Iron Legs earns its name

I couldn’t help myself. After finishing Iron Legs, I swore I would not look at the results.

I couldn’t help myself.

After finishing Iron Legs, I swore I would not look at the results.

Surviving the race was good enough for me.

Who really cared if I came in first (ha!) or last?

My partner Amanda Skinner and I went into the race knowing it was going to be challenging. It is called Iron Legs for a reason.

Steep climbs. Crazy downhills. River crossings. You name it.

The night before the race, we shrugged off the bonus mileage (4K) while we chatted about the Olympics. We turned off the lights in our hotel room around 10 p.m., which was the only real indication we were running a race the next day. We were that chill.

On race morning, I got up at 4:30 a.m. to be at the start line at 5:45 a.m. It was then the race director briefed us on the day and gave us some tips. He said Leg 3 – a short 15K – would take some runners between four and five hours so be sure to have enough water. I wanted to finish my bit (40K) in 6:30 or less. I wasn’t so sure after hearing those encouraging words.

Fast forward some eight hours later, I finished my half of the race.

Slow, right? I tweaked my leg, which hurt like hell on the downhills. A lovely lady from Peace River came to my rescue with one of her hiking poles. (This is the first time I have EVER had issues with my knee. It has always been my hip. Go figure.)

It definitely helped me through the final kilometres of my race.

Anyway enough of my whining …. It came as no surprise that Amanda ran a great race. That one definitely embodies grit and determination. I am so proud of her for running in the pitch dark. We thought I would have finished my big a few hours earlier so there would be no need for her head lamp. Boy we were wrong.

We finished in 16 hours, which was good enough for last place in teams.

Are we upset? Not in the least.

One of the best parts of my day was hanging out at the aid stations and waiting at the finish line. I especially liked the aid stations with “special” beverages. I loved chatting with other runners and hearing about their race or upcoming races.

I loved the views, the camaraderie and the fresh mountain air. Sure it was bloody technical and tough.

But that’s the beauty of trail running.

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

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