Search This Blog

The North Face 50km Ontario

Blue Mountain Resort

One reason I have confidence my difficult time on last Sunday's long run was due to dehydration is that I fairly comfortably completed a 50km trail race in Canada in July in extremely warm conditions.

It was already close to 80⁰F by the 7:00am start of The North Face Endurance 50km trail race at the Blue Mountain ski resort and the temperature was close to 100⁰F by the early afternoon when I finished.  The course seemed to endlessly go up and down the escarpment using the rough grassy ski slopes themselves, along with very technical winding single track that prevented the gain of any running momentum.  However, to be fair, there was also some easier flatter single track and roads on top of the escarpment where you could maintain a good pace.

One of the early climbs

Unlike the Australian North Face events, there was no requirement to carry specific equipment and there were drink stations every 5-8km.  I will always run without a pack if I can and decided to take the risk of travelling without carrying fluids.  However, conscious of the weather forecast, I knew it would be important to drink early and frequently during the run.  From the first drink station I was emptying multiple cups of drink as well as pouring water over my head.  For the last half of the race, the routine was to drink a cup of electrolyte, a cup of water, and a cup of Coke, as well as dousing myself and the system worked well.

After my usual slowish start, I moved steadily through the field for almost the entire race and finished strongly in 6:33:03 for 24th place out of 133 finishers.  I could only have done this through managing my hydration well in the trying conditions and need to remember that for future events.

I ran a steady 15km on the roads this morning and was disappointed to have my right heel hurting spasmodically.  The pain was generally tolerable, but it has caused me to postpone for another day the decision about whether to race a trail marathon on Sunday.