This past weekend the Hubby and I were out in Banff for another night time race – the Winterstart 5 Miler! I love this race! It has a really relaxed atmosphere as lots of folks find ways to incorporate lights in to their running attire. Banff is also much less crowded than the weekend of Melissa’s so it makes for a good excuse for a weekend away.
The race starts at 7:00, soon after it started getting dark out. Hubby and I were staying only a block away from the start line so we sauntered over with about 20 minutes till go time. It wasn’t super cold out (I think it was just above freezing). Since the wind had blowing all day I still bundled up in tights, Smartwool socks, a long sleeve t, a midweight half zip top and a vest (plus toque and gloves).
We ran into my friend Tara before the start. We haven’t seen each other in ages so it was nice to catch up!
A few minutes before it was go time we grabbed some glow sticks and I took a Gu. We then waited for the race to start before jumping in to the crowd. Since the race was chip timed this year there was no rush to run over the start line.
Banff Winterstart 5 Miler Race Report
We ran out of town along the flat road towards the highway for 1.5 miles. As soon as you pass the final street light in town it is dark out there. In previous years we’d been squished in on one lane running out of town. It was so crowded and since you couldn’t really see much it was a bit of a hazard. This year we had two lanes to ourselves so there was no more overcrowding on the course (even though I heard the number of participants had been upped this year). I also had a snazzy headlamp on my forehead thanks to my friend Nikki. She knew I was looking for one for the race this year and she offered to share one of her spares. Thanks Nikki!! Having a beam of light off my forehead was awesome. It was fun to see all of the glowing reflective bobbing up and down ahead of me and I was much more aware of the space or the people around me.
After 1.5 miles on flat road you turn and run up towards Tunnel Mountain for one mile. My game plan was to run/walk up the mountain, then try and run as much of the way back as possible. I was feeling good on the way out so I nixed the walk break. Once I was heading up the mountain I didn’t want to lose momentum so I kept on running until about 3/4 of the way up. At this point in time I was feeling way overdressed, but then a refreshing drizzle started to fall. As I started running down the mountain the drizzle got stronger and stronger. By the time I hit the flats the rain was falling hard enough that it was pretty difficult to see out of my glasses. My brain was also giving up a little even though I tried to tell myself that it wasn’t that much further. I snuck in a couple of walk breaks, then realized I was almost there and ran it in to the finish line.
After I was done I ran back down the road to wait for Hubby to come in. It was so much fun to cheer him in! After the race we headed to the post race party in the parking lot of the Caribou Lodge. I grabbed a beer and attempted to listen up for draw prizes.
The PA system wasn’t working properly and it was so loud that it was impossible to hear anything. After the post race shenanigans were over we headed back to our hotel to freshen up, have some drinks and a late dinner. It was time for a well deserved margarita!
Overall I’m really happy with my race. I need to toughen up as I approach the finish line though! Winterstart was a lot of fun this year. It was great to have Hubby racing too!
- 55:58 (excited to just squeak in under 56 minutes!)
- Overall: 1370 out of 1751
- Females 30 to 39: 325 out of 437