Review: The 2010 Harrison To Haney 100km Relay and Ultra Marathon (H2H)

MLL aka Cake Monkey!
Without a doubt, I can honestly say that this race day was one of the best days of my life! About a month prior to the event I received an email from my sis-in-law asking if I’d be interested in being the 8th member of their relay team for the H2H, without hesitation or really any knowledge of the event I eagerly said “sign me up”, because let’s face it, I’m kind of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl.

As I began to look into the details of the race I was happy to read that a portion of the proceeds were going to the local food bank, big points right off the bat!  The entry fee for an 8-member team was $520.00 + taxes, which worked out to approx. $80/team member. team was also responsible for providing one volunteer to help work the event, lucky for us one of the girls’ bf’s was happy to oblige.  The swag for the event was a black hoodie (meh), personally I’d rather have a medal, but that’s just me.  I was also elated to discover that not only was this a relay event, it was also an Ultra Marathon, just thinking about the fact that I’d be running amongst such elite runners brought on massive emotion, I could not wait for race day.

Preparation: Our team was in it for fun, don’t get me wrong, the 8 of us girls are all pretty fierce competitors, but our goal was to go out and have a good time.  In preparation we had to choose a team name and costume, not all teams were doing costumes, but come on…costumes are just necessary sometimes!  Our name: Team Sweet Feet and our costume of choice: a bright pink tutu that we’d pass to each other at the interchanges.

H2H
Team Sweet Feet!

The morning of: 4am and the alarm was screaming. I woke up to a chilly November morning and I could already hear the rain pounding my windows and to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way!  The 8 of us girls poured into our rental van and off we were, first stop: Starbucks to pick up our huge vat of coffee.  The mood in the van, even at this ridiculous hour was amazing, everyone was excited and nervous and most importantly everyone was showing huge volumes of support for one another.  When we arrived at the start line it was still pitch black out, in fact, the sun didn’t come up until the 3rd leg of the race.  Our first team member was off and running!  Woo HOOO!  Our goal was to be able to stop along the route and cheer on our runner as much as we possibly could, and we actually managed to work it out pretty good, seeing each running at least twice during their run.

The vibe throughout the day was really fun, our team was doing great as far as pace, although we did end up losing out timing chip somehow during the 3rd leg, but the organizers kept our time on paper just fine, points to them for being so accommodating.  The one downside to the race was that although they were extremely organized there weren’t any water/fuel stations along the route.  The lack of water stations weren’t a problem for our team, since we did come prepared!  Overall the course was incredible, if you’ve ever been to BC during the fall you’ll know what I’m talking about.  Mountains surrounded by patches of mist and fog, brights orange and yellow foliage everywhere and picturesque views around every corner.  Seriously, perfect.

Here I come! Finish line in view!
Back to the race:  I somehow ended up being the chosen one to run the glory leg of the race, which was both nerve racking and exciting.  Throughout the day I could feel myself getting more and more nervous. It made for a very long day to be the 8th runner, I woke up at 4am and didn’t actually end up running until close to 3pm.  My team let me off at my interchange and I anxiously waited the arrival of my team mate, pretty soon I could see a bright pink tutu in the distance, ok, game on!  A quick high five from my teammate and on with the tutu and off I went!  My leg of the race was fairly flat and fast,  it was a highly wooded residential area for the most part with huge, sweeping views of the mountains around me.  It was a really unique feeling in the fact that the runners were now so far apart that I couldn’t see anyone in front of me or behind me.  I was feeling pretty great at this point, perhaps a little overdressed and hot but high on adrenaline and excited to see my teammates cheering me on from the sidelines.  As I got close to the finish line I could see the masses of people and hear the announcer.  I got my last little surge of energy and I was heading down the finish line corridor, both sides lined heavily with other teams, including mine, and spectators.  As soon as my team was in sight I could feel the tears, it was an exciting finish to an exciting day!

Aftermath: To celebrate we cracked open the Snake Bite and Strongbow, nothing warms the soul like a shot of Snake Bite!  Our teams finish time: 9 hours 15 minutes, yes, 58 minutes faster than our expected time!!! The day was a success, my lil runner heart was full of all the good feelings one has post-race, and my lil runner tummy was now full of Snake Bite and Strongbow.

LIKED:

  • Location
  • Organization
  • Charity
  • Inspiring Ultra Marathoners

DISLIKED:

  • Lack of water/fuel stations
  • Parking issues

Race Support: 5/10
RACE ORGANIZATION: 9/10
PRICE: 7/10
BONUS: 8/10 (Hoodie, watching Ultra Marathoners, VIEWS)

TOTAL: 29/40

TIME: 9 hours 15 mins
PLACE OVERALL: 127/198

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