Salomon Mad Trapper XCZone Peaks Challenge

There are folks out there who fully subscribe to pushing themselves, exploring new limits, testing out the unknown and who say “yes” when someone says – “hey, we should do that thing we’ve never done before – it will be fun”.

These are the folks who inspire me. These are the people who I like to be around.

On Saturday morning, I got to do just this. In a moment of crazed madness, I signed up for the 11km Salomon Mad Trapper Xczone Peaks Challenge. After registering, the Facebook page for Natural Fitness Lab was packed with course profiles, comments about how tough the 11km course is and how you had to be “mad” to do it.  I decided to ignore these Internet rumours and reminded myself that it was a mere 11km and that I had run the same distance just a week prior…

Uhm, well it turns out that some things you read on the Internet are true…

In a word: epic. In another word: fun. In a few more words: sign me up for next year.

At times I couldn’t believe we were expected to run over some of the terrain we found ourselves facing. At other points during this 11km adventure, I was feeling the trail running groove and if you were running near me, you might have heard me say “that’s it, you’re doing awesome”. (Yes, I talk to myself while running and riding – I encourage myself and pretend there are fans cheering me on…) There was one moment when I said out loud “you’re kidding me” – this was when I faced a long run up the mountain to the second aid station. I walked it.

In fact there was a lot of running, hiking, walking, heaving, pulling and huffing happening on Saturday morning at Camp Fortune. But it was so worth it and so much fun.

I came in last. And I’m totally okay with this. I had no idea what to expect. I just wanted to get out and run on a marked course and finish smiling – both goals achieved. Along the way, I got to hang out with my pals, meet some new people, cheer on my friends out on the course, and test myself.

There were some pretty darn fast times laid down on Saturday morning at Camp Fortune, but I think what was even better was that no one really cared where you finished or what your time was – it was more about being outside on a Saturday morning running around in the woods.

Thanks to Mike Caldwell of Mad Trapper and Dave McMahon of XCZone for plotting the course, organizing the race and getting us all out there. I’m stoked to get back out on the trails to work on my descending skills (pick up your feet, look ahead, relax your body, don’t stick your elbows out) – yes I told myself all these things while dodging roots, rocks and crazy downhill mountain biking obstacles. If you’re looking for a new challenge or are looking for a goal to train towards – check out the Mad Trapper Trail Run Series – chances are very high you’ll meet some cool people, learn a few things about yourself, and come away with a snazzy draw prize post-race.

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