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More Toast of the Coast
By:  Tom McCarthy   (2009/06/07)


Ten days later, I’ve got more to report. Ed’s still running fast, I’m slowly getting into shape – slower than I’d like – and there are more epic runs on the horizon.

Last Sunday was the North Shore Credit Union Iron Knee, a race of disputed length (likely around 22km) which starts at the Grouse Grind and ends up at Deep Cove – crossing essentially half the North Shore. Most the trail is on the Baden Powell, the long 50k trail across the Shore that Ed and I ran last year, and reported on. The race climbed 1000m vertical, and descended 1300m. 

The race started early, and Ed was off the front early with two other guys – last year’s winner and course record holder, and the guy who was second in the previous trail race. I tucked in behind for a couple of kilometers, but let them partway up the first big climb, opting to run my own race. This left me alone in 4th for the next 10k, and then I started getting caught by some road-runner dudes. I left them behind on the last vicious climb, but two of them came back and passed me. I finished 6th – not bad, but the real question was – how far back of Ed?

Far, as it turns out. He won, again, in 1:34:50 – I was 6th in 1:50. Fifteen minutes!!! Ed beat the second-place man by a minute, and walked away with some cash, with which I made him buy me lunch. I walked away (hobbled actually) with massive blisters on my arch – decided to run with new orthotics, and they ripped my feet up.

Ed’s attention has now turned to qualifying for the World Mountain Running Championships, which are in Italy in September. To qualify, he needs a top 5 in the Canadian Mountain Running Champs, which are in Canmore next weekend, and which he’s recently decided to go to. I think he’s got a good chance – as I’ve said before, he’s running very quick! We did another workout on Wednesday at the track – we did 3 sets of 5x200m with only equal rest. It was very difficult – I thought it was a setback for me on my road to faster running. I couldn’t recover in 30 seconds, and slowed down through each of the 200’s in a set. Ed stayed very consistent and was able to handle the partial recovery very well.

This weekend is another epic adventure. I went for my first rollerski of the season today, which felt, well… like the first roller-ski of the year. I only skied because my feet are still pretty raw. Tomorrow, Ed and Gavin, a legendary XC Ottawa alumni visiting for the weekend, have a plan to run the Juan de Fuca trail (45k of rough trail) on the west coast of Vancouver Island. I would have joined, but I can’t with my feet like this. I’ll join them, run a shuttle, and bring my bike over for what should be a great ride on the West Coast Road.

Wish Ed luck in Canmore next weekend! Here’s some pictures from the Iron Knee… you can tell who’s running fast, and who’s not.

Tom - getting there

Ed - still fast!

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