Claus Cause 2014 Recap

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Hi everyone! Only behind by one race recap, phew…so that’s what I’m going to talk about tonight! On Saturday, November 15th, I participated in the annual Claus Cause 10km. I did this event last year, and you can read about the wacky weather that occurred in my post from last year. Claus Cause 2013This year, was just as crazy….but unlike last year where the snow came in after the race, the ice and cold was already evident that morning.

I bundled up quite a bit for this race, though I knew I would end up warming up rather quickly. Midway through I would end up ditching my outer layer of mittens to just be left with stretchy mitts, but all my layering was necessary for the beginning. Maybe I spent too much time over analyzing what I was going to wear because I made my seemingly consistent mistake of leaving my house too late, thus arriving and parking at the last minute. While I am always very early and relaxed for races outside of Lethbridge, I am just apparently terrible at getting to local races early. I jogged up to the start area, dropped off my food donation for the Lethbridge Food Bank, and weasels my way into the start corral near the front…all with about four minutes to spare.

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It was cold. How cold was it?!?….I think it was around 6 degrees Fahrenheit at race start (9:00 am) which is a very, very, very cold -15 Celsius. The course was quite a bit different that last years, as we were starting and finishing at Helen Schuler Nature Centre. While we would run on the same trails as last year, there would be some different looping to make up the distance.

I started off with a vengeance, maybe because I was so damn cold and wanted to warm up, running a 7:01 mile. The 10km and 5km started at the same time, and since I had positioned myself near the front I had good spacing around me right away, which allowed me to run such a fast first mile. Mile two and three slowed, with a 7:28 and 7:19. After mile three, I was wishing I had signed up for the 5km, because breathing in the cold air just hurt.

Mile four and five was where we had split off from the pack of 5km runners to head down past the water treatment plant and to the turnaround. I wasn’t really sure where the turnaround was, but when I got to it (past Lynx Trail and before the bridge) I almost came to a complete stop going around the pylons. Ooof…it would be hard to pick the pace back up again. I ran mile four and five in 7:30 and 7:26.

The last stretch was hard. My legs weren’t really giving out on me, but I thought I had something stuck in my shoes. Turns out, when I finished, I realized I had nothing stuck in the tread but it was just that my feet were so cold they were tingling. Probably on the edge of hypothermia, who knows, but at least I had worn two layers of socks. As we headed back towards the nature centre, my one complaint about the course came up—the 90 degree turn which led to a 50foot straightaway, three pylons to turn around, and then back. I slowed so much here, because the ice was just ridiculous. I had to stutter step and it really threw off my stride. But at least I knew the finish was ahead. I pushed towards the High Level Bridge and made my way to the finish line—1st place female in the 10km was mine! I finished in a 45:50!

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I was very happy with my finish time, which was my second-best 10km time! (My 10km personal best was set last year at the same event!). I really like the 10km distance, but don’t get to do enough of them. I was feeling very positive after this race, and I already decided that after my quest for Boston and training for the BMO Vancouver Full passes, I will focus a lot more on 10km events. I would really like to break 45 minutes!

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Runners Soul presented age group awards inside (thankfully!) and raffle prizes pretty quickly after the events. They had the cute gingerbread “medals” again this year, and lots of snacks to partake in. I look forward to this event every year, as it really is the last chip-timed event of the year in town. I know the weather can always be a crap-shoot at this time of the year, but that’s fine-registering for this race gets me out the doors and running…no excuses!

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