I didn’t expect to have back-to-back 15k races two months apart to start the 2014 season, as there was supposed to be a half marathon in February. A small spill and tweak two days prior to that killed it. All in all, I was reasonably happy with this run. The 15k had a very small field of what appears to have been 67 finishers of 82 registrants. I came in 3rd of 24 men and 3rd overall, with a time of 1:21 according to the results and my Garmin, or 1:19 according to the Strava embed below.
I’d say the most challenging aspect of the event was that the 15k, being the shorty of the options at the Dirty Duo, starts at 1pm. It really sort of kills both your morning and afternoon. You can do a true off-road duathlon (25k run, 30k bike) solo or relay, the 25k run or 30k bike on their own, double up on the run and do a 50k ultra, or you can keep it simple and manageable like I did and run 15k.
I can’t say there’s a lot to report about the run, aside from how wet it was by the time we were doing the 15k. From about mid-morning onward, the skies opened up and the rain got heavier throughout the day. I didn’t mind, truth be told, as the temperature was very mild and since you’re wet within a few minutes of starting, barrelling through the slop and muck is a lot of fun. The tread on my New Balance 1210’s is pretty grippy and I didn’t feel once like I was on the verge of slipping or bailing on a rock or boardwalk – always one of my paranoia points with wet trail races.
There’s about 1200 feet of elevation gain overall on this one, which hits some of North Vancouver’s most popular biking, hiking and running trails. The first kilometre or two I found myself pacing with a group of four others and, for some reason, we seemed to separate from the main pack pretty quickly. By the end, though, things had evened out with the first six or seven runners coming in 1-2 minutes apart each.
I didn’t find any of the climbs particularly bad, but it was a pretty steep power hike back from the turnaround point that, thankfully didn’t last too long. All in all, I really enjoyed the day. I also stuck around longer than I planned to pick up my 3rd place medal and a bit of swag. We got some really nice trail socks with our bibs, the brand of which eludes me at the moment.
I don’t know if Garmin didn’t receive well in places, but the 15k race measured to be 13.6k by GPS.
I follow this one up with the St. Patty’s Day 5k in Stanley Park the following Saturday, then will do my corporate citizen part and run with the BCIT team in the Vancouver Sun Run with 50,000 of my closest friends. I haven’t decided what some of my longer target races will be later in the year just yet.