March 20, 2011

Sun, trails & friends

This morning's run is one of the many reasons I love being a runner. With a hint of frost still on the roofs of this sunny almost-Spring morning, ultrarunner Gretel and marathoner/Ironman Derek arrived at our house at 9am. Marathoner/Ironman Tim, ultrarunning dog Luka and I were ready to go!

We set out for a run with three of us heading out for two hours, and two of us planning to stay out a little longer. We took the trail from Ravens Plateau in Valleycliffe that got us onto the S&M connector, toward the Far Side trail, a nicely undulating single-track trail that got us warmed up and arriving at the start of a big climb about 45 minutes later.

After a good gulp of our respective drinks and gels/bars/blocks/dog biscuits, we got started on the steep climb that led us to the cross roads with the Powerhouse Plunge about a kilometre later. The views toward the snow-dusted mountains surrounding Squamish were spectacular. Between the sunshine and running up the hill, none of us were cold.

We had a little more gravel road to go, up of course, with a few sections still covered in snow and ice before we hit the start of the beautiful single-track Hoods in the Woods for a spectacular downhill journey through beautiful terrain. Then we made it back to the Powerhouse where it was time for Gretel and I to say goodbye to the boys who had two hours on their schedule and headed home.

Gretel and I went back along the Far Side trail, and the S&M connector before heading out onto the dirt road, and then the trail that tooks us to the bottom of the Stawamus Chief which is where we turned around. It was time for the home stretch. Both tired but feeling strong, we kept a nice pace going.

When we arrived back at hour house, Gretel's Garmin showed we'd done 3 hours and 8 mins of running (she'd stopped her watch on our brief breaks) and had covered 29km of trails.

An awesome long Sunday run on the day before the offical start of Spring!

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