Whoa where did the last month go!!! Its been a crazy few weeks so bare with me as I catch up on some posts in the next week including an epic adventure that I am still in shock over!!!
First up is my race report from the Moraine Adventure Relay!!! I ran this race last year with my trail club on a Rec Team. We had a blast and when registration came up for this years race we knew we wanted to put in another team. The Race consists of 160Kms of Canoe, Mountain Biking and Trail Running in a relay format.
I knew we had a lot of runners/bikers interested in the club to join this year so I put out a call to see if any were interested in putting in a more competitive team. Still have fun…but go for gold this year. Sure enough I got enough bites for a team so we formed “The Burliest Trail Runners’. We even had enough for 2 other rec teams from the club as well (Burly and Burlier Trail Runners!). I was excited to give our best for this race this year to see what a team full of ringers could do!
The day began with a 4am Wake-up call as all 3 teams were meeting at the Bronte Go Station for 5am. The Drive to the start is just under 2 hours and with a 7am Gun time we really did need to be on the road that early. With our caravan of cars, runners, bikes and canoes we made our way over to Gores Landing.
Leg 1 – Canoe 8km – Jenn & Melissa
The first leg of the day was the canoe leg. Myself and Melissa had some paddling experience so we volunteered for this role. We did manage 1 practice paddle a few days prior to race day and it was an utter fail. We were much too light for the canoe we had rented which made it very difficult to steer. We were in for a tough start! So on race day we tried our very best and slowly, zig zagged our way through the 8k on Rice Lake (It was a super calm beautiful morning at least!)
Leg 1 Results
Needless to say I was super disappointed in the result as I consider myself a strong paddler…we learned from our mistakes and next year will wrangle a better canoe and maybe more weight!!
Leg 2 – Mountain Bike 18km – Matt
Next up for our team on the Mountain Bike was Matt. He had a lot of ground to make up for us and powered through a long, sandy ride and managed to pass a few teams. The day was already starting to heat up which didn’t make things easier. He finished in a respectable time and we were back in the action for the start of leg 3
Leg 2 Results
Leg 3 – Trail Running 10K – Steve
Here is where things took a turn for our team. Steve KILLED this leg. He went out like a bullet…passing teams along the way and running hard on a hilly and incredibly sandy course. Its literally like running on a beach for 10K through here! He ended up finishing with the 2nd fastest time of the day on this leg with only 1 Team in the Elite division finishing a couple of minutes quicker. Steve put us in the lead with this leg and with our strong performances for the rest of the day it was easy for us to hold our position
Leg 3 Results
Leg 4 – Trail Running 6K – Dan
Leg 4 brought Dan out to run. Dan was on our team last year and created our first Burly Video of the event. He also filmed this event with multiple cameras and a drone. He is still editing all the footage but there will be a recount of the day coming soon!! Dan also killed this hilly leg and kept us out at the front of the pack.
Leg 4 Results
Leg 5 – Trail Running 9k – Jenn
FINALLY it was my turn to run! I was still annoyed by my paddle and really felt like I needed to prove myself. I was pumped and ready to run and after seeing my friend Lisa at the start (Hi Lisa!) it gave me an extra positive boost! We had made a slight error between legs 2 & 3 with regards to key exchanges for the cars…so most of my team was still on the road with the vehicles…so it was nice having a few friends there at the start! Before I knew it Dan sped into the finish and I was off! I had run this route 2 years ago and really wanted another crack at it. It had a long stretch of open road and with the hot temps and the sun blazing it was a tough section to get through. I just kept a speedy runner that had started at the same time as me in my sights and powered through. In the end I finished WELL ahead of my predicted finish time and am super proud of my results!
Leg 5 Results
Leg 6/7/8 – Mountain Biking 10K, 19K & 17.5K – Anna, David, Matt
The next 3 legs were more mountain biking. We were pretty lucky to have such a strong team out on the bike legs. They continued to finish there legs within the top 10 which was essential to our overall time and placing. The way this race works for the Recreational division is that the close stops and starts whenever a racer finishes or starts at a checkpoint. Teams can take their time to get ready etc, whereas for elite division runners the clock does not stop. At this point of the day we were hitting the checkpoints with other elite teams and we had a pretty good idea of where we were overall for the day at this point (within the top 5 teams). We were consistent in holding our lead here and making friends on other teams at the checkpoints.
Leg 6 Results Leg 7 Results Leg 8 Results
Time: 00:34 Time: 00:58 Time: 00:58
Rank: 5/23 Rank: 6/23 Rank: 9/23
Leg 9: Trail Running 11.5K – Melissa
By the Time we reached the leg 9 aid station we had a pretty good feeling we would be finishing in the top 3 teams. We were pretty alone out on the trails and aid stations and we were consistently checking the results and were seeing great finishing times. Despite the heat we were killing the running legs and Melissa literally FLEW through this leg and through the finishing shoot for a 2nd place finish in this tough trail leg (The longest one of the day!)
Leg 9 Results:
Running 8K – Dan
Mtn Biking 12K – David
Running 6.5K – Jenn
Mtn Biking 15K – Anna
The next 4 legs went by in a blur. We were making incredible time on all our legs and despite being tired from the heat, driving and completing our own legs everyone was still finding the energy to bring it when their time came up. My last leg of the day was a 6.5K trail run on Leg 12. I was feeling pretty tired here and had maybe over hydrated while waiting as I had to stop twice during my leg. I was disappointed in the stops and I felt SO sluggish that when I came through the finish I felt upset with my time. I knew I could have done better and was hoping those couple minutes of stops didn’t hurt our standings. In the end it turned out I finished first in the leg…..I still can’t believe it!
Leg 10 Results – 00:43 Rank – 5/23
Leg 11 Results – 00:27 Rank – 5/23
Leg 12 Results – 00:35 Rank – 1/23 (Woohoo!!!)
Leg 13 Results – 00:32 Rank – 4/23
Leg 14 – 10.5K – Steve
After Steve’s amazing performance on leg 3 I knew he was the right decision for the final leg of the Day. When Anna came in after leg 13 and Steve started 14 we knew we would be the first Rec team to cross the finish. Steve is an incredible runner and I knew no one would be passing him. We drove to the finish at Seneca College and patiently waited for him. Sure enough he came flying in and we celebrated in Burly Style (with Beer of course!).
Leg 14 Results – 00:41 Rank – 4/23
10 Hours, 58 Minutes
Overall Recreational Division Rank – 1/23
This is really an incredible race put on by the best volunteers. From the maps, directions and online materials to the onsite fully stocked aid stations (Pizza and Homemade baked goods!) and volunteers. Everyone was amazing and the ORTA Team does a fantastic job every year!
After our team celebrated our win we hung around and waited for our other 2 recreational teams to finish. We cheered everyone in with a smile and I couldn’t be any prouder of every single one of them. It was an awesome opportunity for our club to bring out our banner and club flag as well!
The Burliest Trail Runners will be back next year to defend our title!!