There are not a lot of things more frightening to me than a marathon – especially one that has dozens of ghouls and ghosties running up and down mountains.
The Hallow’s Eve Trail Marathon this past weekend included a gorgeous and challenging course filled with fun downhill switch-backs and enough stairs to make you question your decision to sign up in the first place.
The race started at 8AM, in uncharacteristically good weather, and took us through Lynn Canyon Park, the highlands of the Baden Powell, and up Skyline, which is one short and nasty route up Grouse Mountain. Upon reaching Old Mountain Hwy, it was downhill galore. The race took us through switch-backs and technical bike trails back down to Lynn Headwaters, where the true race started. The Lynn Loop, familiar to most locals, however unfamiliar to me, saw technical roots and rocks, and a good opportunity to catch up to some of the speedier runners. It was here where I managed to pass three opponents, only to have them become re-energized and pass me with a vengeance – I guess nothing gained, nothing lost.
After running for 7 hours I was greeted by the finish line and could finally take a moment to soak in the effort. Although I didn’t break any speed records, I took a minute to appreciate that for my first marathon distance, it wasn’t too shabby of an effort. The only other race I could compare it to was the Squamish 50K I completed this past summer in 9:51, so all-in-all, a “speedy” race for me, and one that I could honestly say I enjoyed every step of the way (except for when I stepped into a root and banged up my toe).
Despite the effort, recovery was short and sweet, and to my ultimate surprise I was not only able to walk the next day, but I had enough energy to wake up in time to join the Ladies of the Trails on a Reverse-Trick-or-Treat recovery run. Running through the trails, we spent the morning handing out candy to unsuspecting bikers, hikers, and weekend trail seekers. I have to say, this was one treat of a weekend!