I'm so stoked! I just registered for the 5 Peaks trail running series. For a while now I haven't had a race to prepare for and nothing on the horizon that was really grabbing me as a goal race. The two Vancouver half marathons held in May and June respectively are very expensive and, as I learned in February, racing in my hometown just doesn't give me the charge that traveling for a race does. There's something anti-climactic about catching city transit home after running your butt off through familiar streets. The race in February was great and I'm glad I ran it, but I want something a little more exotic to look forward to.
The 5 Peaks series offers races across Canada. I registered for the 5 races held here in coastal BC and every race is in a different park area, all within driving distance of Vancouver. It's a race a month starting on May 10th with the first race in Golden Ears Provincial Park where we have camped before and could potentially camp the night before the race too. There are a few different options for race distances at each event. Sport distances are between 5 and 6km, Enduro distances are from 8 to 15km. This year they've added a new challenge, a half marathon distance at the final race of the season, September 13th at Buntzen Lake. I've done a trail run out at Buntzen before and it's a spectacular area for running - so I challenged myself and signed up for the longest distance. Hopefully by then I'll have a handle on this trail running gig so the distance over rough terrain won't be too daunting, just hellishly long.
This new challenge is really exciting. Last summer I hoped to dive into trail running with an experienced friend, but she turned her ankle badly when we were out at Buntzen Lake (ironically) and was out for the season. Without her I found it hard to hit the trails, plus I'm not sure you should be running alone in some of the trailed areas around here considering the large animal population. She might be up for joining me in the race series, but even if she isn't, I now have one race every month to look forward to and prepare for. There's a group who do training trail runs every Saturday morning on the North shore so I might join them for a few training runs here and there. Core strength and stability needed for trail running should also help my road running, that is of course if I have a good season of trail running and manage to improve a bit and build strength.
It should be great! Anyone else up for the challenge? Or, what else are you challenging yourself to do as the weather improves?