My first multi day trail running race. 

The Blood. My first VK. I held back as much as I dared. Decent effort. No need to kill myself for a few seconds. Third place. Happy with that! The poles were a big help. Thanks Phil for that gem. 

The Sweat. Everything came together on the Queen stage - stage 2 - 60km and 2500m of climbing -  somehow the stars aligned - and I just managed to have one of those days that rarely come along. I had a day like this a few years back at Cascade Crest 100, and I was having a great day at Iron Legs until an oversight saw me run 7km off course, so this was hugely satisfying. I ran early on with a bunch who were fast on the flats, but I felt I was climbing easier. I was breathing easy and everything was clicking. We hit the big climb. Time to go as I didn't want to summit in a pack. Running scared, I kept the pace high and finished just outside course record. Second was 43 mins back. I now had a strong lead in the overall GC. Time to recover.  I cooled off in the Kickinghorse river, guzzled Vitargo S2 and some protein. Full leg compression all night.

Stage 3 The Tears. A half marathon on tight and technical single track. The legs were good. Maybe all the post ultra soreness is purely mental I pondered. The ribs were sore though! Clearly heavy breathing works the intercostals and diaphragm. Again I'm in a small group with the same GC contenders early on. Surely I can't blow this now I thought, so pushed the pace at 10km on a long climb. Suddenly I'm alone and running away from my nearest rivals. Pushing hard to the finish, not enough to catch a fresh leader, but enough for second place on the stage and enough to take the overall win. Very happy with that!

Thanks to Magi for giving us a very challenging and beautiful course. The ridge on day 2 rivals the beauty of any race I've ever done. Thanks to Salomon for the 6000 sq ft of pure luxury accommodation at Kicking Horse!

Add this one to your bucket list. 

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