A freelance writer is only as good as their ideas. Most frequently, my ideas come from something I read, a little snippet of a newspaper or magazine article, or a blog post. Sometimes I get an assignment where an editor asks me to write about a certain topic. Sometimes my ideas come from conversations with friends, family members, or that guy at the coffee shop.
And, in my favourite instances, my stories are about my adventures. In the June edition of Explore magazine, I wrote a short piece on the Kananaskis 100 Mile Relay Race, which celebrates it 25th anniversary this year. The race was one of the first multi-stage races in Western Canada, long before events like the Canadian Death Race and the Sinister 7 challenged ultra-elite athletes to push themselves to their limits.
When I ran the K-100 last year as part of the Kananas-Chix—a 10-woman team of athletic 20-,30- and 40-somethings—I was sure to note the approaching 25th anniversary. Anniversaries are always good for stories and 10, 25, 50 and 100 are particularly story worthy. The Explore editor agreed with me.
Back to the race, where each team member took one leg, starting in Longview, Alta. and finishing at Nakiska, 100 miles (156.5 kilometres) later. I got Leg 2, 16.5 kilometres of gentle incline heading west along High 541. I was finished before 9 a.m., which means that the day started very, very early for the first four racers.
Unfortunately, I’ll be in Toronto this year during the K 100, so I compensated for it by pitching the story to Explore.
And I’ll also compensate for missing the race by finally posting my pictures from last year. Here’s what running 100 miles looks like:
Break time! After Leg 5 the four early risers check into the Delta Hotel at Kananaskis for naps and showers. After a 4 a.m. wake-up call and running 17 kilometres up hill, the giant pillow-covered beds are heavenly. We emerge feeling, and smelling, much better.
We head to the Nakiska ski hill where we conduct the all-important ritual of buying a beer for the last runner to chug while she runs across the finish line. Go team!