Beginner trail run

This a post I have been meaning to write for awhile. My wife, is just starting to get her trail running legs under her this year. She is part of the Vegas Mudder team, and wants to do well. If you have ever been involved in a Tough Mudder then you know that there is a fair amount of running involved, and it is a BIG difference from running on the road and running in a mudder.

So, we have been easing her into some trails. For most of the spring she has been working on a flatter 7km loop. But, since we live in British Columbia there is no getting away from the hills. Most of my favorite runs include elevation that would shock those from the flatter parts of the world. Today we were going to tackle one the hills we see from our front room every single day. It is called Spion Kop and can include about 600 meters (1800 ft )of elevation. I say can include, because you can drive part of the way up the hill and start a bit closer. Today we were going to do both, I was going to run the roads up to the parking lot and meet my wife for the trails.

It was a beautiful day, not too hot.

Running to the climb

Running to the climb

These are mostly country roads here, although they are paved. The traffic is minimal.

The roads are paved and certainly not busy

The roads are paved and certainly not busy

This is where we are headed.

A look at the hill

A look at the hill

It is almost 5km exactly to the parking lot. But it does have one real good climb that slows you down. It took me right around 30 minutes to get there. Our timing was nearly perfect, because my wife pulled in about 30 seconds before me.

The Spion Kop parking area.

The Spion Kop parking area.

We quickly grabbed our things and headed out on the trails. And yes! I do know how spoiled I am to have this literally in my back yard.

Tempting trailhead. On a perfect morning

Tempting trailhead. On a perfect morning

All smiles to begin.

Smiles!

Smiles!

We definitely start with a bit of climbing, which is always tough on cold legs. But, hey.. this is one way to make sure they are warmed up 🙂

Starting with some rolling trails

Starting with some rolling trails

It certainly does not take long to get rewarded with some amazing views. Believe it or not they actually get better.

Looking down on Wood lake

Looking down on Wood lake

This is why I spend so much time on these trails.

beautiful trails

How can you not love these trails?

There are a few different trails to the top, you have a choice between steep and really steep. So today I chose just plain old steep. But, that did mean a bit of walking.

It is certainly not all running on these trails

It is certainly not all running on these trails

After a few rolling hills…

Lots of crossing trails, make for lots of exploring

Lots of crossing trails, make for lots of exploring

We get to start climbing.

Looking down after a big climb

Looking down after a big climb

And the views just keep getting better.

A view of Kalamalka lake to the North.

A view of Kalamalka lake to the North.

I don’t have the heart to tell her we are not done climbing yet.

With grades higher then 30% this climb is exhausting

With grades higher then 30% this climb is exhausting

The brutal climbing is behind us, but we still have a few ups to hit. The great thing is the views just keep getting better.

Not as steep but still going up

Not as steep but still going up

After 2km or so of rolling hills, we are finally on the top of the ridge.

View of Wood Lake from the ridge

View of Wood Lake from the ridge

This is not the longest run in the world. But when you finally reach the peak it is all worth it. Check out these amazing views.

This is what it is all about. Hard to beat those views

This is what it is all about. Hard to beat those views

We spent a few minutes enjoying the fruit of our labours. Then it was back down to the parking lot. You might think that this would be nice and easy. You would be wrong. It is exceptionally steep for about a km, with loose rock and gravel. Luckily after that we get to enjoy some rolling hills for about 2-3km.

If you are ver in the area, this is a great run. I have shared the Strava event so that you can follow the course.

cheers
Rick

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