Coming in to Summer with two races, the first being about 2 months away. My training was feeling great and I was beginning to get anxious to run my first ultra. So I went online and googled “Ultra races in Canada” and selected the race that was the nearest in the future, and that race was the River Valley Revenge in Edmonton, that was just under three weeks away. I sat on the idea for a while, pondering if I was ready to run my first 100km race, and first ultra or even organized marathon. My girlfriend convinced me that I was strong enough and that I should put my training to the test. So days before the event, I signed my self up and booked a hotel!
The course runs along the river valley south of Edmonton along the steep banks of the North Saskatchewan river, and completes two loops of heinous terrain. Hours before the race I began to get quite nervous, knowing ill be in for a full night of suffering, doing something Ive never even attempted before, and with such a spontaneous decision to do so, I wasn’t sure if I trained hard enough to complete it. Moments before the race began, all nerves went away, and just pure excitement to see how far I can push my body and just knowing that ill be moving for 12hrs + got me feeling giddy. When the horn went off to begin the race, my legs felt amazing, like my body was floating effortlessly, right away I knew it was going to be a great run.
For the first 10km, I followed two local runners, and the three of us quickly realized how poorly flagged this course was, and we had to stop several times looking for flagging tape, wondering if were on route or not. After running 10km with them, I decided that I should be running the pace I was hoping to, and ended up leaving them behind, and took the lead. The course had some pretty amazing single track and became a bit easier to see the route. 25km in, I made wrong turn, following other flagging tape, and got lost, adding 5km extra on to my race in awful terrain. After calling my girlfriend who was at the aid station waiting for me, her and a volunteer helped me get back on route to the aid station, to find out I was still in 1st place. I ended up holding first place for the entire race. 14 hours later I ended up crossing the finish line and beating 2nd place by almost 2 hours. Not at all how I was expecting this day to go! Overall stoked with the outcome of the day, taking home 1st place in my first ever ultra marathon, I was not at all stoked with how the race was organized. Missing hydration stations that I was counting on, and arriving at aid