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!
The Cabot Trail Relay is done and it was so much fun. It’s a rare but lovely treat to be on a team and the atmosphere all weekend is incredible – crazy costumes, amazing (fast) runners, beautiful scenery, and the best race organizers/volunteers out there who stay up (and dance) all through the night.
Our team was back for the second year in a row – a little wiser and much more prepared for the 24+ hour/185 mile race around the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. Although we have yet to hone in on our team uniform, we came with playlist, signs and big silver balloons. Looking good team 42, looking good. Last year I ran leg 2 which was great because my run was over and done with early in the day however, this year I wanted to try a night leg and run up in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. By the time my turn arrived (11:10 pm), it was pouring rain, 3 degrees and windy. Despite the weather, I was on a high from watching Beth and Kristin finish their mountain climbs and bounced off the “start line” with so much excitement. Although the rain and wind were nuts, I pushed through the 14 km run. It was so dark but I loved every moment.
At one point I ran past my mom (who was out on the side of the highway cheering me along) and she yelled “you’ll certainly remember this run”. Honestly, how often do you get to strap on a headlight on and set out in the night running up and down a mountain next to the Atlantic ocean?
Guys, if you ever get a chance to participate, do so! You may see snow (in May), you may see a moose or a bear, you may freeze and you may wonder why the hell you are out running in the middle of the night… but it will be a run like no other.
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