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We Won! 1st Place in the Women's Division, Canadian Death Race

posted Aug 13, 2010, 8:16 PM by Serena GHR Eley   [ updated Aug 13, 2010, 9:47 PM ]
After burning (figuratively) my inaccurate elevation profile map and having another participant help pull my leg out of shoe sucking mud, I really enjoyed the very steep, short ups and downs of my rooty, eroded course as the leg 1 runner.
Jordan was next.   The fact that she had to run up 2 mountains was not the worse part of leg 2.  I guess the race directors feared that an actual trail leading down would be too easy and had the racers follow a steep downhill path along some powerlines.  Yeah, I need a photo of Jordan executing a move called "the buttslide" on that one.  

Anna powered through her downhill leg, outrunning a black bear! (You can ask Anna for the real version of that story.  In fact, when we were scoping out her leg a few days before the race, 3 black bear cubs encouraged us to turn around and head back to the coal mine.  That's right --- the coal mine).  

As our 4th runner, Tien-Tien essentially ran a mountain marathon, grabbing a flag on the top of Mt. Hamel to prove she made it to the top.  During this time, we locked the car keys in the trunk and James, our friend and crew, pulled an amazing Macgyver move to retrieve them.  He fished a wire with a loop through the top of the door, down to a button on the driver's seat to pop open the trunk.  We also could not find Ava, our 5th runner who was crewing her brother Stefan, who made a brilliant attempt to complete the race solo, but stopped due to knee pain that had been bothering him up until race day!  (If Jordan, Anna, and myself had normal blood sugar at the time, this could have been a reason to perhaps "freak out".  But alas -- we did not).   We found Ava with plenty of time to spare.  Of course, if we hadn't, Tien-Tien may have been the only teammate to return from Alberta; after her crazy leg, not making the hand-off would've been an acceptable reason for murder!  

Now, Ava's leg was definitely eventful.  She sprained her ankle during the first quarter mile, got lost for 20-40 minutes, possibly separated the plantar fascia in her feet from her heel and we had no idea anything was wrong when we cheered her on during her leg.  How tough ... and brave!  On the good side, she passed our coin to the gate keeper at the Sulphur Gates and, in exchange, was taken on a jet boat ride to the other side of the river to complete her leg.  (As a side note, Ava is new to Girls Heart Rockets.  I found her through her brother, who had posted on the Canadian Death Race facebook page that his sister was interested in joining a relay team.  We were extremely lucky to find such a strong hill runner after registration had closed and she was accepted in the race through the lottery.)

We finished as the 12th team overall and 1st in the Women's Division.  What a crazy course and a fun race!