Runners Soul in Lethbridge puts on an awesome “Ladies Only” race each June, aptly named Ladiesfest. It is an 8km event that starts and finishes at the Lethbridge Lodge. I have never actually participated in this event (as I am usually away at the High School Track & Field Provincials) but this year the weekends did not interfere!
My husband Dan got asked to help volunteer, which was great because I got to see him on the course! I had picked up my race packet the night before at Runners Soul, so we just had to show up at 7:30 the morning of the race. It was VERY windy, even for Lethbridge. If I was actually racing this would have made me nervous. Instead, I was just happy it wasn’t super warm out.
There were close to 700 ladies in the even this year. We all lined up and started promptly at 8. The first mile is completely downhill, following the Wendy’s Hill we take during Moonlight Run. This is a very fast first mile, but we had the wind pushing us backward as we made our way down. Mile 1 was 7:11.
Miles 2-4 were down in the river bottom. The trees blocked some of the wind nicely, and the loops we made on the paths was great. There were a lot of great volunteers down on the paths showing us the way, plus some awesome highlights—there was someone playing a full-size baby grand (seriously, I think it was) piano. How they got it down there and back up is a mystery to me! I held the pace I wanted during these miles down by the river, running a 8:42, 8:48, 8:51.
The last mile was a doozy. Running up Whoop Up Drive heading East. The “Run with Johan” group had a fun water stop for all of us planned, with crazy costumes and energy. I joined up with my friend Emma as we trudged up Whoop Up. We never walked! Once we got up to the top of the hill, I knew there was about 400 m left of the race so I kicked it in with anything I had left. My last mile was a 10:13 (after climbing 246 feet, according to my watch!) and I finished in a time of 43:51.88, which was good enough for 72/696 overall and 8/113 in my 30-34 age group.
The race was capped off with flowers and chocolate being presented to us as we crossed the finish line, and then an AWESOME brunch held in the Lethbridge Lodge ballroom. This is a fantastic women’s run and Runners Soul once again does a wonderful job at putting on a first class event! Can’t wait for next year!