Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The North Shore delivers

Most people that choose to run, ride a bike, or walk their dog on the North Shore find it delivers a special something. Special mud, special slippery roots, special opportunities to damage yourself, or perhaps just a special moment of peace among the wise old trees.

Lina and I entered the Dirty Duo run/bike relay race on Saturday. I could almost hear those wise old tress whispering "...fools". None-the-less we were anxious to do our best,  and thought we could do well given that this "tough" course should suit our preference for adversity.

It was cold and raining, it was 7.30am... but we were there, and the smiling face and apparently endless enthusiasm of Mr Kim Steed (who was to convincingly win the men's relay with runner Chris later in the day) got us excited for the race. I also got to shelter under Kim's tent... which was a great thing. After a few hours spent chatting and loafing around, the runners started to appear. Ned and I kept ourselves amused by guessing who was who as they came into view through the mist and spectating the chaos of the whole thing. At around 2 hours 40 minutes, Lina's "circus outfit" appeared from the rain (with Lina inside it) and it was time to get on my bike (inside my circus outfit).

Photo from Don... via the Dirty Duo website

Lina's run put us in a very close 3rd place for the mixed relay category... though luckily I didn't realize that at the time. The course was fantastic. Really steep, slippery, twisty, and rooty... with snow, and huge puddles of icy water. The trees were whispering: "Fair enough, if you like that kind of thing". I had a great ride, despite getting a remarkable cramp in both my legs when I tried to run through the snow with my bike. Everything got better back on the bike again. The last descent through the forest was fantastic (and muddy), despite being completely out of energy on the gravel road seconds earlier I found something left to bounce over the roots and skiffle (?) around the corners. Then it was all over.

Photo from Don... via the Dirty Duo website


After getting myself dried out, and slightly cleaner we ate some great food and waited for the awards. Kim and Chris won the men's relay, Jacek won the 50km run, and Megan won the girl's mountain bike. How did we do? Well, somehow, somewhere I made up a place (I have no idea where... or how for that matter) and got 2nd! I'm very happy to take half the credit for that.

What did we do next? Well, we drove up to Whistler to go skiing. My legs are quite tired now.