Imagine turning on the cold water & standing in your shower for the better part of 3 hours. Add some ice cubes on the shower floor & set your bathroom fan on it’s “turbo” setting. Short of inviting about 45 buddies to join you for this chill-fest, you’ll start to get an idea of what Sundays training run felt like.
In the 9 years that I’ve participated in these training runs, I can easily say that this is at the top of the list of epic training days. (See Karen Chow’s pictures from the day here)
When the group met at the Cleveland Dam parking area, we started out under dark skies, but the precipitation was fairly limited….but it didn’t wait for long. It seemed to start as we crossed the dam & it was relentless. If the Inuit have 200 words for “snow”, I’m sure we have just as many for the rain we saw on Sunday……showers, drizzle, deluge, rain, spit, mist, & sleet!! There were, of course, a few other words….none of which should be repeated here.
The climb up through the British Properties & into the forest kept most people warm. The rainforest canopy did a decent job of keeping the rain away….or at least minimizing it….but as we climbed the Hollyburn Chute, the air got cooler.
At the top of the Chute, it was downright cold & the tree canopy gave way to open skies as we wended onto the cross country ski trails. No sooner were we on this wide pathway that we were on compacted sloppy mashed potato type snow (do the Inuit use “mashed potatoes” in their snow verbage? …that’d be 201 words). The conditions made it feel like a walk at the beach….a beach in the Outer Hebrides, perhaps….but the snow made for some extra work as we climbed towards Hollyburn Peak. I couldn’t help but think back to last year, on this very same run, when sunburn was the biggest concern. Today, we were looking at numb fingers, & cold soaked skin.
Many people opted to turn around early. Some headed back to the warmth of the lower climes, others took an alternate circuit that allowed for some quality training miles on clear trails. I turned around at the base of the Hollyburn Peak headwall….I couldn’t feel my fingers despite my gloves & figured that there wouldn’t be anything more to gain.
On the descent, there were a couple of surprises….sharing an umbrella on the forested singletrack above the British Properties, Karen & Andrew were braving the rain to take some photos of our epic effort. Look for their photos in an upcoming link.
Back at the parking lot, many people had brought a change of clothes & made haste in getting out of their soaked garb & headed home for hot showers or hot food….or both.
Next week’s planned run was to cover the last ½ of the Knee Knacker course. Due to a concurrent event, parking in the Deep Cove area will be very limited so we are changing our meeting plans slightly.
Instead of meeting in Deep Cove for the carpool, we will meet at the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge parking lot at 7:30am. The parking lot gate should be open at 7:00am. We will carpool to Cleveland Dam from there.
The training run route will change to accommodate our meeting area.
We will still start the run at Cleveland Dam, but instead of going to Deep Cove, we will turn up the trail above the Varley Trail & head up Lynn Headwaters. At this point we will have a couple of options.
Option 1: run up Lynn Headwaters trail to the Debris Chute, then turn up & run back along the Headwater Loop trail & back to Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.
Option 2: run up Lynn Headwaters trail passed the Debris Chute to Norvan Falls, then return to Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (those that feel the need to earn extra-manliness points, can also include the Lynn Loop route above the Debris Chute).