5 Peaks Mt. Seymour: not a race report

Since I want to make sure I capture a little something about all the races I do, I’ve done a short recap of today’s 5 Peaks Mt. Seymour enduro. Earlier this week, due to snow and course conditions, they shortened the race. The 12k enduro became 8k and the shorter sport became a very short 5k. Since I was hoping the minor wrist sprain from my spill a week ago Thursday would allow me to do a road ride this week, I was considering just skipping this. However, I wanted whatever swag was coming my way and I figured, “What’s the worst that can happen on an 8k trail run?” I should have stuck to the plan to skip it.

The snow and muck made for pretty fun conditions on the course, but the start/finish area at the Seymour day parking area was swarming with flies. While the pre-race start line racer brief was happening, all you could see was hands flailing hopelessly to swat away the bugs. The sport and enduro courses were exactly the same until the sport was finished and the enduro did another, shorter, two mile loop.

The first mile was a forced slow start as winding up Mystery was pretty snowy, muddy single track with no room to pass. Coming down the gravel ski run, the clog cleared and then as the second mile looped mostly downhill on Seymour Road, I was beginning to hit a decent pace on pretty easy going. Mile three was mostly climbing up Old Cabin and slowed significantly as it looped back toward the start/finish. Somewhere around halfway through this third mile is where today’s problem happened. It wasn’t just the change in elevation gain that took my two mile average pace of about 9:15 and ballooned it to 11+.

Cutting myself short

I slipped on a small slab of wet shale and fell backward. It was the kind of thing I’d usually roll through, get up and keep going from, with nary a thought. Unfortunately, as I went down I used my right hand to break my fall. This was the same right hand that I used to break my road running fall a week and a half ago; the one that ended up mildly sprained as a result. I shook off the sudden ache and started running again, but I really couldn’t run the way you need to run trails any more. Instead of picking lines and bouncing from point to point, I was cautiously watching every step I took, paranoid that going down again might cause some significant damage to my wrist. As we looped up the gravel road toward the finish line/enduro loop, I decided to go in and wrap it up at 5k. The thought of gingerly running another two miles this way just wasn’t worth it.

Somewhere around halfway through this third mile is where today’s problem happened. It wasn’t just the change in elevation gain that took my two mile average pace of about 9:15 and ballooned it to 11+.

Unfortunately, I forgot to stop my Garmin for about :30 after I crossed the finish line, so my official 5k time is 36+ish. I don’t know for sure and, truth be told, it really doesn’t matter very much. At this point, there are results pages on the 5 Peaks site, but no content. I’m guessing I probably registered a DNF or something, because when they asked me if I’d completed the enduro I said I’d landed on my hurt wrist and cut my race short. I guess I should have lied … I could have come in first overall in the 8k!

A week and a half ago

The gallery below (click the tiles for larger versions) has a pic of the path where I tripped in Burnaby (complete with its 4-inch root bumps) and a few fresh, bloody pics of my knee, elbow and right palm. The elbow and knee don’t really hurt now and are just sporting scab remnants. While it looks the least problematic in the photos, shortly after this pic the wrist swelled a bit and has been a major pain when pushing, grabbing or squeezing anything, including resting on or using my road bike brake hoods. Prior to my 5 Peaks adventure it had begun to strengthen and could tolerate some weight. I’d hoped to test a road ride after the trail run, but opted for a 70k trainer. I’d kind of like to know I can brake if I’m going to ride on the road.

I registered an email complaint with the City of Burnaby, including some photos and, while a return call took some time and nothing of my bloody injuries was ever acknowledged, they are fixing the path as of this writing, so I guess it was a victory of sorts. I’ve often commuted over that washboard, thinking it would hurt someone eventually.