Completing The World’s Hardest and Most Beautiful Half Marathon

Earlier this year one of my dearest friends, actually she is more like a little sister, asked me if I wanted to do the Emperor’s Challenge with her in Tumbler Ridge, BC. This mountain race is known as the world’s hardest and most beautiful half marathon. So, on Saturday August 7, 2010 we joined 573 other runners and we conquered Babcock Mountain! It was such an amazing experience! For any runners or hikers out there who are looking not only for a race but a once in a lifetime experience, this is it. Here are some pics (which do NOT do the course justice).
Misty, AnnDee, Kathryn and I waiting for the race to start. It was a really cold and windy morning.
This was the incline for the majority of the first 10km of the race. My cardio was good but man were my calves not happy with me!
So, I am jogging along and come across this sign. Get ready to jump over deep cracks – are you kidding me! Do you have any idea how tired my legs are? The cracks weren’t too wide but when you can’t see the bottom and your legs feel like jello you tend to pause for a moment and wonder if this is a smart move.
I love taking pictures of flowers and this race was no exception. In the background is a small lake.
So we have conquered the first major uphill battle, jumped over 3 crevasses where you could not see the bottom and then just for fun get to scramble up a skree slope – YAY! Actually, this was the part of the race that got my adrenaline going. The wind was so strong that it was actually hard not to be blown off the slope. And yes, that white stuff is snow (we climbed to approx. 6000 feet)

This is a cruel course. You’re climbing, climbing, you get to the top of what you think is the summit just to look in the distance and see all these little colored dots climbing up the next slope.
Almost to the summit, for real this time.
Jogging along the summit ridge. It was so windy that if you turned your head the wrong way you couldn’t breathe. It was like the wind created a vacuum that sucked all the air out of your lungs.
And we survived!
All of us have agreed to do the race next year and we have already recruited a few rookies. If you want more info on this race visit the official site at http://www.emperorschallenge.com/index.php

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