Knee Knacker training run report – Sunday, May 19th
The weather forecasters managed to get it wrong on this long weekend, and instead of the predicted drizzle, we had perfect conditions for our run up the side-side of Grouse (the front-side being the BCMC/Grind, the back-side being Haynes Valley). The sky was clear, the temps were in the mid-teens, and there was no snow on Mountain Highway (a few patches to the side). Perfect!! Even the local Fromme Grouse refrained from his annual ankle attacks.
About 50 people ran the Baden Powell eastward to Mountain Highway, then followed the long and wide gravel road up to the Grouse Chalet.
Some of you have noticed that we have photographers peppered throughout the training courses. These are all volunteers organised by Karen Chow….they do a great job of recording the training runs and they make for some great action shots for you to download (a nominal fee…all proceeds go to North Shore Rescue). You would have seen Karen near the Dempsey intersection last week….you would have seen Steven Yau earlier on the trail. Steven and his partner Joomin are veterans of Knee Knacker, and they are expecting their first baby this week!
As usual, I ran sweep for the first part, then a couple of us took an alternate route (on purpose) to the sixth switchback on Mountain Highway. We followed Executioner with a couple of minor deviations to see some old mountain bike trail artifacts. I should point out that there are many trails that pepper the North Shore. Many of them (such as the BP) are multi-use, while others are user group primary. On Fromme, there are many mountain bike primary trails. These were built by, paid for, and maintained by mountain bikers (NSMBA/DNV/etc…). Please be aware of what trail you choose to travel on…if you are on foot and find yourself on a mountain bike primary trail, please yield the riders. The reverse is appropriate as well. I’ve been active runner and mountain biker for over 25 years, and trail conflicts are very, very rare thanks to the etiquette and respect from all user groups. Since the trails are seeing major growth in participation on all sides, it’s important to keep up friendly use of this amazing playground. If in doubt, smile and cede the way.
The group arrived at the chalet at the top of Grouse at regular intervals….surprisingly close to one another. It is always a long, tough climb…especially given that the grade is just steep enough to elevate your heart rate, but not so steep that you feel the need to walk (though I certainly do my share of walking). If you are new to this sort of event, you should consider using your heart rate monitor as your guide (with the growth of our sport, there are a lot of coaching services out there….should you want to “up” your game. And there are some amazing local runners that offer coaching services …no, not me).
Some folks opted to take the gondola down….very smart, especially if you really taxed your legs on the way up. Since I had taken a “short cut” on the way up, I wanted to take a trail down. A group of nine of us started down the BCMC (the Grind is a no-go) with the intent of finding the Larsen Trail. The BCMC proved to be very popular as there was a good stream of people heading up at that time of the day, but we were off that trail and onto Larsen within 10 minutes, and we had the place to ourselves. On the way down, Caroline had a bit of an issue with a rolled ankle, but she was able to recover and get down without assistance….but this underscores the need to run with someone else, and having extra gear. It could have happened to anyone of us, and it could have been worse….especially if the weather was less than perfect.
I hope everyone has recovered well and had a great week. This next training weekend, we will be meeting at the Cleveland Dam parking lot (same time….8:00) and running westward on the Baden Powell, then up to Hollyburn peak/return. It’s another long climb, but this time, we’ll get an equally long descent. The weather does not look promising. There will also be some snow in the X-country area. Be prepared! Bring gloves, rain shell, food, water, etc…It can get quite chilly…especially if the wind picks up or if you have to walk for any length of time.
We will have a bit of a bonus for you on this training run….Salomon West Van will be there with some shoes to demo! Brandan and his crew will be there with some Salomon shoes that you can use on the training run. It’s still relatively early in the training phase, so now’s a good time to try new gear.
See you on Sunday!