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Day 152 October 5, 2011 Maple Ridge to Burnaby 46km

6 Oct

I made itIt was cold and wet this morning and I was sure I had only just gone to sleep when my alarm started going off, but as I got up there was a hint of the fun to take place today.The 6km run to Maple Ridge was wet but our pace was swift in anticip…

Day 151 October 4, 2011 Chilliwack to Maple Ridge 64km

6 Oct

I can smell the ocean

I started off running through the nice Chilliwack countryside and soon I was on the Lougheed highway. It was a much quieter rode than the Trans-Canada but the shoulder was also much smaller. Both Russ and Zimmerman started the morning running with me and while the forecast called for rain there was a strange combination of fog and sun.
After running only about five or six km we came upon what turned out to be the steepest ascent of my trip. Here I am in the Fraser Valley, enjoying the flat roads and having mentally checked out of running steep hills, when out of nowhere, on a road I wasn’t initially planning to run on, a 2.5km 11% grade hill appears. 11%! I’m still not entirely clear on the meaning of the % grades, but I do know that the steepest I’ve seen so far this trip is between 7 and 8. So 11% was an unwelcome discovery.
With Zimmerman now back in the RV, Russ and I scaled up this beast, and although we only gained about 250m in elevation I swear it was much colder at the top. We continued along the narrow highway, the MCC at our rear blocking traffic until we were greeted by our 11% grade descent. So barely into my morning and my legs were already tiring.
By the end of the day my legs were weak and wobbly and I couldn’t make it to the 70km I had hoped for, having to tap out at 64km. Russ handed me some chocolate milk and as I was drinking it I thought it tasted a little off. The thing about chocolate milk is that it tastes so good that it’s kind of hard to tell if the milk portion has gone bad. So I drank a lot of it before I decided it had gone bad. I hope that isn’t a problem.
While stretching a truck pulled up and out jumped a man in jeans and a green t-shirt. He walked over to where Mike and I were stretching and introduced himself as Fred Fox, Terry Fox’s brother. SO AWESOME! He had been driving along the Lougheed Hwy and saw us stretching and stopped. So I guess I have the ministry of transportation to thank for that (I still haven’t forgiven them for the 11% hill though). We chatted for a while and then he had to take off but it was definitely a highlight for me.
I only have 46km left to run tomorrow until I get to Boundary Rd, the border between Burnaby and Vancouver and I’m starting to get really excited!

Day 151 October 4, 2011 Chilliwack to Maple Ridge 64km

6 Oct

I can smell the oceanI started off running through the nice Chilliwack countryside and soon I was on the Lougheed highway. It was a much quieter rode than the Trans-Canada but the shoulder was also much smaller. Both Russ and Zimmerman started the morn…

Day 151 October 4, 2011 Chilliwack to Maple Ridge 64km

6 Oct

I can smell the oceanI started off running through the nice Chilliwack countryside and soon I was on the Lougheed highway. It was a much quieter rode than the Trans-Canada but the shoulder was also much smaller. Both Russ and Zimmerman started the morn…

Day 151 October 4, 2011 Chilliwack to Maple Ridge 64km

6 Oct

I can smell the oceanI started off running through the nice Chilliwack countryside and soon I was on the Lougheed highway. It was a much quieter rode than the Trans-Canada but the shoulder was also much smaller. Both Russ and Zimmerman started the morn…

Day 150 October 3, 2011 Hope to Chilliwack 62km

6 Oct

Permits and problemsToday began like every other day on the trip but it ended much differently. Again I was up early and running by 8am. The morning was almost exclusively downhill, a treat compared to the previous days. Unfortunately what I gained in …

Day 150 October 3, 2011 Hope to Chilliwack 62km

6 Oct

Permits and problemsToday began like every other day on the trip but it ended much differently. Again I was up early and running by 8am. The morning was almost exclusively downhill, a treat compared to the previous days. Unfortunately what I gained in …

Day 150 October 3, 2011 Hope to Chilliwack 62km

6 Oct

Permits and problems

Today began like every other day on the trip but it ended much differently. Again I was up early and running by 8am. The morning was almost exclusively downhill, a treat compared to the previous days. Unfortunately what I gained in speed by the gentle downhill would be erased later in the day.
As I entered Hope Ian and Fred, two firefighters from Fire Hall No. 2, came out to escort us through. It was pouring rain for the majority of the day and I had to change a number of times to stay warm and shed the heavy rain soaked clothes. I managed to use only two pairs of shoes though, something I’m happy about as they take forever to dry.
Our escort left us at Peter’s Road and I stopped to get some water when Mike told me about the conversations he had been having with traffic services. Apparently they had gotten wind of the fact that I was running along the Trans-Canada and called to inform me that it was illegal for me to be on that road because I didn’t have a permit. According to traffic services I have needed a permit since I entered BC, a statement that seems a little ridiculous given that not only have I had numerous police escorts along the highway, but there are actually places along the Trans-Canada where people have houses and so they would be unable to leave their houses except by car. Also, she said they have never issued a permit to a pedestrian. We tried negotiating but the ministry of transport was adamant that I not run on the highway and insisted that I drive back to Hope and start running from there along the Lougheed Hwy.
That would have meant at least a 15km backtrack and about a 20km or more addition to my day. I decided that I would instead try and run along a gravel path adjacent to the road to see if I could get to a residential road about 10km away. The road led about 100m down to the train tracks and then continued parallel a bit before cutting back up into the bushes. I continued to run along it and it soon turned into a double lane paved road, albeit poorly kept. My optimism was soon shattered as the paved road came to an abrupt end blocked by forest. I backtracked to the train tracks and continued along them in the hopes that another road would open up but instead the terrain on either side of the tracks became impassable and had a train come I would have had no where to step off to. So I again backtracked. I decided to run along the highway until I could find another of these side roads to try again, but after three more dead ends I gave up, crossed over, and continued along the highway. During the short 7km it took to get to the residential area I was passed by two RCMP vehicles, the occupants of each giving me a friendly wave as they passed.
I ended my run just over the bridge into Agassiz, having blocked all traffic for the length of the bridge over the Fraser River thanks to a lack of a pedestrian crossing option. A quick drive to Chilliwack saw us meeting the mayor and local prostate cancer support group. It also served as the meeting spot to reunite with Russ, who is back for the remainder of the run, and our friend Mark Zimmerman, an Abbotsford native who was hosting us for the night.
Tomorrow I should make it to Maple Ridge.

Day 150 October 3, 2011 Hope to Chilliwack 62km

6 Oct

Permits and problemsToday began like every other day on the trip but it ended much differently. Again I was up early and running by 8am. The morning was almost exclusively downhill, a treat compared to the previous days. Unfortunately what I gained in …

Day 149 October 2, 2011 Merritt to Hope 71km

5 Oct

Big reunionWe were a little slower getting started this morning. Part of it had to do with the fact that my legs were sore from the past few days of hills and part of it had to do with the fact our battery died again. As happened to us in Dryden, nothi…