Saturday, 22 March 2014

Running Adventures with Friends

Where the Wild Things Are
Sunday morning and guess what that means folks? It's RUNDAY! SUN-DAY, RUN-DAY! Yaaay! The sun might have been missing but that doesn't mean that run had to miss out too! Joel Payeur, Chloe Gendron and Graham Snowdon and I became the Fabulous 4 as we met out at Buntzen Lake for a rainy run last weekend. Joel brought up a good idea when he suggested getting pancakes instead.. who's idea was it to run in the rain anyways?? Hahha mmmm pancakes! Too bad those don't fit into the diet! Guess it was meant for us to run!

Swan Falls
Anyways, we met at the parking lot and headed out the back route onto a dirt road. Chloe was the leader of the start of this run as she has came up with the great idea of running up Eagle Mountain and then doing the Diaz Vistas Trail backwards. Onwards we went, and after some casual chats we found ourselves at a trail sign and selection of routes. After studying the sign we decided to go on an adventure and try running to Swan Falls. It started off with a swift uphill and wow did I ever feel strong! My legs just wanted to go go go go go and go some more! I could have sprinted up the hill I swear. It was nice to keep an easy pace though with everyone. Eventually we broke out and found the real trail head of the route we wanted to take.. let me tell you: it was like entering a new world.

Joel, Shannon, Chloe and Graham at Swan Falls
After starting the run on the open developed road and trail, we emerged into this steep single track that wove up the mountain side. It was densely covered with trees. Big rocks, roots and nice soft dirt to run on, or power hike, depending on the steepness. Most of it we had to power hike as the elevation was so intense. After pushing up and up though, Graham brought us off to the side to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls and views overlooking Buntzen Lake. It was gorgeous!!

Joel in front of Swan Falls
We continued on after getting a little chilled and found our next challenge: a steep rock face with no where to go but up or back. Luckily there had been a rope tied up to the top of the rock face that allowed us to make it up one by one. We worked together and everyone made it up safe and strong. Graham threw out a helping hand and the top and Joel was ready to catch Chloe and I at the bottom if we needed help. Thanks boys! After this the trail continued on and we kept going up the mountain. It was a serious climb and by the time we had been going for about an hour and a half we started to enter a more exposed mountain side that meant the cold wind was tearing at us. It was a bit too much to handle, especially with the cold rain slapping our bodies too. After a bit more persevering up the mountain, we looked up and noticed that the summit wasn't in sight yet. We had to decide whether to push on to make it to the top like we planned or to turn back to make sure we stayed healthy, safe and happy. Tough call? no. But the mountain runner in all of us hates to turn back so we did so a bit reluctantly, but happily enough to know that the elements would be hitting us much less soon and we were enroute back to the home base.
Shannon and Chloe trail running

Wow, all I can say is what a great group of people. The four of us really had a blast and I am so grateful to have met all the amazing people that I have met through trail running. We had a blast and shared a ton of laughs even though we were doing what most people would consider torture- a 3 hour run in the windy rain.. or yeah and it was up and down a mountain.. and then around a lake. annnnd some of our crew was hungover or ran the previous day, what a group of troupers! Trail runners are a different breed indeed!!

Joel and Graham trail running
Tomorrow Joel and I are going to hit up the same area as we try to run the Dilly Dally Trail at Buntzen Lake. It should be around 25km and full of beautiful sights! We are hoping there isn't too much snow but who knows as it will be some serious mountain running and elevation gain. We will leave Rudy (the great Vizsla we are dog sitting) at home for this one, but bring all of our safety gear with us for sure! Time to bust out the big ol' Camel Backs again. :)

Can't wait and look forward to sharing the story,

Eagle Mountainside

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