Last weekend from Saturday to Monday was the Ultraman triathlon in Penticton. I did this three day event back in 2006 and still it remains one of the biggest highlights in my racing career. The heat was atrocious on day 1 and 2 but day 3 dawned with some respite from the hot temperatures. My day 3 run record fell to Benat Zubillaga of Spain in a time of 6:44, 11 minutes better than my time. Congratulations to Benat. Speaking with race director Steve Brown while we were in town a couple weeks ago, he said that anyone who has not completed an Ultraman must do Canada as a qualifier before they can do Hawaii. This will lead to more people attempting Canada and a better talent pool as well before they go on to Hawaii. I think my overall course record might be in jeopardy over the next few years if this is the case. All good things...
So Wednesday was the Grouse Grind for the Police/Fire Games. There's a reason this event is not called a hike, or run, or walk. It really is a grind. I felt no less intimidated by the whole thing. I aimed to run it like I did the last time - walking.
It went pretty much like the last time around except for two things:
1) they didn't end the race at the little timing station about fifty feet from the top of the trail, they made us run about 300 metres around to the back of the chalet. When I hit flat ground at the top I thought my legs were going to give out when I tried to run. It felt like the first brick workout of the year when you ride hard on the bike then try and run. Jello legs.
2) I finished better than the last time I did it, in 39 and change, even with the extra little run. Plus we started in the parking lot where the gondola is so that added another 15 seconds, I'm sure.
Anyways, I vowed to never run that thing for time again. I'd hike it with the kids but that's the extent of it in the near future.
Now tomorrow comes the triathlon.