Ahhh Cap Crusher… It’s the first of (at least) 4 Gary-Robbins-directed trail races of the year for me. Last year, I ran this race fresh from traveling and it hurt. This year, I hoped to redeem myself. While I knew that the terrain was not that technical, it didn’t mean it was going to be easy. I was excited to run all the flowy downhills and power hike back up towards Cleveland Dam in, hopefully, less time compared to 2018. Here’s how it all panned out.
In the days leading up to the race, there was a lot of anxiety. My previous race was full of snow & ice and there were concerns that the Capilano trails were in rough condition as well. Race organizers did us a solid by pre-running the course and sent us several updates. From some-ice-but-no-spikes-required to 98% snow-free to nothing at all, the crew kept us at ease. We were also thankful for the unseasonably high temperatures that week that helped melt it away (thank you sun!)
My second cause of anxiety was my right leg. I went to my RMT a few days before and he put a lot of work on my adductor muscles which were so tight. I was in so much pain. It felt better afterwards and gave myself the go ahead. If it started hurting on race day, I would ease up on the gas. Sounded like a good compromise.
Fast forward to race morning, where I was greeted by so many running friends. I convinced Bradley to run this race and I’m so relieved he didn’t hate me afterwards. I may have created a new trail runner 😉 You can read about his experience here.
How Did I Do?
As soon as it started, I was energized. I attacked the first 2 km of downhill, maybe a little too hard. My pace was 5:30 to about 6:00 per km for that first bit, which is already a fast pace for me on the road. I went back to my typical trail speed as soon as the first hill hit. My sore muscles were definitely a factor as I had to slow myself down on the descents. I had a very strong feeling that I’d be seeing a physio soon. Either way, I carried on and tried my best. I was conscious last year’s timing and aimed to beat my first half time.
After the turnaround point, I noticed that I was about 5 minutes ahead of schedule. I couldn’t give up now. Knowing that there were two massive hills ahead of me was a little daunting but they were hills I’ve conquered before. The last one was still a killer though, especially when the leaders of the 24k race were jumping over us to get down on their second loop. One thing I remembered last year was when I got back on the road towards the finish, my calves almost cramped up. I don’t know what causes that but it happened again. Gary Robbins was waiting to high five me at the finish so I had to get there. Thankfully, I beat last year’s time by almost 5 minutes. My time was 1:40:07 and I hope to be in the 1:3x:xx time next year. As for my leg problems, I took the following week off, did yoga and cross-trained. Fingers crossed that my physio appointment goes well.
First of all, happy 7th birthday to Coast Mountain Trail Series. This is only my second year running your events and I hope to be a regular. Cap Crusher, like all their events, was well-run and well-marked. Their rule of thumb is to not go more than a minute without seeing a flag. Their standards are surely hard to beat. It was nice to just focus on my footing rather than worrying about getting lost. The race usually falls on St. Patrick’s Day weekend and organizers encouraged everyone to wear green. Lots of people obliged but others put more effort into the occasion by wearing costumes, wigs or even dyeing their hair green. The volunteers were top notch and very supportive. Thank you all so much for being out there.
CMTS treats us well. They had birthday cupcakes and sushi at the finish, which is another reason I love trail races… better finish line food. As for swag, each runner received a gear bag with a Cap Crusher branded beer glass and a can of Prime Time by Bridge Brewing. Cheers and thanks for the post-race beer! My favourite race souvenir though is the race photos. Huge thank you to Chris Thorn and Scott Robarts for capturing all the epic moments that day.
My next CMTS trail race is Survival of the Fittest. I look forward to running around in Squamish again. If you’re running the Squamish 50 23k, it’s a good race to do to familiarize yourself with some of the trails both events share.