After printing out the Route for the New Year's Day it became clear that I needed to try and hang on to someone who knew the course if I didn't want to be stuck reading half the time and missing out on most of the experience and the scenery. By the way, I didn't see a single person using instructions all day. Maybe everybody but me is navigationally gifted.
I knew that Dave Cressman knows the course well and was going for the full 50k.
I was also acutely aware that he might be out of my league as a runner, but then again isn't there always the off chance that you might just have great day and surprise yourself with a strong performance? In this case .... No.
I did what I was hoping to do, which is hang on to Dave until we were in and out of Pacific Spirit Park and back at the Seawall. By that time it had taken us just under 3 hours to cover 2/3 of the course including virtually all trail sections and the majority of the elevation changes and I was starting to get a bit tight to say the least. It also didn't help me much that Dave was picking up the pace before the turnaround to help his buddy get a good 25k time.
I like the image of just having so many matches to burn on any given run (meaning bouts of high intensity effort) and I had burned all of mine including the match box. Up a few of the hills in Pacific Spirit Park I was absolutely redlining while Dave was hardly breathing - or so it seemed.
After saying thank you and good buy to Dave and watching him and his runwear dissapear in the distance (pun intended), the remaining hour and fortyfive minutes were more of a shuffle rather than a run and my legs are still pretty beat up today.
In the end I had good company, a great navigator, a fine day in the winter sun and I am happy with the overall result. What else could I ask for ... besides maybe being able to climb the stairs to the washroom painfree?