So I Kicked and Pushed through Adventure No. 3 of the year. A supported 176 km (110 miles) run along the K&P Trails from Renfrew to Kingston, ON. It was a midnight start to maximize the daylight running time. However, being over 2 years since I ran my last 100 M I forgot how painfully slow the end gets so it finished well after sunset at the Spirit of Sir John A, in Confederation Park. The weather forecasts were showing a rainy day however we lucked out with dry conditions with the sun making its way out for a few hours. Again, this trail did not disappoint. The fall colors were spectacular, the trails were in great condition in most sections. And the scenery of lakes, marshes, massive rock cuts, farmer's fields, and small villages was awesome. Of course, just like the other two railroad trails I ran this year, it was mostly flat and straight
But the actual run is not the most important part of ultrarunning, it’s also the journey that leads up to it:
This started back in May when the K&P Trail got mentioned in a conversation with my coach. I have heard about the trail many times and knew there was a K&P in Renfrew and in Kingston but never put the connection that they were the same trail. However, it consisted of many broken segments with flooded areas especially north of Sharbot Lake. So, the next few weeks involved looking over maps, searching the internet and Facebook groups, and watching YouTube ATV videos trying to get as much information on its condition. And when I found out that a gravel bike group managed to bike the entire route in July – it was game on.
I was making weekly 2-hour drives (one-way) out to various spots along the northern half of the trail and running all those questionable sections. A lot of them were quite remote. The scariest part was not the bears, thunderstorms, the ATVs and dirt bikes, or an accident but it was encountering an obstacle that would not make this adventure happen.
I’d come home after each run, download the GPS data and obsessively recount each detail with my husband, Sean. I could see the look of concern every time, especially when he saw how remote a lot of the sections were. But of course, he knew how determined I was and did not say anything.
Then it nearly didn’t happen. Did a really stupid move two weeks before the run and tweaked my back to the point that I was not able to run to the end of the street. Then there was the potential of running through the night solo which was a huge concern for Sean. But with a few trips to the chiropractor and the plans for a pacer pulling through, it was a go.
Absolute grateful for the help along the way. Thanks to Guy D. for being able to step up for the first 6 hours of running through the night. Nighttime runs are hard but alone and in very remote areas can be scary. I think Sean appreciated you being there just as much as me. Thanks to Karen D. helping out with crewing for the first part and keeping Sean company. I think your presence and experience helped him for not stressing out too much. Thanks again to Derrick Spafford for helping me salvage what could have been a lost racing season. I was finally back in 100 miler shape just as this COVID stuff hit. I appreciated your support and encouragement along the way. There were days I thought this was a crazy idea. And it was great to have you pace me for a few hours along the trail as the mental portion of being alone proved to be a challenge.
Of course, to my husband, who put up with me obsessively talking about the K&P for months. You have been patient and supportive. This one was the toughest crewing job you did. But having you there gave me something to look forward to running towards. I was counting every km left in each segment until I saw you again.