Squamish 50 Orientation Run – 23k

The Squamish 50k on August 23 will be my first ultra! The race hosts a series of four orientation runs to familiarize runners with the route prior to the event. Jesse and I attended the first one on Sunday, along with 100 other runners, which followed the 23k route.

We woke up at 5:00am and hit the road at 6:15am – before the sun was up! The drive up was beautiful and we arrived at the meeting place, Nestors Market, around 7:45am. We checked in with the organizers, received a briefing from the race director, and carpooled to the starting location (about a 5 minute drive).

I wore capri pants, a tank top with a light long sleeve shirt over top, my Run Like A Girl Buff, my Salomon Speedcross 3 trail runners, and my Nathan VaporShape hydration vest . It was a little chilly so I added a super light Saucony Breeze jacket at the last minute but I warmed up about half an hour into the run and took it off. In true running fashion there were some unusual wardrobe choices including a wedding dress and a shark costume!

We took a group photo before heading up a hill to the trails. There was such great energy! For the first half, we were among lots of people going a similar pace as us but as the run progressed, we gradually separated. The route was marked really well with spray chalk and felt a bit like a scavenger hunt at times (which added to the fun).

There was an aid station about halfway through stocked with just about everything you could want: water, pop, chips, cookies, oranges, bananas, gels, and … a blow-up doll?? I never quite figured out why it was there but I assume it had something to do with the bride who was wearing knee-high socks that said “BEER” and who asked Jesse and I if we happened to have a condom as she passed us.

The second half of the route I was fading and could feel my legs getting tired. I guess that’s to be expected but I was hoping it would feel a bit easier. I made it to the end but couldn’t have been convinced to run much farther, unlike a couple friends who are training for a 100k and went back for another lap.

Jesse and I checked in so the organizers knew we made it back safe and sound. They were handing out $25 vouchers for Escape Route, an outdoor equipment and apparel store, which required no minimum purchase amount. I’m still amazed by that! You could use it to buy something that’s $25 and get it for free! I mean, that would be pretty hard to do with all the cool expensive brand name products they carry, but still! I used mine towards a vest and Jesse bought a pair of pants.

We hit up a Starbucks for some well-deserved fancy lattes and then headed back home.


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