This past weekend I was lucky enough to be the team captain for my Ragnar Trail Cottage Country team, #ChekSquad, graciously sponsored by Sport Chek. I may be a bit biased, but I have to say my team was amazing! Together we covered 192km of trails at Hardwod Hills Ski and Bike and finished with a time of 24 hours and 2 minutes, placed 29th overall out of 80 teams, and were 11th in our category (here are our results). You know the trails are going to be tough when the words hard and hills are included in the venue name.
My team consisted of myself plus 7 of the most caring, helpful, fun and absolutely incredible runners I have ever met.
Runner #1 – Sherman
Runner #2 – Becky
Runner #3 – Me
Runner #4 – Carmy
Runner #5 – Tom
Runner # 6 – Juliette
Runner # 7 – Erik
Runner # 8 – Matt
I was runner #3 which means I ran the three loops in descending difficulty order:
Red (hardest) – started at 4:23pm, 8.5k in a time of 1:17:49
Yellow (medium, but in the dark!) – started at 12:11 am, 7.9k in a time of 1:09:13
Green (easiest) – started at 8:43 am, 7.4k in a time of 1:04:24
I learned a lot from watching the other runners on my team: how they interact with each other, how they fuel before running, warming up before a run, and recovering after a run. I asked them about their running & training and learned a lot from them. I was motivated by my Ragnar Niagara Falls team this past spring and have already made some big improvements with my eating and training, but I learned this weekend that there’s still lots of work for me to do to become the runner I want to be, and to accomplish the goals I want. I really want to keep my training momentum. I want to crush my runs just the same way my teammates did this weekend.
Matt – running so fast he’s a blur!
Unfortunately one of our team mates, Juliette, badly sprained her ankle during her first leg and had to go to the hospital. We quickly found ourselves working out a plan and discussing options on how to cover her legs and continue on. Two runners did their own 3 legs and each picked up one of her remaining two legs. I was inspired by them and I want to be the kind of runner who can pick up extra legs in the middle of the night to help out the team too. I don’t want to just survive a Ragnar, I want to crush Ragnar!
Although I’m still in recovery mode, I’m working on #mybetter. I’m brainstorming training ideas, techniques, nutrition and approaches to help me reach goals that I didn’t even think were possible until I watched my team mates accomplish them this weekend.
I want to conclude this post with a big huge thank you to Sport Chek for providing us with Salomon shoes, lots of Nike and Under Armour gear for our runs, Nathan hydration packs, Nike handheld bottles and The North Face jackets to keep us warm when we weren’t running (did I mention that it was 3C overnight?!?).
I have worked with many brands in my 13 years of blogging, and this has been by far the best experience. Not only does Sport Chek sell awesome fitness and sports gear, their customer service was outstanding. This is the side of blogging that I don’t normally share, but because of how well this was handled by Sport Chek I feel that it needs to be shared. We encountered the usual issues when working with a brand providing multiple products to 8 runners, things like: sizing issues, products missing from the original shipment and products still having their security tags on. The head office team, and their local stores all pitched in to ensure we had all of our gear in time for the race. They responded to emails quickly and were quick to provide solutions. We visited their local stores for exchanges and were treated well by their staff. Thank you Sport Chek!
This was an incredible weekend that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life! Wishing a speedy recovery to Juliette!
Have a great week!
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