler Creekside

This was the fun part and the most anticipated leg of the race for me.  Riding the Peak to Peak – such a novel idea, I loved it.  We rode with a fun group of runners and supporters form the “Drink Maker” relay team and it was great to be able to chat and share some stories on the way across.  As we neared Whistler I could feel some cramping coming on so knew that I needed to get off and get moving again.  The descent from Whistler Peak to Creekside was a short sharp one.  I took a couple of tumbles in my effort to occasionally break so save the quads.  Pretty quickly I realized this strategy wasn’t going to work for me, so I let gravity take over and had some fun ripping into Dusty’s for a bottle exchange.   There was a small out and back section here so I got to see Julien about 10 minutes ahead and a couple of other runners about 5 minutes ahead.  I wanted to catch them.

Leg 5 – Whistler Creekside to function Junction

My strategy here was “race time” and this leg was going to be a good place to start.  A few km of incline followed by a long stretch of downhill to Function Junction.  With a steady pace and feeling strong it wasn’t long before I passed a couple of runners before hitting the pavement in Kadenwood.  I was able to get in some great turnover in the next 6km section of mostly gradual downhill and ran tall feeling strong.  Finishing this leg parallel the the Cheakamus river was a bit of a tease as fresh, cold, running  water all around me was calling my name, inviting me in for a swim.  Running into the aid station, I was met with a cheer from the “Drink Makers” and after a quick chat with Stacey and Coo, and I was on my way, feeling strong and eager to make up some time.

Leg 6 – Function Junction to Rainbow Trail

The last bit of climbing was ahead and after hiking the initial switchbacks, it was head down and turnover for the nice forested grind.  Along the way I was rewarded with Stella views of Black Tusk, Whistler and Blackcomb and was left in awe of my own accomplishment having just recently been over and up there by my own foot.  As the terrain allowed, my pace quickened and I was quick to catch Kurtis and then Julien on this leg.  Feeling strong, I exchanged pleasantries but was quick to keep moving, unsure how long the legs would last and what felt like a sub 4 minute pace.  I was feeling strong and flying.

Leg 7 Rainbow Trail – Olympic Village

I rolled into this aid station in a bit of a panic, I was feeling so good, and passing people quickly, I didn’t want to break pace, so I quickly grabbed a cup of fruit an kept going out into the woods to explore some nice winding technical mountain biking trails before finding the hard flat Valley trail for the race to the finish line.  Stacey had informed me that the live tracking results had me in 9th place or so when I checked into Dusty’s and having consistently passed runners in the latter stages of the race I had figured that I was pretty close to the front of the pack and still feeling pretty good considering.  I was almost in cruise control as I navigated the wide shared bike path around green lake and then through the golf course.  There were lots of people out and lots of things to look at and distract my mind from the real suffering going on deep inside.  I had pretty much switched off until I found myself at an odd point on the path pretty close to the Highway 99.  Realizing that I hadn’t seen any flagging (on a very well flagged course) I went into a bit of a panic.  Flustered and unsure of where I was, I made the call to push on, follow the signs to whistler and stay on the Valley path.  I questioned myself; Perhaps they went easy on the flagging on this path seeing it’s so close to the finish?  Was I sure I read the Valley trail in the course description?

As I approached the Olympic path from the North, I knew I had screwed up and missed a turn.  I ran in and over the line in a bit over 10 hours, I felt first relieved to be done, but then so disappointed that my entire day could be taken away over one little mistake.  I reported by mistake in to Chris Colpitts (the RD) and he was super cool about it, at first questioning the flagging which while I had clearly missed one turn, had been spot on all day.

photo credit – Robert Shaer

Overall

Despite the disappointment in the last leg, I really felt like I was part of something special on the day.  The course was nothing short of stunning, the trails challenging and rewarding.  Each leg was designed perfectly in technicality and length.  The aid stations were spot on.  Relay runners and volunteers all super supportive, it really was a class event.  The field, while small was first class with the Solomon boys representing strongly in the 50 mile and the relay divisions.  The post-race event again was all class and with Solomon so generously supplying what seemed like a door prize for everyone. I walked away with a sweet pair of socks and Solomon tech shirt just for showing up.  I would be very surprised if we don’t see this event attract an international crowd of elite runners in the coming years.

photo credit – Robert Shaer

Subscribe to Comments

2 Responses to “Meet you Maker 50”

  1. Kick ass! two 50 milers in 3 weeks would have left me dead on the trail. Nice work!! Way to kill it.

     

    Katie Drechsel

  2. Good stuff, Chris! Interesting report, as usual 🙂 What’s next for you?

    Take care,

    Ben

     

    Benoit Gignac

Leave a Reply

Message:

  • Browse

    or
  • I Train Here

  • I Eat This

  • How I train

  • My Programming

  • Tweet Tweet

  • Recent Posts

  • Upcoming Events

    Squamish 50k
    August 17th

  • Archives