Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Brigade Trail Race Report

Start of the 30km Brigade Trail Race
The following is the collective experience of Jenna, Steve, Chris and Brad (Chris' dad) from doing the 2017 Brigade Trail Race from Tulameen to Hope. Your mileage may vary.

Pros of the Brigade Trail Race:
Great to be done!
Steve and Jenna happy to finish
with only a few wasp stings!
  • Free entry (we got ours at the end of Fatdog but they have been at several different races as prizes)
  • Some camping space is available at the finish area at Peers Creek Rec Site, but there really isn't much space, and amenities are nil, just an outhouse.
  • The course was beautiful! (at least when
    it wasn't clouded in)
  • Single track! 25 of 30km was single track for the shorter race, with the 80km race being similar.
  • The course was well marked the whole way!
  • The aid stations were stacked! So much food and drink, even for the last runners of the 80km and at the remote aid stations. Avocados, bacon, candy, pickles, chips! What else could you want?
  • Fresh cooked hot bannock at the end! They were even willing to experiment with candies and mars bars wrapped in the batter and deep fried!
  • Bbq burgers with all the fixings.
  • The finish area was well set up. There were tents with heaters and food and drink, music, and most importantly, bathrooms (portable ones, but we weren't complaining)
  • The volunteers! At Jacobsen Lake aid station they fixed Brad's hiking poles, while others were filling his pack and helping him change clothes.
  • Lots of prizes! A whole table full of stuff!
  • The two runners that were pulled at the last aid station due to time cut-offs got free entries for the next year.
 Cons of the Brigade Trail Race:
    Brad at Jaconsen Lake aid station.
  • Pre-race meeting was in Princeton, but the race started in Tulameen and ended in Hope. For those of us doing the 30k we spent 3 hrs sitting on a tour bus leaving Hope at 8am and driving down a gravel logging road that was surely never designed for a Prevost tour bus. Both distances ended at a gravel lot 8-10km outside of Hope offering the occasional shuttle bus back to Hope.  If that's not logistically challenging, I don't know what is!
  • STEEP! The ups were steep. The downhills were even steeper! Some sections with branches and rocks were almost UN-hikeable, though Chris opted for the reckless approach and ran the downs. Our legs hurt for a full week after the race.
  • The spongy ground was nice to run on, but then you remember that the course is filled with.. you guessed it, wasps. Stinging terrible surprise ground wasps that stung you and disappeared!
  • The cut-off for the 80km is 15 hours, rather short considering the extremely difficult terrain.
  • Weather in Hope-Tulameen can change quite quickly. The later finishers were subject to some cold wind and rain! (not a fault of the race, but definitely need to be prepared)
  • The awards and prizes were the next morning in Hope and a lot of people had already left by then and missed out.
It doesn't look that bad right?!

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