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Creemore Vertical Challenge

July 2nd was the Creemore Verticle Challenge 50k. A 25k hourglass loop with 50% trail, 50% country road and almost no cliffs. The course

is hilly, climbing the Niagara Escarpment twice with about 875M (2871feet) vertical ascent per loop. They are fond of saying not many of those annoying flat spots.

Friday was a holiday here so I took it easy in preparation for today. Ran 1.5 miles to our downtown, where I helped marshal our local 5/10k Canada Fun Run. Ran the 1.5 miles back when done.

Lots of hydration on Friday afternoon/evening, beer and Gatorade and my usual pre-race meal of wieners and beans.

Got most of my gear ready Friday night and got about 6 hrs sleep.

Up at 6am, finished getting my gear ready and my usual pre-race breakfast of Chicken Fried Rice. (for those who have asked, nothing fancy, just Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express). Out the door at 6:45 to meet up with a buddy from my running group at 7 and hit the road.

Only took us about 20 minutes to get to the race site, for an 8am start (25k started at 9). Finished getting ready, allergy pills, Gatorade prime and load up my water bottle belt.

Weather forecast is calling for a hot day and there’s not a lot of shade on this course. However at 8, it was overcast and 66F.

Race started well, although as usual I did have problems with the uphills. Still need to do more hill work. About an hour and a half in, the sun started making an appearance. I was hydrating well and no issues. I had been taking gels approx every 8k (whenever I slowed on the uphills) and started to supplement that with e-load caps at the 2 and 3hr mark. This got me into the end of the first loop.

A quick bathroom break, swapped out my empty water bottles, with partially frozen ones from my cooler and headed back out. The frozen bottles were thawed completely within 3k.

I increased the frequency of the e-load caps to every 45 minutes and also started eating pretzels at every aid station, which were located approx every 5k. Temperature was steadily increasing but I wasn’t doing too bad. Still struggling on the uphills but flying the downhills and constantly passing other runners (only got passed by one runner in the 2nd half). Although a couple tried to chase me down, but I held them off.

Took to dumping water over my head at the aid stations starting at 35k.

Finally made it into the finish at just under 6:34. Lost a half hour in the second half, but from talking to others this was typical of the day.

Temperature at the finish was 86F with a feels like of 100F.

Grabbed a beer and went and sat in the river to cool down.

After cooling off changed and enjoyed a banana and a Boost chocolate slushie from my cooler. They were serving pizza, but I wasn’t hungry.

A low frills race, a tech t and medals and awards that are all hand made. Ceramic medals, bowls, cups and maple syrup.

During the awards and on the way home enjoyed a Gatorade Recovery slushie.

Took a short nap once I got home and then an Epsom bath soak and enjoyed another Gatorade slushie.

Not a bad day given the heat.

It was great seeing RunningFree Orangeville out there manning Aid Station #2

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