When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And when your team doesn’t get in to the Cabot Trail Relay Race lottery, fake it.
Introducing #team71Last weekend was the 29th annual Cabot Trail Relay Race. A relay run around the Cabot Trail in beautiful Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. “70” teams. 17 legs. 185 miles. ~24 hrs.
It was supposed to be our team’s third year – and with the CTRR being a live and learn kind of event we were excited to put our veteran experience to use. However, when we found out we didn’t make it in, we were bummed. Luckily we all found other teams to join and here’s a peak at the weekend.
But first, how to prepare for the CTRR
Training: Run a few races (like the Hypothermic half and Bluenose) and run hills because there are no shortage of hills on the Cabot Trail.
Uniforms: If you are not really a team, it’s best to look like a team so other will know you are not a team but still are. If that makes sense. I designed team shirts which we had printed by Fresh Prints. And Robyn & Steph made team buffs (see peacock green below)
Signage: Who doesn’t love an opportunity for a good craft & wine night? Plus, roadside signage support is crucial for running events.
Music: Because you are not allowed to run with music during the CTRR, for the second year, we made a mix of all our Power Songs – which can be heard from the support car as you run by. Our team also rented drums and entertained runners with their pop-up drum sessions on the road.
Back to the weekend…
Amelié and I caught a ride up with Kristin and her family Friday night and because Kristin and I were not running until the early hours of Sunday morning. We spent Saturday in Baddeck – hiking then relaxing on the patio of the B&B.The others set off and conquered the Saturday legs and on Sunday morning, the alarm went off at 2:00 am, and we drove an hour up to Margaree. My leg (14) was 19.81 km at 3:45 am and I must say it was lovely. Although it was dark, I could hear the Atlantic Ocean and spring peepers and then the sun came up as we ran inland. Despite feeling a little pukey, I managed to finish with a 5:03 min/km average pace (1:39:53) but only placed 35 out 0f 70 (sad face emoji) Note: The pace at the CTRR feels a lot faster than an average race and if you don’t keep under a 6:00 minute/km pace, the finish line moves on to the next leg and your time is +5 minutes of the last runner across the mat. Our fellow Miramichi Lucky Charms teammate Hughie ran leg 15, followed by Kristin who ran leg 16 and then we rushed back to Baddeck to cheer in the finishers in at the end of leg 17.
Team 71 – not all present and accounted for. L-R: Duncan, Joe, Erica, Robyn, Mike, Steph, Grahme, Marcel and Jenna (and Liam). Missing: Jon, Josh, Amelié, Kristin, Greg and Me.Happy trails!
Somehow I managed to get myself on a team for the 2014 Cabot Trail Relay. A friend of a friend was looking for a last minute filler for leg 3 and I said “Sure, why not?”. I’ve been told my leg is flat and short (13.5 km) compared to the others … it is actually one of the easiest (see below)!
The annual Cabot Trail Relay Race is a 185 mile/276.33 km, 17 stage relay race through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world… beginning in Baddeck, Cape Breton, over steep mountains in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, through many small communities around the famous Cabot Trail, to the gently rolling Margaree Valley.
How could I say no?
I managed to convince Mike and David to come along for the drive and while I am running / cheering, they can explore the Fortress of Louisbourg (win win). I haven’t been to Cape Breton in years and I am really excited to see the Cabot Trail again. Funny how you rarely take the time to explore your own back yard.
Even though I don’t know much about the logistics of the relay, nor do I even know my team name, I am pretty excited to meet everyone and see what it is all about. I am not running up a mountain or in the middle of the night so it can’t be that hard. Right?
In honor of getting outside and going on a pre-season summer road trip, here is a sample of some of my favourite stationery from the company Scout’s Honor Co. I have their cards displayed in my office as a reminder that it’s not all about work… especially when the weather finally warms up.
And yes, it is true, East Coast Girls are hip.
Here is a map of the relay for those who care:
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All Scout’s Honor Co. images are from their website. Check them out!