Mother nature supplied some serious 'tough guy' and 'tough girl' points on Sunday April 17th by means of torrential rain and crippling wind. Shawn Taylor and I, of Team Trail Shop, combine for over twenty years and in excess of 100 races worth of experience, yet neither paid heed to weather forecasts and were grossly unprepared for the annual four hour Pre-E2C. Shivering on the start line we were glad to start fast heading for the northern half of the course. Though strategic planning led to a slight detour to collect CP8 before heading north. It was only about 100 m extra distance, and the topography looked challenging for CP8, we felt it was better to get it early.
CPs 8, 5, 6 and 4 were collected with only a few minutes worth of fussing for CP6 at a false intersection. The dense network of trails at CP1 led to about 15 minutes lost time. Our original approach to CP1 had us within 50 m of the proper intersection, but we'd overestimated our distance travelled and we had to re-group at our last known point. It was frustrating, but we didn't have a good enough set of reference points to make any better of a decision at the time.
Heading east to CPs 2, 3 and 7 was when the cold began to have it's way with us. At each crest the exposure was brutal, and as luck would have it the rain hit it's hardest once we made it to the main road. Taylor had to keep moving to keep the cold away, but the effort was fast approaching uselessness. I kept reassuring him that he could have my rain coat if it got any worse, but I was beginning to think I was going to need it now that we were exposed. CPs 7, 3 and then 2 were collected without any trouble, and the three teams whom we caught at CPs 4 and 1 were caught again. Now all we had to do was run ~3.0 km south to the southern half of the course. The 3.0 km felt more like 30 km. The offer to donate my rain coat was officially reneged as I was starting to suffer from the early effects of hypothermia! Blood flow to the extremities had been reduced, and the legs were lethargic and stiff. Neither of us had much use of our fingers! While trying to get into our snacks it was like we had mittens on!
CP9 was collected easily enough, but even at a reduced pace we passed CP10, but we decided we could get it on the way back. There was some concern about finding the right 'indistinct trail' for CP14, but it was found right away and the control was collected in no time. That left only CPs 12 and 13. With some quick math it we figured that we had the time to collect them, but just barely. Back on the main road, I started cramping. It's no secret that Shawn and I are much better suited team-mates on longer races since Shawn is a considerably faster runner even after a winter off his feet with a high ankle sprain. As always, Taylor showed his experience by pushing just enough to bring me to the brink of agony before allowing some reprieve. I pushed (all be it slowly) through and we collected CP12 with no trouble. Just prior to CP 12 we met the eventual winners Mark and Dave who had about a 10 minute lead. The wind and rain picked up again, fortunately propelling us up the hill to CP13, but unfortunately the wind was still so strong that running back downhill was much more difficult that going up! Bad cramps became worst cramps for me, but the we continued north and collected CP10 as planned and rolled into the finish barely functional on account of the cold with four minutes to spare missing only CP11, a low value control that wouldn't have changed our placing in the No. 2 spot. Congratulations to Dave and Mark on the win!
Jodi Isenor hosts the Pre-E2C every year for us to shake off the winter cob-webs and get ourselves into gear for the E2C, a 24 hr rogaine hosted by the Halifax Regional Search and Rescue. Jodi always assembles a challenging but reasonable course, and it was nice this year to see some new faces.
1 Dave/Mark 14/14 3h49m 4000pts
2 Andrew/Shawn 13/14 3h56m 3900
3 Lori/Troy 12/14 3h47m 3200
4 Coleen/Steve 11/14 3h52m 3100
5 Brian/Greg 12/14 3h53m 3100
6 Bruce/Conor 11/14 3h38m 2900
7 Anthony/Sascha/Tim 10/14 3h49m 2700
8 Mary/Paul 9/14 3h48m 2500
9 Colin/Ian/Jeff 7/14 2h42m 2300
10 2 Pinkies 9/14 3h46m 2000
11 Boomerang 8/14 3h13m 1900
12 Terry/Terry Edgett 8/14 3h48m 1800
13 Ellen/Jim 6/14 3h58m 1800
14 Grant/Patty 7/14 3h10m 1700
15 Nieforth's 7/14 3h47m 1700
16 Charadius 7/14 3h56m 1700
17 Robinson's 5/14 3h59m 1400
18 Glen/Roxanne 7/14 3h51m 1300
19 Jack/Vernon 6/14 3h11m 1200
20 Darlene/Vern 6/14 3h29m 1200
21 Amanda/Greg 5/14 4h18m 0
22 Alice/Dale 4/14 4h20m 0