The most beautiful relay in the world? We’re about to find out. A couple weeks ago I found myself at the recipient end of a not-unexpected text message: one of the fifteen team members from our local crew who were training to run a leg of the 2015 Banff-Jasper Relay was injured… and would I cover his stretch. Some frantic planning and organizing later, and I find myself shipping out to our national parks for a two-night mini-vacation and an eighteen-klick stretch of mountain pass highway with my name on it.
This, as connection and opportunity permits, will be a (hopefully epic) chronicle of what happened:
02015-Jun-03 – 20:18 – Cafe, Race minus 3 Days
Pre-race, we meet at the Second Cup to do some last minute planning. Still lots of important details… like how to decorate the support vehicle.
02015-Jun-05 – 13:15 – Highway 2
The road trip has begun! We launched from the Captain’s house in our little carpool to Lake Louise around 1pm. Only five hours to the hotel… glad I brought my Kindle. At least the company is good.
02015-Jun-05 – 16:23 – Highway 1
We’ve arrived at the edge of the mountains. Still some driving to do…
02015-Jun-05 – 17:51 – Lake Louise Inn
We’ve arrived in Lake Louise in time for the captains meeting, and checked in.
02015-Jun-05 – 19:03 – Hotel
Sorting bibs and other junk.
02015-Jun-05 – 19:52 – Hotel
02015-Jun-05 – 21:21 – Still in Lake Louise
Dinner is done, the sun is setting, and most good runners are gone to bed… or at least back to their hotel rooms for some all important rest. The first legs start at 7am and a couple folks have at least an hour driving to get to their gates. I get to sleep in… a bit. I don’t run until 2.
02015-Jun-06 – 06:06 – Still in bed but not asleep
530 am came pretty early and the first few runners are off to their start lines. I won’t be departing Lake Louise for a couple more hours, but leg S1 starts in less than one. Apparently cell coverage ranges from pretty spotty to nonexistent through that 250 klick stretch of mountain highway so updates once we’re en route are improbable… but I’ll try.
02015-Jun-06 – 07:56 – Lake Louise
Breakfast of champions?
02015-Jun-06 – 08:23 – Breakfast
02015-Jun-06 – 08:48 – Hotel
Team South ponders our departure. Not pictured: Chelsea and Erin who are –presumably– running.
02015-Jun-06 – 09:24 – S3
02015-Jun-06 – 09:24 – S3
02015-Jun-06 – 10:17 – From Nowhere
02015-Jun-06 – 19:16 – Almost in Jasper
A long day without cell coverage. So far a lot of successful legs. Some sore legs too. I finished leg S6 with a time of 1:49. More updates to follow.
02015-Jun-06 – 19:20 – From Nowhere
02015-Jun-06 – 22:47 – Whistle Stop Pub
Post run celebrating…
02015-Jun-07 – 08:25 – Jasper
Now to get home. Between carpooling uncertainty and Daryl’s flat tire, I think my hope for an early departure has been dashed. But some time in Jasper and a long ride home will top off this weekend. Unless anything really interesting happens, this is the end…