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The North Face Endurance Challenge – Marathon Relay

The North Face Endurance Challenge – Marathon Relay – Saturday, July 12, 2014

First time doing a trail race and a marathon relay.  We didn’t know what to expect and just went in blind.  We had no problems driving in early for the 11am start time. The race kit pick up was quick.      We decided our order of runners 30 minutes before the race.  My team and I thought we would share the whole 42.2km so some of us can do the downhill part of the route.  Wishful thinking!!  We all ran the same loop!!

I ran the last leg of the race and got some tips from my teammates but I still got lost for a bit.  The course was marked but it would have been great if there were more volunteers to direct you in some parts of the course to ensure that you are going the right way.

The race villa was great.  There were lots of food and snacks to keep you well hydrated before you run.  There were also shades to keep you away from the heat.  I was lucky to have ran last as the sun was not as strong.

The course was really challenging.  It started off with a gradual uphill.  The moment you think it’s flat, another hill is ahead.  I did enjoy running in the trail as it gave me some shade and cooled my body down a bit.  I find it tricky to keep my head up to see the marked path and looking down in case you step on branches, rocks, pot holes, etc.  The downhill was great but hard on my feet as I was totally going too fast.  Lesson learned!!  There was a aid station at the hill of the top if you needed to refuel water and snacks. Other distance races was going at the same time so I’m sure it was quiet helpful to have an aid station where you will come across twices from the loop we ran at the top of the hill.

The last 3-4km of the race was actually quiet tricky.  It’s mainly on a downhill but they were mainly stone steps that were uneven in height.  I ran too fast here too.  I had to hold on to the trees to keep my balance and not fall off the side.  I started side stepping quickly on my way down instead of running straight as my feet and knees were starting to feel the impact after a km.  The final 400-800 meter of the race was great.  A gradual downhill for a strong finish.

There were buckets for runners to take an ice bath after the race but I didn’t need it.  I recommend being the first person to use it.  The buckets were pretty used by the end of the day with a lot of dirt inside along with sweat.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race even though it was the toughest 10K I’ve ever ran.  It was challenging enough for me to want to do it again.  I may try the half or full marathon next year.  =) Thank you for hosting a great event The North Face!!!

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