Sadly this is my first blog regarding the MEC trail series. I signed up to run each race in this series as they offered an incredible deal in 2016 for the whole series that I couldn't pass up. I always wanted to run a MEC race and this deal gave me the boot to the keister that I needed. Sadly, I missed the 1st race in the series at Point Pleaant Park due to illness but no way was I going to miss this one!
If you've never been to Citadel Hill in Halifax, for 2017 Parks Canada is offering up FREE ADMISSION to everyone to celebrate Canada's 150! You HAVE to go!
On to the race;
What can I say? AMAZING!! One of my favourites for sure! I might be a tad biased because I'm definitely a trail runner at heart. We began in the parade square, from there we ran across a cobblestone path to the outskirts of the Citadel. We then picked up speed as we raced down the hill. We didn't enjoy that feeling of gazelle like grace for long as we quickly did a U-Turn to traverse up that lovely long steep luxiourious downhill that gave us so much flight to our feet. At about a quarter of the way up, my gazelle like greatness turned into a sloth like sluggishness! Once we crested what felt like the tip of Everest we continued along the perimeter of Citadel to another long yet much less steep hill down to the base of the great Citadel. We traversed along the base for 1/4 trek, this was a welcome break to catch our wind and hit our stride again before we headed up the much longer though steadier and more manageable incline to the top. Once we crested we finished off the remainder of the outside perimeter and went inside the ditches portion of the run. This was FANTASTIC! I have visited Citadel Hill many times but never went inside the ditches! I was in awe! We traveled through cobble stone tunnels, over grassy terrain and back though again! Honestly by the time I finished this short 5k I really wished I signed up for the 10 because I badly wanted to do it all again! It was fabulous!!
Of course every review must endure a few cons. I tell you, it's very hard to find any cons about this run, but in all fairness I will give some downers.
The run around 1/4 of the base. It was all sidewalk. I'm a horrible runner, my form is something that definitely needs work; running on concrete kills me. When we had made it to the base it was all pretty much single file running. We had to leave adequate room for the rockstars to come back. That played havok on my pace as well as my form. It was hard to find a new normal for my pace and the concrete killed my lower back. If you're looking to PR on this one, I'd say save it for another. This is not a PR kind of event. You will find yourself walking through tunnels and slowing down considerably while running single file. Not to mention taking in the scenery all around you. Seriously, who can speed through all that? Enjoy it! When will you ever get the chance to run through the gulleys of Citadel Hill if not with the MEC Citadel Highlander?!
I began my running journey in March of 2009. I began my journey of faith in September of 2012. Running releases stress from my body while my new found faith releases stress from my mind.