Posted by martin.parnell |

Race completed:

  • Powderface42

  • Date: Saturday July 16th 2011
  • Location: Kananaskis, Alberta
  • Temp: 22C
  • Distance: 44.5km (actual)
  • Run Time: 7hr 39min 17sec
  • Average Heart Rate: 107 BPM
  • Total nos of Runners: 57

One of the toughest marathon's in Alberta and possibly Canada is the Powderface42. It starts in Station Flats, 20km West of Bragg Creek and winds its way across ridges and valleys along the Elbow River. The elevation gain on the route is 5,173 feet and the highest point is at 6,651 feet. The first time I ran this race was in 2008 and I remember the scenery blew me away. This time I had decided to run it on the invitation of a friend. During Marathon Quest 250, Pete Estabrooks had been a great supporter and run with me several times. At the end of 2010 he asked me if I wanted to run Powderface in 2011 and, of course, I said yes.

My training has been a bit hit and miss since the Comrades run in late May. Sue and I have been over to England for the past three weeks and the British pubs are very hard to resist. I did several runs along the South English coastline and a couple on Dartmoor in Devon, but I don't think that made up for all the fish and chips and real ale. I must say that, at the start of the race, early Saturday morning, I was feeling well fed and rested. Several other Cochranites lined up with me. Cochrane Red Rock Runners members Kevin Akre and Roy Ellis were there as was David Gilbertson, who was doing the half marathon. It was a beautiful morning and 50 plus runners were ready for the 7.30am start. Within the first half kilometre, Roy was out of sight. I ran with Pete for a while before he pulled away. Kevin was behind me and after five kilometres I was on my own.

I love trail running and for the next few hours I made my way through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Across creeks and though woods, with blankets of wild flowers every where. However, all is not a bed of roses. On the Powderface42 website it says "It is possible you will encounter wildlife while on the race course. If you come in contact with a bear please remain calm and remember the basic rules in a bear encounter." Always call a bear Mr!

I arrived at the finish in 7hrs 40mins and a small group of runners and volunteers cheered me in. One of the runners was Ellie Greenwood.  Ellie lives in Banff and in late May she had run the Comrades Marathon coming in 4th in the women's race. In June she ran the Western States 100 and destroyed the women's field. It's great that she also supports local races. At Powderface she won the women's race but waited for all the "Back-of-the-pack" runners to come in. Much appreciated. The other Cochrane runners had mixed results. Kevin came in with five minutes to spare, Roy blew an ankle at the 35km mark and David had a great half marathon.

Dr Randolph Randolph's book of animal jokes

Q: What do you call a woodpecker with no beak?
A: A headbanger!

Quote of the Day

"I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it is forward."

David Livingstone

Trail running through the mountains







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