Saturday, July 23, 2016

Lethbridge & Sinister 7

What do you do when you get a last minute invitation to do a long distance back country relay race? You say yes and hit the road!

One of my friends from the Edmonton Modern Quilting Guild contacted me one night to see if Dave might be interested in stepping in on a relay team for the Sinister 7 race in the Crowsnest pass. Corey's team had lost one of their team members to injury and he knew that Dave was already actively training for the Edmonton Marathon. The leg that they needed covered was leg 3. It is a 35km leg with 1400m in elevation gain! He was excited to tackle the challenge. 

We packed up the kids and headed out to Lethbridge to stay with Dad. Lethbridge is only about an hour and a half from the pass so it was the perfect base camp. The plan was to drive to Dad's house first and then Dave would turn around that same night and drive to the pass in Dad's car. The kids did great on the trip. Thank goodness for a sleepy baby and an in car DVD player!

David headed out for the mountains, taking a few gorgeous photos along the way. His team mates had arrived earlier in the day and were amazing enough to set up our tent so that it was ready for him when he arrived. David planned on staying just the Friday night and racing on Saturday followed by the short drive back to Lethbridge. 

Race briefing and pre-race dinner

Team Camp

View from Camp

Meanwhile, dad and I were back at the house in Lethbridge doing our best to manage three kids. It was exhausting and I really wished that I could be watching Dave at the race. The thought of having to manage three kids at a race site on my own was just way too overwhelming. 

The next morning back in the pass David was at the start line of the race to see of their first runner. The start line was on the main street of Blairmore and it was just the beginning of a long day of driving runners around to transition points and camp to get everyone where they needed to be. 

The transition zone

Back at base camp in Lethbridge the kids and I were occupying ourselves with stickers and colouring in the sun. Hugh was having a tough time adjusting to napping in a different place, so it was a long day of rocking a fussy baby in between trying to get the older kids to stop fighting. 

Around 2:30pm I started to get anxious. I had been following race updates all day and knew that Dave would be finishing soon. We stayed in contact all day trying to keep up to date on how the team was doing and when he would be running. Corey was great and sent me a quick photo of Dave finishing with a time update as soon as he arrived at the transition zone to pass off the time chip to the next runner. To say he was dirty and tired would be an understatement. In the end he ended up having the 4th fastest time on leg 3 for a male team.

Meanwhile, these two finally decided to get along for a while. Since Hugh was born we have been struggling with the kids fighting with each other and giving us attitude. I snapped this photo during a small period of quiet and calm.... and then I started counting down the hours until Dave would be home.

Finally at around 6:30pm David arrived home to a hot dinner and a little man that missed his dad desperately. We spent the night talking about the race, enjoying family time and working on some serious partner stretching and yoga. 

We woke up on Sunday morning and made a last minute decision to head out on a short road trip back to Coleman and Blairmore to watch the race finish and award ceremonies. We stopped at a miniature church that David and his cousins used to stop at on road trips to Vancouver. He loved showing the kids something that holds such a strong memory for him. 

Our next stop was at Frank Slide. I am seriously surprised that I had never been here. I was born in Lethbridge and spent so much time in the mountains growing up. The slide is only an hour and a half from my home town! The kids loved every minute of it and asked a million questions about what happened and why there were so many rocks. 

Driving up to the race finish line was so exciting! The official race cut off time was 1pm and we knew that we were going to see a few soloists doing their best to come in under the time mark. The kids cheered so loud for the handful that we watched run through. The pain on their faces was obvious and one soloist sat down in a chair only to find himself unable to get back up and needing David's help to get up. 

The actual awards ceremony was pretty cool. Seeing how some of these top runners looked after a 100 mile back country race was amazing. Some looked light on their feet and others could barely walk to the stage. 

The rest of the trip was spent being as lazy as possible. A few walks to the park, a few bikes around the neighbourhood, some more recovery running and stretching for Dave and lots of time just hanging out. It was perfect. 

Mrs. E

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