Laura Kline took on another trail ultramarathon this summer with the North Face Endurance Ontario 50k.
Not an easy course
The scenery was outstanding, with rolling hills, fields of wild flowers and windmills, although she also had her mind on a time of 5:30. The terrain included exposed slopes, ski trails and plenty of hills.
“Around mile 7 there was a small cheering section ahead with signs as we made a right turn. When you see a sign that says ‘Make this hill your bitch’ you know you’re in trouble. There were even some sections of paved roads which were nice for opening up your stride a bit. In some of the wooded sections the trail was so soft and the trees were so tall you felt like a small spec floating along. There were some rocky sections, roots, wooden bridges – but not a very technical course. We crossed one small stream, twice. I loved the mix.”
Running with company
Luckily she encountered another runner who was aiming for 5:30 so she ran with him for much of the race. With about 9 miles (14km) to go she realised that she was ahead of schedule and in good shape, so started to push the pace.
“This was also sparked by looking at my watch and realizing that sub-5 hours was surely going to happen. By now the heat was turned up and although there was aid stations o-plenty they seemed so far away. And we were now back on the ski slope with a lot of sun exposure. I kept thinking to myself it would all be downhill from here. Wrong! There were a good 5-6 climbs in the last 3.5 miles. Just when you thought there is no way there can be another climb, you made a right turn into another wall.”
The race ended with an extreme downhill section and Laura zipped over the start line to surprise herself with a time of 4:46:17. She finished 8th overall (of 152 finishers) and first female (of 37 who finished), eight minutes clear of second place.
“I may have said it once but I’ll say it again” said Laura afterwards “The North Face Endurance Challenge sure knows how to host a top-notch race event. I’m glad I discovered this race series and can’t wait for the Championship event in December!”
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