|The Knee Knacker course.|
This is really a must-do event. I'm not sure why it hasn't received more publicity south of the border. Not that it needs more participants. It is already so popular that you have to enter a lottery to get the chance to run. But most of the participants are from British Columbia. In fact it's so popular that people that don't get to run volunteer in droves--there were more volunteers than runners and they even turned volunteers away. It's easy enough to do the trip in a 3 day weekend, but the Vancouver area is so beautiful and there are so many things to see and do, I would suggest adding a few more days onto your trip as we did.
|Downtown Vancouver with the mountains in the background.|
The race started at 6am which seemed on the early side given that the race is over by 4pm. For those of us who prefer to sleep a littler later, insult was added to injury by having the buses leave the finish line at 4:35am to take us to the starting line in time for the 6am start. I met Scotty in the parking lot at 4:30am and we took the first bus together. It was good to hang out with him prior to the start especially since there were so few familiar faces.
|Runners at the starting line.|
|Climbing . . .|
The course includes over 8,000 feet of climbing, about half of which comes within the first 6 miles. It had only been three weeks since Big Horn, so I tried to take it easy on the first climb and then assess how I felt. Nothing felt easy about the first climb other than stopping to take pictures, but soon enough we were reaching the top to be greeted by the large amount of snow still on the top of the mountain.
|View from the ascent up Black Mt.|
|Vancouver obscured by the clouds.|
|Elves greeted us at the top of the hill signaling the first aid station.|
|Stairs down as far as you can see.|
|Technical? They weren't kidding.|