Sunday May 10th was my 8th race in my (more than) 13 races in 2013 - the Canmore Rocky Mountain Soap Run 10K. I've heard the course is beautiful and the swag bags are incomparable, yet I've never run this race before. Even though the race was a week after my BMO Vancouver Half Marathon (likely making this a tough race) I was keen to sign up. I would just have to keep this a fun run!
To tell you the truth I actually wasn't sure I'd be able to run this in the days leading up to the race. My left foot wound up really hurting for several days post race. There was a pain under the outer arch of my foot. I spent Monday and Tuesday hobbling around Vancouver, then managed to get in to see a physiotherapist back in Calgary on Thursday. Luckily the pain had improved over the week and the physio felt pretty confident in that we weren't dealing with a stress fracture. Her diagnosis? A very tight plantar fascia. With some manipulation on my arch things improved and I felt brave enough to try a short run on Friday. My foot felt okay on the run but boy my legs were flat. The race and several days off had zapped my legs of zip! With my foot feeling back to normal on Sunday I drove out to Canmore for the race.
Sunday was absolutely gorgeous. It was warm and the sun was coming out. I decided to go out on a limb and try a new run skirt on race day - lululemon's run: pace skirt. Luckily I felt pretty comfortable in it!
The fabulous Tina and I parked a few cars away from each other and she found me instantly. It was so nice to finally meet her! We chatted a bit, but each had our own things we needed to take care of pre-race so we went our separate ways. I needed to hit the bathrooms and I hoped to exchange my race shirt for a smaller size, plus I managed to find some other running friends. All of a sudden there were just a few minutes before the race so I ate a gel and I grabbed a photo with my friends before we headed to the start line.
The start line was a bit confusing as both the 5K and 10K racers were lining up, but the 10K runners were supposed to get a head start. There was also a warm up but we couldn't hear or see much of it. Pretty soon it was time to go and the race announcer was shouting out to all the 5K runners to wait as they would be starting 5 minutes after us.
I did not have an appreciation for how hard this course was. We'd be doing two loops on the pathways around the Canmore Nordic Centre. If we weren't running down, we were running up, and these weren't teeny tiny hills too. 833 feet of total climbing.
Those hills completely killed my legs early and they hadn't really recovered from BMO yet either. I was alright for the first 5K loop but I was dreading the second loop. I honestly considered peeling off early and just running the 5K. I told myself to suck it up though because I knew this race would be tough the week after my half marathon. If I walked the hills it was no big deal! I knew Tina wasn't that much further behind me so I hoped she might catch up but I lost sight of her on the second loop. My friend Kelly wound up catching up to me though!
Kelly and I started running together. She was having a great race! She had run 20K the day before but she wasn't showing it as she was running strong up all of the hills. In fact, she was ready to cut walk breaks out! I mentally tied a string around her waist and hung on. Thank goodness I had her to run with for the last 3 or 4 km!
As we booked it into the finish line I spied Kelly's husband, plus our friend Tara and her husband Andrew cheering us on from the sidelines. Tara managed to snap this pic of Kelly and I as we approached the finish. Wow, that was a tough course and my legs were just not ready for it! In fact, as soon as I crossed the finish line I felt awful, like I was completely done. There was a huge line up for water and I felt super dizzy as I tried to wait. One of the best things at the end of the race were some cool, wet, lemongrass scented towels. Kelly grabbed one for me and I draped it over my neck. I was able to get some water and a piece of bagel and it helped me to feel a bit better. I also grabbed my swag bag and they were giving away tiny trees we could take home and plant!
I checked out the post race spread - salad, veggies and different types of wraps were waiting for us after finishing.
After lunch I scoped out the expo. Rocky Mountain Soap was there with plenty of products to try.
Mini soap freebies!
I was able to catch up with Tina before leaving. We couldn't be bad bloggers so we had to snap a picture!
As for the swag bag, it was indeed awesome!
We got some more mini soaps, deodorant, foot butter (oh my god, smells so good), lip butter, and hand cream. We also got some nutrition samples too! The t-shirts are cotton with a cute pattern. I felt like they fit a bit large, but luckily I was able to exchange my shirt for a smaller size.
The race organizers did a great job of encouraging all levels of fitness at the race and I thought the race atmosphere was great. The km markers had cute motivation slogans on them like "no one ever drowned in perspiration." I loved it!
The registration fee was $60 which may seem a little steep to some, but considering you got chip timing, a shirt, lunch and so many awesome Rocky Mountain Soap products I think the race fee is worth it.
Final Race Stats:
- Chip Time: 1:14:24
- Overall 255 out of 387
- Females 30 - 39: 115 out of 170