Race Reports / Running Info

The North Face Marathon Relay Endurance Challenge

Okay folks, lets get this over with!  I’ve been dreading writing up this recap because well… it’s my first trail race (plus it was at Blue Mountain) and it was far from a good race for me.  I did the marathon relay on Saturday with 3 other runners.  However, unlike this super awesome blogger/runner Paul,  I went into this race blind.  By blind I mean my friend Sherman told me it was a rely race and mentioned a hill or two so I was definitely not prepared for what was ahead of me.  Boy was I in for a surprise haha – see below for the course map and the crazy elevation chart!



So let’s start from the beginning… we had missed the race kit pick up in Toronto so we had to get it at Blue Mountain.  It was very hassle-free and I got a pair of cute pink Smart Wool socks along with my race day shirt and team bibs!

Okay, I’m actually at a loss of words as to how to describe this event which is unlike me (you can see my previous race recaps) because well – I fell near the end, and I’m currently missing a chunk of skin on my shoulder, walked around with a limp from a swollen knee til Tuesday (there’s also a bruise on my calf), and I’m still in pain/can’t lift my arm so it’s parallel to the ground.  I’m slightly bitter over it because it’s kinda hard to work and do every day stuff with a bum arm suddenly.  So here’s my word vomit of what I have the say about the race:

  • it was hard, for parts it felt like I was running up a hill in the desert
  • from 9ish k onward the stairs were ridiculous (I walked down those stairs, there was no way I was risking running down stairs with steps that were around 1 foot high each! Then it became unevenly spaced with stone steps)
  • it was lonely.  The relay had 27 teams (we placed 7th!!) so for most of the race, I was alone
  • I’ve never been more terrified in my life seeing how one wrong step can send you flying down a cliff to my death (and you know… being alone means no one will be able to save me.  I had to pick myself up and finish the race because there was no one around to help me up and put a bandage on me)
  • I loved all the food that was at the aid stations and at the finish line
  • I bumped into Andrew which was awesome.  He was in charge of the food tent and ran the half the next day
  • Mike and Alison ran it the next day too sadly, I didn’t get to bump into them ):
  • I got lost twice.  The second time I got lost, they apparently taped off the wrong path I went so at least I helped other runners haha
  • I got sunburned ):  oops
  • the clifbar test was amazing – loving the blocks they had out to sample, I was hesitant to buy them at my local running store but after tasting it, I will def get some!
  • the race was different than I expecting.  My team and I thought it was going to be we each were to run a different path but we all ran the same 10.5k loop!  So we all suffered the same terrain together haha.  I’ve never wanted to cry so badly as I went up a hill!

And here’s what I have to say about my fall:

  • it was brutal
  • I went shoulder first after I somehow tripped around the 9-10k mark
  • I ran past a tent around 400m before the finish line where I yelled out I will need a medic at the finish line
  • I did gave my bib to my teammate and the second the bib was off, I went into shock.
  • I was too out of it to find the medic tent (it was right by the finish line for the ultra runners but I didn’t notice it there since I had to go to the right to hand off the bib)
  • I had a panic attack as I wandered over to the food tent and grabbed the first guy I saw with a walkie talkie to inform them that I needed a medic
  • I was led to the medic tent and was fixed up.

And here are some pictures because I’m out of words and my arm hurting is making me cranky and impatient






photos from Jen Diaz – thank you for being the best one woman support crew

Swag from the race. Got a bottle along with my medal when I finished

Swag from the race. Got a bottle along with my medal when I finished

Okay, I think that’s everything.  Sorry my recap isn’t up to par with my other ones but I hope you enjoyed the pictures 🙂

So tell me, what was your hardest race?  Have you done a trail race?  Trail vs Road – which do you prefer?


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<3 Carmy

13 thoughts on “The North Face Marathon Relay Endurance Challenge

  1. Oh no. Do you think you’ll run on trails again? The first trail race is tough for street runners but I promise it gets better and easier!

    I will always choose trails over roads when given a choice. Ultra distances have been my hardest trail races.

    • I like trails but I don’t think I’ll race this one again next year! Too hilly! (Hosted Blue Mountain should have been a red flag! Hahahahaha) maybe a nice little low key one next time! I’m curious about ultras. Do you have a blog post about it? Reading about people eating real food while racing fascinates me!

  2. Wellllll. THAT was quite an experience! Geez Louise, well, I think that you can say that you earned that sucker. Every single part of it. Heal up, give it some distance, and then tackle a trail race that doesn’t bring you as close to the brink of death…. Good for you though. Many other people would have said thanks no thanks!

  3. Girl, you are epic. EPIC. I’m so proud of you, and I think I learn the most from my harder races. My first trail race (36 miles last October), I literally fell at least once every six mile loop. I thought I wasn’t cut out to run on trails, but I’ve improved since then!

    Sorry you fell and were hurt – but your story? Amazing.

    • my goodness, once every 6 miles?! my adrenaline only lasted me that last k to the finish line! I can’t imagine falling more than once ): Got a blog post to share with trail running tips? I’ll be needing it 😉 haha

  4. That looks a lot like the trail race I did in June – monster hills and lots of stone steps – so scary! I fell a bunch of times and have some battle wounds that look like they’ll be permanent. I hope it doesn’t discourage you from doing another race like this!

  5. Pingback: Could this be the next runfie? - Carmy

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