Monday, 9 September 2013



Can you say an incredible experience?! That was amazing! Ever since meeting up with my teammates (the most wonderful people- our team Canada had so much great spirit, life, talent, personality and shining aura) I've been on cloud 9. It's so exciting seeing all the top athletes in the world coming into your hotel and all prepping for a race of a lifetime. The lean, mean athletes that can destroy a buffet faster than a hotdog eating competition! BooM! Hahah no I'm just kidding. Our hotel did an amazing job keeping everything stocked up and fruit on hand at all times. :)

After getting our new team gear for this year (which looks incredible- BIG thanks to Running Room for sponsoring and supplying us with our gear this year), we started looking sharp and ready to roll! We recieved singlets, t-shirts, shorts, and track suit this year! We are all so excited to have them actually say Canada and Mountain Running 2013 on them! Our team got together and scoped out the course for the race two days before.. it was great to see what it would be like.. Starts off with a grassy sprint about 400m long up a wide hill, then past the gondola where the downhill starts along a dirt road that was covered in about fist sized loose rocks here and there! Talk about scary for your ankles! There were some sharp hairpin turns that we instantly knew would be a challenge to run. After running down for quite a long way on this same road which eventually got some tree coverage as it went into the forest, we discovered less loose rocks, but a harder trail to see with all the shadows from the trees playing tricks on your eyes. The road went down for what seemed like a crazy long time. And then we realised we missed out turn up and had to head back after about a km or two of going too far! Hahah Thank goodness at least! Lol! After back tracking, we found our turn off.. UP A SKI HILL! Boom! Hahah but unlike last year, where we had to go straight up the hill, this time the course zig zagged up the hill which I actually wasn't too excited about.. it makes it harder and longer (less steep, but uneven muscles and a challenge to try to run or walk). It's in dead grass which also is hard as it becomes slippery on your shoes and let me tell you.. sliding back sucked! The great news was that after you finish that section, we enter a single track trail which is much more to my likings! I love the trails, it was a challenging trail continuing up the mountain though which although wasnt too technical, it was pretty steep in places, but gradual enough to make you feel like you shouldnt be walking even though thats all my muscles could let me do at a lot of times. After that, we pop out onto a rocky road and up a short hill that takes us back to the top of the gondola.. where we get to do it all over again! Hurray!! Hahahha!

Me and a few of the guys from our team including Calum, Mathieu, Kris and Sean headed out for a small shake out jog that afternoon before the opening ceremonies. It was nice to get the muscles a bit looser and we actually ended up seeing the start of a 10km race we think. It was amazing to see even more people of all shapes and sizes running. The most emotional thing for me was seeing a man with a disability running the same race with his walking sticks.. tears sprang to my eyes when I saw the determination and spirit in this mans face. It's amazing how the body can do so much if we let it. He really inspired me! There were a ton of little polish stands set up selling wooden carvings, polish furs, toys and random other polish things outside of the race exhibit which was filled of all the same things as the ones in Canada.. but not as many free PowerBar samples unfortunately. Lol We enjoyed exploring the stands and I saw the cutest little puppy!! So naturally I played with it for as long as I could stay there!

The opening ceremonies consisted of a parade through the main town of Krynica with our national flags.. which Canada provided their own thanks to one Calum Neff, who saved our butts, by bringing his own flag and duct tape to make one for us when the organizers did not have our flag! Fail on their part! But we didn't mind too much and took it in real Canadian grace and continued on our way to pose for pictures with other countries! After the ceremonies opened with some speeches from VIP's we broke into a dance party to one amazing opera singer then headed home for some pasta with salmon and last minute stretching and rolling. Some of us gathered up and made a pool on who would win the race tomorrow picking up to six contenders for the senior men.. unfortunately my plan of voting for the coolest names didn't pan out the way I planned and I ended up dead last according to the guys. Lol! Rats!

Anyways, we trimmed our ridiculously large numbers down so that they could fit on our shirts.. and not be the full size of a page of paper.. so funny. I've never seen anything like that!!! I got to bed at a decently early hour and shared a moment with Mel on how this was the experience of a lifetime tomorrow.

Annnnd that's all you get for this post! Hahaha the next one will be on the race itself.. what you've all been waiting for! :)

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