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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Running In the Mountains With Eddy

I have a pretty cool role, I get to be surrounded by sport daily and get some neat little perks like this.  Two weeks ago while in BC I had the opportunity to run with a really good Infinit customer Ed Kumar.  Ed is all about the trails and ultras.  After seeing some tweets of a race he had completed: Bucking Hell, I reached out to him, told him I was going to be out there for vacation/business in a couple of months.  I asked if he would be willing to take me on some of his favourite trails on the Vancouver North Shore.  Ed was cool, just let me know when you are in town and we can go.  I have run new trails alone and that is fine, but always nice to run them with someone that knows the area inside and out, Eddy certainly does.  He asked me: did I want to go with one continuous climb and then down or more up and down throughout our 2 hour 30 minute run.  I chose the later, since I am from Windsor, an area that is as flat as the Prairies, the only hills I get is at Malden Park (old dump) or an overpasses.

So my wife and I left Victoria on the 8:00 am ferry, we got to our meeting place, The End of the Line General Store in Lynn Valley right around 11.  I was super excited to be running in the mountains, a bit pensive though, wondering if my legs would hold up for 2.5 hrs in the hills, would I be able to keep up?  After our introductions, Eddy quickly gave my wife Brenda some suggestions for hiking while we ran.  We headed off for our run.

From the onset I was in glory.  Warmish day, but in the shade of the monster cedars it was perfect.  As expected Eddy took me up for bit, some so steep that you can't run, you had to power hike.  Following our first ascent it was time to run down hill, this is where I was in trouble.  Eddy was like a gazelle running down, fast feet speeding down making it look effortless.  Me on the other hand, I was watching where I was placing each foot and wasn't carrying much momentum at all.  Actually found it quite taxing on my quads.  He waited for me to catch up and he gave me some quick pointers - lean or fall forward and look down the trail a bit.  This is very similar to riding a mountain bike through trails, never looking down or at what you want to avoid.  Took a leap of faith and started using the feedback provided, made a world of difference.  Of course I never reached his down hill pace, but the gap was much smaller and I was pleased.  So my first test was done, now we ascended/descended another couple of times - was absolutely incredible running.  I am currently training for an October marathon, so I have been doing lots of road miles, this was a breath of fresh air for sure.

Near the end of our run we head down to a section of Lynn Creek where there are pools, falls and a suspension bridge - we had about 2:20 in our legs - so walking right into the ~60 C water felt amazing.  After our water break we headed back up to the General store where we hooked back up with Brenda.  We sat and had an Ice Coffee and some yummy food, couldn't wipe the smile of my face.  I understand now why those in the west live there.  Incredible playground, you just want to be outside and active.

I was really grateful that Eddy took the time to meet me and show me the ropes in Lynn Valley and Fromme.  I know this weekend Eddy is participating in the Squamish 50 - a 50 k run through the same terrain we ran.  To give you a sense of what he will have to endure - our run was just a bit under 2.5 hrs we covered 17 km, with 686 m elevation - they will be covering 50 km with 2500 m elevation.  Ed is the logistical coordinator for the 50 miler which starts Saturday it has 3500 m elevation.

I have a new found respect for ultra trail running, I have done a few 50 k trail runs, never with the elevation gains experienced here though.

Best of luck this weekend Eddy and thanks again for showing me the light.  

- Darcy Haggith, President, Infinit Nutrition Canada