Sunday, August 19, 2012

2012 Iron Legs 50 Miler

Yesterday was the Iron Legs 50 Miler race in Kananaskis Country. I want to draw inspiration for my running since my motivation has been low lately, and I also wanted to help out. So I signed up as a volunteer for the race. I was needed as a course marshall (directing racers on the right path) and also asked to take photos of the race. So I borrowed my work's super-awesome Canon DSLR, packed my gear, and headed up to Jumpingpound Summit.

First off, the race itself is an 81km footrace in Kananaskis. This is 4th year that is has happened, and the race itself was sold out (again). It started at 6am, and racers were expected to take anywhere from 9-20 hours to complete. I believe the fastest time posted was 8:41, which is incredible considering the elevations, technical trail and distance. I was in place at 9:30 at the 35 km mark when the first racers came through.

Here are some photos of the race. All of these photos (and more) are available for download at full resolution here. I took photos of every single racer who came by Jumpingpound Summit.

The views from the top are stunning! This is Mt. Yamnuska to the north. 
Jumpingpound Summit was the highest elevation of the race. However, racers had to descend and then reascend Cox Hill, about 8km further down the trail. No small feat. You can see the trail on the left ascending the ridge.
A closer view of Cox Hill. The trail is easily visible. 
Looking south towards Forget-Me-Not ridge, I believe.
To the south was Nihahi Ridge, with Outlaw Peak, Cornwall and Glasgow behind.
Banded Peak!
At 9:30, we saw the first racer ascending to Jumpinpound Summit.
Looking north along the trail, you can see little white specks that are the racers.
Racers had to check in at the summit of Jumpinpound Mountain, and then come back down and head north. I was making sure they followed the path.
Looking down the Jumpinpound summit trail. Mt. Bogart and Canyon creek are off in the distance. P.S., that's where the racers were coming from.
It was great to see so many people out racing.
The grind to the summit. Most people said things like: "Sure... take my photo when I'm walking!" I said I would make them look glorious.
A chipmunk came and visited me. That's the only wildlife that I saw while out there.
From the summit, I could see the town of Cochrane to the north. Yay home!
As the running field narrowed out, I had a little bit of time to take some photos.
Your truly!
The sweeps came through at 2:30. They had their dog with them, and they were hot on the heels of the final racer! 
I was trying to capture the immensity of the race.
Or maybe I was trying to capture the solitude of such a long race.
Or maybe I was just trying to capture the stunning scenery...
All I can say is that the views were incredible. It was a great day to be outside and a wonderful event to be a part of.
It really was a treat to be stationed up there. The views were so beautiful.
The view from the top, capturing Black Rock Mountain to the north.
Another picture of Cox Hill. Bragg Creek would be way off to the right. 
Looking again at Mt. Bogart and Canyon Creek. On Powderface Road, at the base of this mountain is a memorial for a WWII trainer aircraft that crashed in the area.
The Ranger Station high atop Moose Mountain.
The race was truly inspiring. I took a photo of each racer as he/she ran by, with hopes that every photo would end up on the Iron Legs website. It was great to get involved with a community that I so closely can identify with, and it was so nice to see people out enjoying this small piece of heaven that is Kananaskis. I am truly inspired by all of the racers who participated and ran this race. I hope to be one of them next year, or in the coming years!



  1. Gorgeous photos. Thanks so much for being out there!

  2. I can't believe two things: How beautiful it is out there and that a human can run 50 miles.
    Amazing blog, dude!