So, let’s just start by stating the obvious – if a race has the word “pancake” in it, you know it will be a worthwhile race. If the race is also going to offer you a bottle of maple syrup to take home, well, is there really any reason not to attend said race???
Yesterday’s Mad Trapper Run, which all four of us took part in, lived up to all that the snowshoe/running series promotes – some good exercise, a fun social event and lots of food. If you are a runner who needs chip timing, medals and certified course distances (oh, and the burning off of more calories than you take in), well the Mad Trapper might not be for you. But then I would ask, do you really need all of that for every race you participate in?
As per the name, this was a prediction run. No watches or cell phones allowed. To be sure everyone followed the rules, before the race started you were asked to introduce yourself to a stranger and then frisk them. To record times you wrote your name and time prediction on chart paper – who needs high tech? You could set a world record, you could stop and enjoy the scenery, you could sit and have a drink at the turn around if you wanted, you just needed to come in as close as possible to your prediction in order to win.
The 8k run was on a rural dirt road with plenty of hills. There was no traffic and lots of room for the 60 runners taking part. That dirt road was also at its best for running; just soft enough to feel comfy without being so soft that it dragged you down. A fairly crisp morning was the final ingredient in a comfortable and fun run.
When you crossed the finish line someone handed you a sticker with your finish time on it. You then took your sticker, put it on the chart paper and figured out the difference between your prediction and your actual time. The next time your kid asks you what the point of math is, just tell them they will need it to do important things in life, like prediction runs 😉
Once the run was done (and by the way it finished on one hell of an uphill!) you headed inside at The Ark to socialize and await the much anticipated brunch. By the name of the race you would be right to assume that the brunch would be pancakes. But what wasn’t included in the title (because really, it would be one helluva long race name) was the bacon, sausage, hash browns, eggs and beans that were also served on your plate. I should have taken a picture but was too busy eating and didn’t really think of it until my plate was empty. Priorities.
After the meal the top three “predictors” were announced. Amazingly the first place winner was only off by one second. Then Evan, in his first 8k event, tied for second, with his final time being 15 seconds slower than his prediction. He ended up winning a great Salomon running backpack… one he might be forced to share. I should note that so many runners were so kind to Evan and Luke, congratulating them for their efforts. I think the boys walked away feeling a little special, and who doesn’t enjoy that once in a while? It is one of the things I love about running, everyone supports everyone, regardless of age or ability. A special thank you to the ORW 60 minute 10k pace bunny who came and offered words of encouragement to Evan with regards to his upcoming first 10k race. It is one thing for your mother to tell you that you can do it, another thing entirely for an official pace bunny – and last year’s winning pace bunny at that – to cheer you on!
For the record fellow Mad Trappers, Evan still isn’t sure who Nick is, but he is pretty excited to have “beaten” him 🙂 Look out Nick, in a few years he might be trying to chase you down in a race.
As for me, I can barely organize my pace with a watch on! But on this run I teamed up with Luke, so I got to hand over all the decisions to him. Ends up we totally underestimated what he could do on a hilly 8k run. He predicted 59 minutes and came in 5 minutes faster! At one point I said to him that I thought we were going too quickly but he said he was feeling good and wanted to see if he could keep up the same pace. Just to prove how nice it is to be young, he then sprinted up the final hill, leaving me to fall behind. He also managed to talk almost non-stop throughout the run. Don’t young children need to breathe when they are running??? I was exhausted just listening to him.
Best Luke quote of the run? I told him he had a wonderfully positive attitude when running. He replied, “I’m always positive on the outside, on the inside let’s just say you may not always want to know.” 🙂
There are more Mad Trapper races to participate in this season. The boys have already decided they want to participate in the June natural off trail obstacle race. According to organizer Mike Caldwell, the course will involve going over everything that you would normally go around on his wooded, hilly (really hilly) property. I’m pretty sure that my kids’ eyes lit up at the explanation, particularly when the crossing of streams was mentioned. As for me, maybe slightly out of the comfort zone of this road racer but I will be doing it anyways!
Personally I am looking forward to another race in the series, the Power in Pink women’s only trail race at the end of August. Mimosas, firemen and prizes have all been mentioned and it is a fundraiser for the Princess Margaret Hospital for cancer research.
Why not take a break from your regular race routine? For more info about any Mad Trapper event, check out the link at the side of my blog.