Iron Legs: Determined to finish for a teammate

I am running my second race of the season tomorrow. It happens to be one of the toughest grinds on the Alberta trail racing scene – the Iron Legs 50-miler.

I am running my second race of the season tomorrow. It happens to be one of the toughest grinds on the Alberta trail racing scene – the Iron Legs 50-miler.

Picture single track trails and fire roads with tons of elevation change.

I’m on a two-person relay team – Bluenose Bad Asses – with Red Deer’s Amanda Skinner. Amanda is originally from New Glasglow, N.S., a northern town in Pictou County. And I was born (but never lived) in the southwestern part of the province in Yarmouth, N.S.

Months ago I begged my fellow lapsed Maritimer to be my partner for this gruelling race. The race would fit perfectly in my grand training scheme for the Lost Soul 50K in early September.

It didn’t take too much arm-twisting to get my new best running pal on board.

I don’t know Amanda too well but this I know is true – she is one helluva runner. She is the type of runner who has done so many races that she has lost count. Most recently she has run the Powderface 42 and the Moose Mountain Marathon. Think climbing and more climbing.

I know how to pick a teammate.

Because I am on a two-person relay, we have split the distance. Starting at 6 a.m., I volunteered to run the first half (about 40K) of the race. There are six aid stations along the course at 11K, 24K, 39K, 48K, 62K and 73K.

The distance does not worry me but I’m slightly nervous about making the cut off times. In most running races, especially ultras, there is a time limit for runners to reach a certain aid station and to finish the race. Mostly the cut offs are designed to ensure everyone is safe and in some cases, due to road closure restricts.

There are two cut off times. The first is at the fourth aid-station at 48K. Runners have to be in this aid-station before 4 p.m. at the 10-hour mark.

The second is at the next aid station where runners need to be here before 6:30 p.m. at the 12.5-hour mark.

If you do not make the cut off time, you are officially out of luck and the race.

Several years ago I was on a five-person relay team for the Canadian Death Race in Grande Cache. My teammates and I watched anxiously as our third runner just made the cut off within four or five minutes.

My biggest fear is letting my teammate down. I would feel horrible if I was the reason we were disqualified.

Nobody wants to be that runner.

In all we have 16-hours to complete the race (or eight hours each to finish our legs).

Confession time.

Amanda, if you are reading this, I am sorry but I scaled down my mileage over the last three weeks. I blame the holidays in Ottawa and rain storms in Red Deer.

But I assure you I am no quitter. I am determined to cross the finish line with my teammate.

Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter. Have a story to share? Send your column ideas, photos and stories to crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS checking in with local businesses about COVID-19 plan

Alberta Health Services in the central zone is reaching out to local… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, an iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans. Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims. In practice, that means the social network plans to ban a new bunch of false claims in addition to the old bunch of false claims about vaccines or COVID-19 that it has already banned. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook says it will choose which publishers it will support

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

NDP and Liberals both promised some kind of pharmacare program

Photo radar cameras are supposed to “augment” the work of regular police officers, yet 91 per cent of speeding tickets in the province are connected to the devices. (Black Press file photo).
March photo radar locations

Photo radar, mobile units and intersection cameras will be in action

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

FILE - The Paramount Pictures gate is pictured on Aug. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles. The studio is joining other major Hollywood studios in slashing the traditional 90-day theatrical window. ViacomCBS on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, announced that the studio’s films, including “Mission: Impossible 7” and “A Quiet Place Part II,” will go to its fledgling streaming service, Paramount+, after 45 days in theaters. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
‘Mission: Impossible 7’ will hit Paramount+ even sooner

90-day theatrical window reduced to 45 days

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Defending champion Einarson stays unbeaten in Tournament of Hearts

Players suggest a spectator-free debut made it less intimidating

Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker on the 17th hole on his way to winning the Canadian Open Championship at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont. on Sunday Sept.10, 2000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘The Tiger I know is a survivor and a fighter,’ Bill Paul weighs in on Tiger Woods

Woods was hospitalized after a single-vehicle crash near Los Angeles on Tuesday

Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (33) makes a save on Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) as Flames' Christopher Tanev (8) and Joakim Nordstrom (20) defend during first-period NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

Most Read