Tag Archives: Indian battle park

Moonlight Run 10km—Strategy Time!

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The Moonlight Run is the annual night race held each March in Lethbridge, Alberta. This year marks the 27th running of the Moonlight Run! This race always fills up, as runners can chose between the 6km or 10km distance. The 2500 runner capacity easily gets reached! I am signed up for the 10km this Saturday, March 8th, and have set some goals for myself this year. The Moonlight Run has placings that go 5 deep in each gender-age category—but I am aiming for top 3 in the female 25-29. This is my main goal. And since I set this goal, I decided it would be a good idea to do a dry-run of the course, which I did on Friday. The course has some new additions to it this year and I wanted to set a strategy!
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Both race distances begin and end at CASA, our new community arts centre, on 3rd Ave South. The racers will head west towards the river bottom—no turns at all for the first mile. Included in the first mile is the massive downhill which is affectionately called “Wendy’s Hill” by us at marathon club. The hill goes by a Wendy’s…what more do you want in a name? The start is at approximately 913 metres of elevation (2,995 feet) and after the descent into the river bottom a runner will be at 825 metres (2,706 feet). That all happens in that first mile!
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The first mile has lots of open space to call your own, but once you are in the river bottom, it’s a different story. The 10 km runners will head towards the train bridge and Highway 3, where they will ultimately turn around just after the overpass. This then will make the course even more narrow after the mile 2 turnaround, as you will have runners going both directions. It is very important that I place myself in a good racing position well before the mile 2 turnaround, as passing will then become next to impossible.
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At mile 3, runners will turn on the path towards the river. Once I get to this turn, I will now be in an area I have raced on many times. Most recently was during the Claus Cause 10km in November when I PR’d with a 45:37. It was a course one would not consider getting a PR on, but I seem to have a thing with getting my best times on crazy winding, hilly local Lethbridge courses. It will be important to run the tangents in this segment and also hug the curve as needed. My short 5’3″ self needs to use any advantage I can get!
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From mile 3 until about mile 5.5, runners are just circulating through the Indian Battle Park trails. I know from past years it is obviously quite dark down there, but with my head lamp and the lights from the volunteers all will be good! There were some icy patches still on Friday, and the Polar Vortex temperatures from this weekend definitely did not melt these. Hopefully this week brings warmer temperatures to melt those suckers!

The last challenge to tackle is the run back up Wendy’s Hill. This year, the 10km racers will head up on the trail which is parallel to the road, while the 6km runners get the road. I have to say—this trail is a pain!. Pictures don’t even begin to show how intense it is. There are some interesting sections that get pretty steep! I’m just going to have to find the power in me and push, push, push up this climb! The faster I run, the sooner I’m done! We will join onto the main road about 3/4 up the hill, and then it’s a straight shot back to CASA.

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This is a challenging course-but really, all courses in Lethbridge are tough. The hills on Lethbridge courses are inevitable unless you are just doing a 5km. Over the last year of running with Runners Soul, my confidence has increased immensely when it comes to tackling these hills. That, along with my time drops in the past year, is why I have set this lofty goal for my first race out this year. No matter what my time and place ends up to be this Saturday, the Moonlight Run will be a great race to kick off the 2014 season!

Here is the link to the PDF map of the 2014 6km and 10km course for Moonlight Run, presented by Runners Soul!
Course Map

Race Recap-LRPS Half Marathon…Finding Motivation Where You Least Expect It!

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The Lethbridge Regional Police Half Marathon for Special Olympics was held on Saturday, September 14th, 2013. They were hosting a 5km and 10km in addition to the half marathon. All events started at the Lethbridge Lodge on Scenic Drive, and all ended down at the police firing range in the river bottom.

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Dan came with me to the start if the race to catch a few snapshots of the start. It started a little later than the 8:00 time. It was amusing to me, as it was being organized by all the police officers, and the main issue with starting on time was making sure the entrance and exit from the Tim Horton’s on Scenic Drive was blocked so the runners could go by. We didn’t need to be hit by some crazy folks getting their double-doubles!

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All three event distances ran together from the start until you hit the Lynx Trail on Scenic. The 5km and 10km turned down the steep descent, and the half trucked onward. This was when I hit mile 1 and realized that yet again, I was going too fast. My second mile slowed down so much, and ended up being my slowest split of the whole race. I had to get with the program, otherwise I would be lucky to even finish the race in sub-2 hours.

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As I was running next to the cemetery on Scenic, an old man tinkered past me—-I heard his steps coming my way, and as he got in front of me he said “nice pace!” He was decked out in short-short running shorts, a red and yellow marathon race sleeveless shirt with French writing, and a buff on his head. I started talking to him….his name is Barney, he has been running for 40 years, and he is in his upper 60s. I started running with Barney as we headed down into the Sugar Bowl, and the conversation we were having was fantastic. I started picking up my pace, and so did he, as we ran down the green strip to South Parkside Drive. Found out that the shirt he was wearing was from a marathon in France, where the goals as not to run your best time, but to stop at as many places as possible on the course and drink wine. He finished that one in 6:15, and was a little boozy by the end.

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As we ran down Parkside Drive, another older man named Graham came up behind up. Barney knew him, and it turns out Graham is sort of a running icon in the running circle of Lethbridge. Graham is a little younger than Barney, and had moved from England to Lethbridge 30 years ago. Barney told us to keep on pushing and to go ahead of him. He thanked me for running with him all that time, as did I. Graham and I headed into Henderson Lake, where we ran together around the lake and chatted. He told me how my form was fantastic and so was my breathing. When he found out I was only 28, he also talked about how I have my whole life ahead of me to reach my running peak and potential—-that most women distance runners who compete in half marathons and more are their best in their mid 30s to 40s. After we got out the park and onto 9th Ave South, he told me to pushed ahead and he would be right behind—-his goal was for around 1:50, but he also said that at his age, just finishing is a goal in itself.

Miles 9-10 are usually my hardest spots in a half. This race made those miles feel like nothing, as a natural decline in the neighborhood kept my stride smooth. We now hit up to the Lynx Trail and it was our turn to go down to the river bottom. This trail is about 3/4 a mile, with a pretty steep decline, that if you’re not careful, you’ll ruin your quads. I barreled down to the river bottom and now I only had 5 km left.

The last 5 km was tough, due to the fact it is so windy down on those trails, and the spacing between competitors was far enough apart you could not see anyone behind or in front of you. It felt as if you were running alone, your own race. I was realizing I was getting really close to possibly running my fastest race ever. This motivated me to keep on trucking through, past Helen Schuler Nature Centre, and down past Fort Whoop-Up and Indian Battle Park. As you finished the race following the trail near the dirt bike park, you could see the fork in the road and then the finish. I went up a small incline, and then the goal was on sight! Down the gravel road, I finished in at 1:46:42, a whole 40 seconds faster than my previous best of 1:47:22 in Red Deer this May!

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I wandered into the park area, only to see Graham come in one minute later, at 1:47:41! He came over and gave me a huge high five and handshake, thanking me for pushing him. Then Barney came in at 1:50:27! Seriously, these men are in a class of their own, and it am so grateful I got to run with them during this race. It is a good thing that I was hitting a wall around mile 3 when Barney decided to pass me, because I had some of the best race conversations ever while running the LRPS Half Marathon. Thank you Barney and Graham for being a huge inspiration!

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