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I had been warned not to start too far back from the front, despite the risk of going out too fast. The reason is that, after a short and steep climb up a gravel road, you hit a narrow and technical trail that can act as a bit of a bottle-neck.
I unfortunately had spent too much time hanging around and socializing before the race to really get organized and a long line-up for a last-minute trip to the porta potties meant literally running to the line right as the race was starting. I managed to force my way to about mid-pack pretty quickly but, sure enough, found myself stuck as we entered the narrow single track.
Tactical error #1: Starting mid-pack instead of at the front.
Having said that, running faster through the start of the race would have only contributed to even more of a positive split, possibly at the risk of slowing me down further in the second half.
Climb up Black on a training run.
The climb up Black was great. I saw Jackie , Chloé and fellow Salomon Shop Team-mate Solana , and eventually ran into Josh and his brother who I hung out for a bit with, some great banter helping to pass the time as we neared the scree.
The view from Eagle Bluffs was even more amazing than usual in the early morning light and it was pretty neat hearing the reaction of a few runners from out of town who were seeing it for the first time.
The air was quite cool at the top – so cool, in fact, that you could see your breath – and the passing helicopter was creating a refreshing wake. I had finally caught up with my friend Jonathan who I’d run this section of the trail with for the first time just a few weeks before and we were having a blast running through what had become my favourite part of the course, made even more exciting with the film crew overhead.
We flew through the first aid station and hit the first checkpoint at 7.5 miles where I kept on as Jonathan took a moment to re-fuel.
Jonathan on the scree during training.
The second quarter of the race begins with quite a bit of ‘up and down’ on some fairly technical trail before you hit the cross-country ski trails where you can really motor. I had slowly been picking runners off one by one and was really able to open up the stride on this section and pass quite a few more.
Now, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve gotten a little lost during a race, but the Kneeknacker course is marked so meticulously well that I’m still kicking myself for not having noticed when the runner in front of me took a wrong turn sometime after Hollyburn.
I was totally focused on trying to slowly reel him in as we climbed up instead of continuing down when he suddenly stopped and turned to announce that he thought we were off-course, not having seen a flag in a while. We continued up another minute or so to make sure before admitting defeat and turning around.
I ran into Chloé back at the intersection (who joked about me trying to get in some extra miles), before I began trying to make up the 4 minutes I had just lost. I caught up with Jonathan who was more than a little surprised to see me and began trying to make up for lost time as we dropped – and dropped – to Cleveland Dam.
Tactical error #2: Following others and not paying attention to flagging.
Quick stop at Cleveland Dam.
The race was so well organized and with so many volunteers that, as I approached the aid station and before I could even ask “Where are the drop ba–” someone handed mine to me. It would appear that they had someone calling in the numbers of runners as they approach so that other volunteers could fetch their bags and have them ready. I retrieved and asked one person to fill my bottle, handed my empty pack to another, said a quick hello to friends and family, and was on my way pretty much on schedule.
A couple of hours into the race, I had started to get that familiar feeling of blurred vision that I would sometimes get on long training runs and realized I had to up my fluid intake and tried to drink as much as I could before arriving at Cleveland Dam (sure enough, when I checked my pack’s bladder after the race, I had about half of it left so had consumed half of my planned fluids).
The irony is that, had it been a warmer day instead of such perfect weather, I probably would have been forced to drink more and therefore consume more carbs. At least I was on target for gels though and, with my trusty water bottle now in-hand, could get back on track.
Tactical erorr #3: Not drinking enough in the first half of the race.
The second half would go a little smoother – for the most part.
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| Submitted by Jason Eads on 16 July, 2013 - 19:12
Cheers to the KKNSTR – the 25th Anniversary!
( Our 5th wedding anniversary occured while in B.C. for the KKNSTR . Above: Lauren and I at U Brew on Clark Street - bottling with Ean and Linda Leigh)
Somehow I have a knack (pardon the pun) for running B.C. trail races that are on big anniversary dates. STORMY 100m in 2010 comes to mind as an example. This year I was lucky enough to land a spot in the lottery for the 25th running of the K.K.N.S.T.R. 30-miler along the entirety of the Baden-Powell trail. I won’t forget the lottery drawing night, as I was sitting in a bar in St. Louis (traveling for work) with my good friend and fellow runner, Bert Dorazio. Bert couldn’t understand why I was glued to my smart phone that evening so I had to explain about the race and the lottery. Bert knew I was fond of B.C. and the world class trails above the shores of North Vancouver (not to mention its fine Citizens!) – needless to say we were both PUMPED to see my name drawn while the Facebook feeds were coming out from the race committee as they pulled names from the hat back up in North Vancouver.
The truth is, the Knee-Knacker is really a “locals” race in B.C. Very few folks from the states or elsewhere (as a percentage of participants) run it. Even still, western Canada is home to some of the most talented and swift trail hounds you’ll find anywhere, so the race is as competitive as they come. I had no intentions of showing up in B.C. to compete with anyone but myself, which is how I usually approach a race. I knew the 4,000ft climb in the 1st 6 miles of the race would be all of the competition I would need. To be clear here, having your name drawn and to be invited to run the Knee-Knacker is a distinct honour and I was thrilled to become a part of the field!
The spring season this year reveals I’ve been in school full-time for nearly a year and a half, transitioning in a move from Tampa, FL to Nashville, TN (to take on a new job), and trying to squeeze in training here and there to ensure I don’t DNF at K.K.N.S.T.R. I’ve run several ultras in the last few years and some might think I’m being modest by saying I was hoping not to DNF. However, when you train on about 30 miles per week in the flat lands of central and southern Florida you’re going to have your work cut out for you in a BIG way on the Baden-Powell trail. It boasts 30 miles from the start at Horseshoe Bay to the finish at Deep Cove while forcing over 8,000ft of vertical ascent and 8,000ft of vertical descent. Needless to say, 16,000ft of climbing and bombing the downhill trails can wreck even the fittest runners if they mismanage their race.
A special luxury for me, besides running in the race, would be having Lauren along with me for the experience. She’s always my lucky charm! We arrived in Seattle on Thursday afternoon, then stayed in South Surrey just across the U.S./Canada border with our friends, the Hawke family. I enjoyed a nice afternoon shakeout run with Ferg and his son, Carter. Lauren and I subsequently enjoyed an excellent pizza for dinner from Bucky’s with Cheryl, Connie, Carter and Ferg. Ferg and Carter would need the fuel, as they were leaving Friday for Death Valley to crew contender David Goggins in the Badwater 135 starting Monday – enjoy the heat fellas! Meanwhile, the weather in B.C. was shaping up to be something special – 70’s and sunny, which would hold for our entire trip in the Pacific NW – gorgeous!
Friday we departed South Surrey and were bound for Vancouver to meet Ean Jackson and his lovely Mom, Linda-Leigh, at West Coast U Brew. Ean had ordered up about 50 liters of special IPA for the 25th running of the K.K.N.S.T.R. It also happened to coincide with Lauren and my 5th wedding anniversary, so we shared a small glass of IPA and proceeded with helping bottle the batch with Ean and Linda-Leigh. What a nice treat for our anniversary!
We proceeded to North Vancouver to catch up with Sibylle and ensure we had a mellow evening so Ean and I could be fresh for the race. Ean would be attempting his TWENTY-FIRST Knee-Knacker and a finish ahead of friend and fellow competitor, Paul Cubbon, would net Ean +1 bottles of fine single malt scotch – Ean would need more than his beauty sleep to best Paul in the morning! In typical Ean fashion, there was no training involved in preparing for the race. Par for the course, indeed. A surprise visit from Mr. David Crerar was most welcome and we enjoyed a pint, reminisced about David’s sub-24 hour WSER 100 finish (which I helped crew a couple of years ago), and discussed the shellacking the Baden-Powell was sure to put on me the following day. The way Ean and David talked about Eagle Bluffs I would have bet that I would need ropes and a helmet to ascend Black Mountain! Alas, these two are known for the occasional yarn spin to work someone up over nothing. Then again, they have also been known to snuggle in the woods together overnight and hopping rides out of the back country the following morning with North Shore Rescue (by helicopter) to ensure their survival – so you never really know. We were in bed no later than 10pm local time, which was helpful because we needed to be out of the house by 5:15am the following morning to ensure we were on time for the 6am start.
Lauren was volunteering at Cleveland Dam, the half-way point, where she assisted aid-station Captain Sibylle and fellow volley and friend, Kristie Congram. It would be a nice chance for them all to catch up and an opportunity to see me through the halfway point on my way to Deep Cove (hopefully!). Lauren drove Ean and I to the start (thanks hun!) and saw us off at 6am sharp. The run was ON, and the long climb up to Black Mountain began.
The RACE: 7.5 mile mark for 1st Quarter: 1:46:51
The initial climb, roughly 6 miles, goes from about sea level to 4,000ft. It’s a wicked beast of a vertical ascent that the fastest competitors can tackle in about 1hr 20minutes. For a flatlander like myself it took about 1hr 46minutes. It was a shuffle and a lot of hard work, but the payoff view at Eagle Bluffs, a little below Black Mountain’s peak, was TREMENDOUS. At 3,000ft+ we runners could see our breath and a North Shore Rescue helicopter buzzed closely overhead to allow a film crew to document this epic 25th annual event. A few times up the climb I was a little bogged down by other runners, but rather than get frustrated I decided it was best not to try to pass for fear of going out too fast, not to mention falling to my death off of Black Mountain’s multiple scree and boulder fields! ;-) 4,000ft of 8,000ft tackled, then I moved on to the more “runnable” course down trail…
15 mile mark for 2nd Quarter: 1:21:35 (cumulative total approximately 3:08)
The 2nd quarter of the race is a net descent into Cypress bowl, then on to Cleveland Dam at the half-way point. This is always the fastest leg for most runners. I enjoyed the drop off of Black Mountain, but the log road was just steep enough that this flatlander wasn’t confident enough to let it rip. I wanted to save a little for later because the “easier” second half still boasts 1,000’s more feet of climbing. Getting sucked into the idea that I was really going to hammer it out there didn’t seem like a good strategy. I was enjoying the cruise and working hard to ensure I WASN’T working hard until after half-way. While the fastest runners, like Gary Robbins, can blister this section in just under 1 hour, I felt happy with 1:21 knowing I had quads left for use on some technical climbs and descents much later in the race. Very useful indeed!
I caught up with Lauren, Sibylle, and Kriste at the half point in about 3:08. Not blazing, but probably a smart pace. Lauren and I had discussed that 3 to 3.5 hours seemed sane, so I was right on the money and felt good. I really like to use Carbo Pro for long runs and races, and it kept me steadily energized. I also took advantage of Thermolytes to keep the electrolytes in check. I really hadn’t been using much of anything but water on my very short training runs and was very happy with how well these two products helped me manage my race. Not a single cramp nor lull in engery for the 30 miles - NAILED IT on this day, thanks Ferg! Lauren was ready for me with a 600 calorie shot of Carbo Pro at the half, so I chugged that and hit the road to climb out of Cleveland Dam, across the base of the Grouse Grind, and on to Q3 of the race. Great help there at Cleveland Dam – NICE JOB vollies!
Q3 – Let’s Race! 22.5 mile mark for Q3: 1:36:32
You can get lulled into thinking you’re in great shape coming out of Cleveland Dam, only to find that your climbers had better be intact. It’s a little bit of a grind coming out of there and a roller coaster ride through Q3 and Q4 to the finish. There’s more than plenty of climbing to keep you honest. Q3 was pretty slow for me, but I was still biding my time. I briefly caught up to local runner Jeff Trigg, only to be dropped like a bad habit by him as the Baden-Powell pulled us up and down the lower base of Mount Fromme. Always good to see and “talk” to Jeff. I was really huffing and puffing and guessed I wouldn’t see him again, but I had just enough in reserve that Q4 was a strong one for me.
Q4 – the final 7.5 miles: 1:34:49
Special thanks to Lauren for coming along for this one! Also, thanks to Ean and Sibylle for hosting us. Ferg and Cheryl were equally kind and we’re very glad to have caught up with ALL of our PAC NW friends – there are just getting to be too many of you to name, but you know who you are! Great job Kelsey, Wendy, and the entire K.K.N.S.T.R. staff/volunteer crew. AMAZINGLY well done. Congrats to our friend, Gary Robbins on the WIN in a stunning time of 4:41:28, flirting CLOSELY with a course record! Congrats as well to Ean Jackson on his 21st Knee Knacker finish!
Hope to see you all again very soon in B.C. Feel free to hit us up in our new hometown of NASHVILLE, TN if you’re around. I’m optimistic that Nashville, although still nothing like B.C., has plenty of hills and trails to enjoy in comparison to sunny and flat Florida. Hopefully I’ll come back to the north shore mountains with some better tuning to enjoy another go at the Baden-Powell in the not too distant future.
All the best, Jason
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The shock of winning .4 million in a lottery was nothing compared to the jolts Craig Henshaw felt later.
They were not pleasant.Craig Henshaw holds his cheque for a .4 million Lotto Max jackpot on Sept. 27, 2011. Far from freeing him, the money wound up pushing him to a decision to quit the job he loved. (Nick Perry / CP file photo)
The story of Craig Henshaw, multi-millionaire, began one day last September when Craig Henshaw, high school teacher, went digging through his pockets for the he had left to pay for some groceries. He had just enough cash to get him through the rest of the week, before the first paycheque of the new school year would come through.
Loud bells and alarms went off. The phone on the lottery machine began to ring.
“Initially, I thought I’d won ,000,” Henshaw, 43, says. “Then the lady on the other end of the phone chuckled. It turned out that the digital readout on the ticket machine didn’t have enough space for all the digits.”Article Continued Below
“No, Mr. Henshaw, you’ve won million!” the lady told him.
The rest of the day, Henshaw says, was “surreal.”
But the thrill of the millions evaporated quickly. Over the next few weeks his world became a whirlwind of broken friendships and financial scams.
Henshaw couldn’t even return to his cozy loft apartment after collecting his cheque. He spent the first few weeks living in a hotel, mainly in an attempt to duck the media and stalkers.
“Six hours after I won, some scam artist had already managed to get my credit card number. The charities started hammering me immediately,” Henshaw says, smacking his fist into his hand.
“My email inbox was full, and my phone was flooded with text messages. People were asking me to pay off student loans. I got 365 texts in the first day.”
Eight months after his windfall, Henshaw is in a reflective mood as we sit in a pub for an interview. Five years ago, I was a student in his classroom at Markville Secondary School in Markham, where he taught woodshop and technology.Article Continued Below
Teaching was his passion, and still is. But as odd as it sounds, the money did get in the way.
In the aftermath of his lottery win, what hurt most, he says, was the reaction from his colleagues. Teachers whom Henshaw considered friends were suddenly badgering him to pay off their credit-card bills. His school board email was completely flooded.
The workplace environment became toxic. After a decade of teaching, he made the decision to resign.
“Unfortunately, I’ve had to say goodbye to about 25 per cent of my friends because they were acting really inappropriately,” Henshaw says. “They were asking for money, and being really pushy about it. The friends who I really cherish didn’t really care at all.”
“It was a really sad day for teaching,” says Don Henshaw, Craig’s father. “He was a born teacher. It was all he ever wanted to do, and now he had to leave teaching.”
“The thing about teachers is that you’ll always be a teacher. That’s just who you are,” Craig says. “I could always volunteer. I always taught for the sheer joy of it, and getting a paycheque was just a bonus.”
Consequently, Henshaw now wrestles with his identity. As a teacher, he spent most of his life working hard, more enamored with the passion of being an educator than earning a paycheque. Like many, he worried about his student loans, credit-card debt, and making ends meet until the next payday.
“I used to be the guy who bought no-name cheese, and suddenly I could buy everything in the house just by snapping my fingers. How do you process that? How do you get used to it?” Craig says. “I know a lot of people will say that those are the problems of the 1 per cent. Well, yeah, but I’m still part of the 99 percent. I just have a bunch of money all of a sudden. I didn’t get any sleep at all that first month. I have to figure out who Craig Henshaw is. I’m still working on it.”
Henshaw’s desire to educate is evident in the way he has spent his winnings thus far.
He’s set up education funds for his nieces and nephews. His cleaning lady, whom he described as being on the lower end of the economic spectrum, will be returning to school thanks to his financial aid.
Henshaw believes people should be given a chance to learn. Instead of donating chunks of money to charities, he has opted to set up scholarship funds at his alma mater, the University of Western Ontario.
“I want to call it the Craig Henshaw Nice Guy Award. I want to give it to people who are enrolled in an arts program, that do a lot of graphics work,” Craig says, chuckling. “You know, the ones that always show up early and stay late at the art openings, and they do stuff to make the community a better place. Then there’s going to be the Craig Henshaw Nice Girl Award, which will be the same thing, but for the girls.”
Even with a near-limitless amount of cash, Henshaw hasn’t embarked on the spending spree many people fantasize about. He now lives in an inconspicuous apartment in downtown Toronto. Nothing about his residence or wardrobe screams the fact that he’s a multi-millionaire. He has assigned himself a steady allowance that’s enough to enjoy life, but modest enough that it wouldn’t turn heads.
Mike Nadal, a career counsellor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, approves of Henshaw’s modest spending strategy.
“There are two rules,” said Nadal, a former financial advisor who spent four years advising high-net-worth clients. “The first is not to lose the money. The second is not to forget rule number one.”
That was easier said than done on that day he picked up his cheque from the Lotto office.
The first thing he did with the money?
“I took everyone out for a celebratory dinner at a steakhouse. I didn’t know my credit card number had been stolen yet, so my card was declined,” Henshaw says. “I had to turn to my father and ask him for his credit card to pay for the meal.”
He’s learned much since then.
“The bank people were really good. They listened for about a month straight. They asked me what I was comfortable with, and told me about the risks with my now-portfolio.”
It has also bought him the time re-establish some family relationships.
“I spent the last 20 years working my ass off to try and be somebody, and I neglected my family,” he says. “Now I get the chance to try and re-establish all of the relationships that I used to wish I had time for.
“I’ve seen my father and mom more in the last six months than I had in years. I was always working. But now I have the time to spend with my family. My parents are in the sunset years of their life, and I want to make that sunset bright-orange.”
Henshaw has heard that it takes about a year for the stress of a lottery win to settle. “I’d like to travel,” he says. “Next winter, I just want to take a month and be a beach bum somewhere.”
At the end of our interview, Craig calls for our bill. I offer to pay, but my former high school teacher will have none of it.
He slices off from a small ball of bills and lays it down on the table.TOP STORIES, DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX.NEW NEWSLETTERHEADLINES SIGN UP what does viagra do