Monday, April 16, 2012

Columbia River Trail

I am not sure why more people don't include the Columbia River trail on their early season hit list as I cannot think of a more perfect run to get OFF the road and pack a few trail kms- especially this time of the year. I would think that in a normal winter it is good to go the end of March.
The Trail runs approximately 20km, mainly along the Columbia river from Castlegar to Trail (On the opposite side of the river than the Hwy runs). You access it from the end of Columbia Rd in Castlegar which runs off of Hwy 3 at the bottom of the Bombi. It's approx 4.5km down Columbia Rd from HWY 3. There is pretty good signage along the trail too, but there are a few sections along the dirt road that you need to pay attention.
The route starts out with an old dirt road for approx 3-4km until it narrows down eventually into a beautiful rolling single track trail. After about 13 km of single track it turns into a dirt road again for 3-4km as you start to approach the outskirts of Trail. I find the route has just enough ups and downs to keep those early season legs working, without putting any additional stress on them.
Lex Baas, Carolyn Donnelly and I really only intended on running 30km, but- well- what can I say, sometimes when you are having so much fun, why cut it short? So we ran the whole route to Trail and back for a great 40km day. We did grunt and slog in the last 3-4km though :)...I suppose that is the danger of doing an out and back as you always feel fine at the turn around!
Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so you'll just have to get out there yourself to see it- you'll be pleasantly surprised. BTW there are just enough creeks to keep the dogs happy!

I Will be posting the sign up and more info in the next few days on the really exciting Pilot Bay trail race May 6th- so please check back soon...

                       After 4:30hrs of running and some foood- I was out like a baby!

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