Grouse Mountain to Mountain Highway Return, 14 Km

Ooohhhh that felt sooooo gooood to be on the trail today! There’s nothing quite like the first Knee Knacker training run of the season to get excited and pumped up. And how about that weather? After so many days of sunshine and then last night having it pour like crazy and then this morning waking up to sunshine, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. It seems the trail barely got wet and the cool breeze kept the air nice and fresh for us.

And what a turnout we had for the first run of our 21st year. In spite of the Vancouver Marathon today we had what I recall is a record turnout of “about 65” runners today, according to our race director Kelsy Trigg. I was quite surprised by the numbers and am wondering how many we’ll have on future runs considering this. That’s pretty much double what I’m used to seeing at this point.

It was very nice to have Kelsy out to do a meet and greet and begin her training for the race this year. This will be her first running of the Knee Knacker in many years and I know she’s happy to be back at it. We also had Trail Coordinator Rod Hatfull from the organizing committee. And a past race director, Michael Wardas was out to stretch his legs. Not to mention of course many of the regulars too. There were a few newbies as usual but it seems that everyone was paired up with experienced runners so I was a tiny bit less concerned than usual that people would be getting seriously off course. But, alas, Monty B. was there to challenge the strict route takers although I didn’t hear of any misgivings from that group ;)

Speaking of Monty, I hope he’s okay after an abrupt meeting with a metal post sticking out of the trail right at the Mountain Highway turn around. He was right behind me and then all of a sudden I turned around to see blood gushing from his leg. I guess it’s never too soon to test yourself but that’s going a bit far. With all of the typical snow and weather and normal usage please keep in mind the trail is constantly changing and will present new challenges to us each time we go out there. And we’ll all be going right past that same spot next week.

Today I mentioned to the group that the success of our training runs has been due to everyone watching out for one another and taking responsibility for themselves. This is extremely important and is a message I will continue to repeat. As long as we’re all in this together we can keep doing the training runs the way they are. And you all promise to bring ample water and food and “just in case” money please. It may seem nice and safe being part of the Knee Knacker training runs and hanging out with a great group of people, but, there is endless opportunity for the trail to jump up and bite you or send you off course especially when we get into the longer runs.

At the pre-run meeting, John Machray pointed out that there is some change in the trail at McKay Creek. One of the supporting logs has fallen away to leave the trail even more precarious and narrow. It may be time to re-route that section but in the meantime be prepared to go extra easy and watch your step.

Other than that it looked as though everyone was happy to be out there and ready to ramp it up for the next couple of months. Our next run is Grouse to Lynn Canyon Return. You can turn around at the Rice Lake parking area or you can go all the way to the building and washrooms on the other side of the Suspension Bridge as I usually do.

See you next Sunday at 8:00.

Craig Moore, Training Run Coordinator
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