The final race of the season in the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series took place this weekend at Buntzen Reservoir Recreation Area. The 13 km Enduro course loops around the lake and includes the Diez Vistas trail – a rugged route with 10 (normally) beautiful viewpoints.
This was one of my first trail races last year and, after several thousand kms on the trails and some 100,000+ metres of climbing, I was hoping for not just an improvement but maybe a shot at a podium finish within my division. I also had a not-so-great result at 5 Peaks Cypress this summer when I missed a turn and went off course – just a little. So this was redemption time!
Since running Waldo 100k last month, I had been focusing mostly on shorter, faster running on similarly technical terrain in preparation for the race. This included lots of ‘Zone 2’ running, along with a few days at the track, but nothing over 2 hours which felt very unusual. I had also since raced a leg of the Meet Your Maker Relay as sort of a test of my fitness.
I ran the course itself three times in the weeks leading up to the race which starts with a lung busting climb to the ridge, a slippery scramble along the top, and some gnarly steep descents before a fast finish along rolling double track. The cumulative elevation gain is only 880 metres but I wanted to learn exactly where and when to push on race day and to eliminate any chance of going off course.