Race Report: 5 Peaks Rattlesnake Course
Hey guys. Guess what I’m not doing this weekend?
Instead, I will be spending some time in Hamilton with some of my best friends from university, sneaking in a long run and spending some time on the open water learning how to kayak.
Last weekend, I had a fabulous race at the Rattle Snake Conservation area with the 5 Peaks series. It was an interesting event for me, because I had 26 KM to fit in, so I did a longer warm up than usual, treated the race as a tempo portion of a long run and finished up with a 10 km “cool down.”
A little bit about the course: This race is known as one of the series favourites as it is by far the most technical. It’s situated along the Niagara Escarpment and not too far of a drive for me, which obviously wins for me when it means I get an extra hour of sleep.
I have to say it is my favourite so far simply for the incredible variety of terrain the course offers. You begin in a simple path that quickly turns into some fun and pretty intense single track. This turns into some rocky limestone that has you doing some fancy footwork and high knees to scramble over them. Patched throughout are fun little boardwalks to break up swampy bits and grassy stretches that were fun for pushing hard.
The final 2 KM were hurt. There is a burning vertical up the escarpment and at one point I turned and yelled at the guy behind me that it felt like an obstacle course. I definitely used plenty of plyometrics on this course!
I was really happy with my performance. I kept it in a lower gear and ran a decent tempo pace and was able to rock the 10 KM following the race. I placed 5th woman OA and 1st in my age group. You can see my Movescount data here.
The volunteers were amazing and the water stations were placed intuitively throughout.
What I learned: That I have a weakness when it comes to really technical bits. I am fine with leaping over logs and roots (in fact, this one guy behind me yelled out that I was a gazelle at the beginning of the race and kind of made my day), but I really was slowed down by the lime stone. It was a bit slippery and I just wasn’t mentally game to pound over it, very similar with how I used to be with steep, technical down hills. It just means I need to get out there and train on limestone and rocky surfaces to increase my comfort levels on going fast over rocks.
What I ate: [Pre-race] Banana, coffee, sprouted toast with nutella and peanut butter.
[Post-race/long run] Chocolate milk, bagel with almond butter and an apple.
What I wore: 2XU racing hat, Salomon 5 Peaks tank, Sears shorts, Saucony Peregrine’s, Suunto Ambit 2 Watch. (Hoping to have a review on this up next week!)
It was a lot of fun to spend time with some of my trail buddies and fellow ambassadors.
One of my best friend’s from university came and ran it as well and it was so much fun to catch up with her during the awards ceremony. Another awesome 5 Peaks race!
The next one is Albion Hills on August 9. Message me at lacesandlattes[a]gmail.com for a discount code; looking forward to seeing you there!
Did you race last weekend? How did it go?!
Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat says
OK, you and I definitely need to practice at Rattlesnake on the rocky bits! The bits of the North Face Endurance Challenge course that I struggled with the most were the wood and rock ‘stairs’ that were part of the descent in the final mile. I lost a lot of time here but a bit more practice would have surely made a huge difference. Awesome job on yet another podium finish! This is going to make your road-based marathon training feel flat as a pancake!
I totally agree. I know I am physically capable of pushing hard over the rocks, it’s just the mental fear of falling that gets to me. I know – trail running is absolutely incredible for making other races seem easy! 🙂