Sunday, 12 April 2015

Envisions Project #1 - Avon Trail Thru Run

After our first chance meeting, Rhonda has proven to be an amazing runner with a keen sense of fun and adventure.  Her non-profit organization, Envisions, aims to "empower 'other' abled athletes to acheive their own adventures."

The first project was a 110K thru run of the Avon Trail, which runs from St Marys to Conestogo, Ontario.  It was a perfect opportunity for me to get in a long trail run with company, and support Rhonda in her project.

The run was on Saturday, April 11th at "stupid o'clock" (5 am in Rhonda-speak).  I stayed with my MIL in London, but still had to leave the house at 4 am to get there on time.  Amazingly, I had no problem finding the St Marys trail terminus, thanks to coordinates dropped onto Google Maps.

The first few kms was all walking, because one of the other-abled athletes joining us was a non-runner.  The trail was flat road/paved. I had Emma's headlamp and thankfully other people had more powerful headlamps, mine barely made a dent in the darkness.  I was freezing my ass off because I was dressed to run!  The non-runner fell less than 1K in and perservered until the van made an emergency stop to pick her up at 7K.  Then the rest of us (Rhonda, Steven P, Steve H, Jeff, Peter, Clay, Steph) started going off-road.

In the early going, the blazes were few and far between.  We took a few wrong turns.

while lost, why not pretend to pee in a creek?

The trail wasn't technical at all..but there was some ice, and a lot of mud and water. Deerses running freely. Beautiful scenery. 

Over hill, over dale...

...Thorough bush, thorough brier...

One of the most memorable moments of the day was having the trail take us right through a horse pasture with 2 horses inside.  Perhaps the horses were used to having 1 or 2 people a day pass by, not a crowd.  Anyways, they got kind of pissed off:

"Hi hoomans."

The horse bodychecked someone, Peter, I think.  Note the white fence.
Steph tried valiantly to open the wire gate while the horses chased after us, and I, the skirt-wearer with bare legs decided not to risk climbing over.  So I stuck my arm through the white fence and when I didn't get zapped, I climbed through and my leg made contact. It felt like a moderately hard punch.  At least I didn't have to pee at that moment.

Every 10K, our mobile aid station met us, stocked with all the goodies one could ever want to eat/drink while running.  Thanks Jennifer-Anne!

Lisa (pink jacket), the filmmaker who produced 8% no limit, captured footage to be used in a future film!

Steph studies the map.
I completed 31K in just over 5 hours, it was a new trail distance PB for me and fantastic training for Sulphur.  Rhonda and the group were so much fun, and so inspiring! I will be eager for more trail running adventures with Envisions in the future!

The finishers medal that Rhonda made for each of us.

Elizabeth, Steve, Jeff, me, Steph, Clay, Peter, Rhonda.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you had such a good time. Sounds like a fun adventure. Hoping I can make the next one!! Nice work out there.