Throwing caution to the wind was my theme for this race. I was originally planing on running the 12 km course as the summer months are busy and training was way down, but 3 weeks before I took a leap and decided to do the 25 km run. Longest race to date by 10 km and longest run to date by about 7 km. This was the third year doing the event for me and have now done 6,12 and 25 km courses. This turned into one of my favorite races of the season, as I did not come into it with a hard goal time but wanted to be under 3 hrs. Some of my previous races this year I had battled calf cramps and was not sure if they would repeat so decided I would walk hills and run the rest. I hydrated well leading up to the race and the morning of. Started my day with overnight oats with yogurt, almond milk, fresh fruit and protein powder. YUM! Decked myself out in team gear and set off for the 8:30 run start. I ran with a half liter hand held bottle with water and packed salt tabs and Fruit 2 bar. I knew the aide stations would be well stocked and plenty of them on the course. I stopped quick at each one for Scratch which helped keep me hydrated through out the race.
The race course itself is awesome in it’s beauty and terrain. It starts with a short but decent uphill then traverses across for about 2 k, when you hit the first test, Cardiac Hill. Solid climb on some rocky sections which takes you to Lookout point. I took a quick look out at the view as I ran through. The next 10-12 k are out in the Dufferin Forest section and was relatively flat and I was able to maintain a decent pace through here. This is also the location of the “infamous switch” at the aide station more on that later. I was feeling good here coming up on my longest distance to date when I had my first toe punt. Got a bit lazy and kicked a rock on a slight down hill, which would have ended my day if I had not managed to save myself as I would have landed on a pile of jagged rocks. It was shortly after this that I was passed by the 50 km leader. This was both humbling and inspiring at the same time. The guy was fast and crushed the course record. At 16.5 k there is another aide station, strategically placed as right after is the 68 steps to ruin. Steps weren’t bad but the damn hill at the top is brutal. From there it is a nice section of trail mostly down to 19 k. This is when you enter the Roots of All Evil. The 4 k loop is where you need to watch your feet. This is when my lack of training was starting to hurt me. I slowed down from kilometer 20-22. I also had 2 more toe punts as fatigue was setting in. I got passed by 2nd and 3rd place 50 k runners in here as well as a 25 k runner around km 22. That sparked me and I was able to find a second wind/gear for a push to the finish. Last 2 km were my fastest of the day and had a strong finish coming at 2:45:30 or so. I am extremely satisfied with my time and will run it again next year with training!
Chase the Coyote is a hometown race for me being from Orangeville and is put on by the best Running Free store and race directors ever!!! Jodi and Norm spend all year planning this event and every year it keeps getting better and better. I also volunteered to help tear down later in the day and had a hand in the awesome new trophies for the overall winners so I may have a bit of bias. The atmosphere at the race is incredible. All of the volunteers were fantastic cheer squads/motivators and supporters (Jamie Marcellus supported his friend Jeff who ran the 50 in the forest, and now the aide station should be sponsored by Saxx. Jodi see what you can do!). The Cow and the Unicorn (Sharon and Steph) at the top of Cardiac hill, cheering like a mad cow and unicorn would! Jaime and Victoria for the fill up on my bottle and checking in on how I was doing. And to ALL the other team and non-team members at the start, aide stations, paparazzi’s and finish line, hats of to you all. Jodi and Norm you are amazing supporters of all who run and your dedication to the sport shows at such a well run event. Can’t wait for next year. Cheers!