Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Canadian Death Race Sucks

I've been away from blogging for a couple of weeks.  First I was out of town for the Canadian Death Race...and then a family emergency in New Hampshire.  This last week, I've just been tired. I'm still tired.  In addition to the Death Race disaster, my mother passed away last week.  It's been a tough couple of weeks.

I did not finish the Canadian Death Race.  I didn't drop out either.  In fact, I think I was doing pretty well...but race officials pulled me (and 22 other runners) from the course at the end of stage 3 (of 5 stages) earlier than they should have according to race literature.  They claimed we had missed the time cut-off for the transition from leg 3 to 4.  Unfortunately, the time they used was 15 minutes earlier than the cut-off time they had printed on the 2010 race web site, race bib numbers, and what was mentioned at the pre-race briefing.  I made the stated cut-off, but was pulled anyway.  Very frustrating.  I'm still bitter.  I'm quite sure I could have finished the entire race.  I was well rested and ready to go.  The race director, and other officials, didn't seem to care.  Later, an e-mail came from the RD explaining the situation and offering us a discount on next year's race entry fee.  I'm not going back.  Even if it was a free entry, I wouldn't go back.  I think this race sucked.  It seemed disorganized and lacked the normal support provided at trail ultra marathons.  This was to be my 70th marathon/ultra.  Now I'm still at 69...but the Howl at the Moon 8-Hour is just around the corner!  I anticipate completing my 70th marathon/ultra this weekend...at a race that cares about runners.  We are expecting 95 degree weather for the Howl race, with high humidity, but the Kennekuk Road Runners will take care of us.  The Death Race folks had great weather, but failed to deliver. No excuses.

Oh well.  It was just a race.  I've learned my lesson and won't return to Grande Cache, Canada.  I cannot recommend the Canadian Death Race to any solo ultra runners.  It may be OK for relay teams, but does a team want to pay $350 per person (x5 team members = $1750)?  Seems crazy for a short sleeve shirt, canvas tote bag, and a water bottle...plus a few other crappy goodies.  I wonder if The North Face actually knows what they are sponsoring?

PS:  While I hated this darn Canadian Death Race, the town of Grande Cache and the surrounding area is beautiful.  The folks in Canada are pretty awesome too.  Some of the friendliest people you'll ever come across in your travels.  I'd love to return to Canada and run another ultra.  Maybe the Haliburton Forest 100 miler?  Sinister 7?

6 comments:

Ragfield said...

Chris, sorry to hear about your bad experience. I know this was an important race for you. Assuming you still have the same fitness, unleash your fury on the Howl course this weekend and have a great run.

Jim said...

Chris, my condolences to you and your family. Hopefully, the time on the trail this weekend will be healing and restorative for you.

Chris said...

Thanks guys. I am still fit so I'll be "bringing it to Howl" this weekend! Of course, "bringing it" in 95 degree weather might actually suck.

Jerry Davison said...

Sorry to hear about your Mom, Chris. I'm still smarting from time to time over losing my Dad back in February. Best of luck at the Howl. Last year was horrible with the heat index in the 100 and teens. Hope you have cooler weather tomorrow ... er ... today!

Joe Miller said...

Chris, so sorry to hear about your mother.

Chris said...

Thanks Jerry and Joe. It's hard losing a parent. This was definitely not my year at Howl. Too many emotions. I was done before I started.