A pact was made in Manning Park,

Caught in a snowstorm in July.

It’s easy to say stupid things

When you’re expecting that you’ll die.

We never thought we’d see it through,

But as it turned out, we survived.

We should have known we’d make it,

For in adversity, we thrive.

Eleven months it hung around,

Deep in the backgrounds of our minds.

But then the day had come at last,

To lace up our shoes and grind.


Logistically it was a mess

To think this business through,

And caused no small amount of stress

Planning car-drops, gear and crew.

At Cleveland Dam we left a car,

And at Deep Cove park as well.

My own car waited at the finish line;

To reach it, we’d run through Hell.

The mighty Bird offered his wife;

Mama Marina brought her daughters.

Myself I was content to mooch

Off what they all had to offer.


The weather started out quite fine,

It’s a shame it didn’t hold;

For we would spend that whole first night

Under showers, feeling cold.

All three of us were sheathed in shorts,

I wore a specific denim print,

Anticipating Mijinke’s Jorts

On a booty worth compliment.

I started out with Naked Band

And my matching Man-bra too.  

But I later donned a heavy pack,

My minimalism through.

For the night is dark and full of terrors

That one must always be prepared for;

Naked’s stretchy mesh would surely tear

If all ten essentials were shoved in there.



A classic start-line at Deep Cove

Where the fire hydrant stands.

Our spirits soared as we set out

To meet the trail’s demands.

Well the Baden Powell’s a surly bitch,

But she gently lures you in,

Until the switchbacks start to switch

Into a rocky root prison.

But on we marched to Cleveland Dam

And sometimes even jogged

On the rare occasion when the trail

Wasn’t a godforsaken bog.


Our first of many cameos

As Dam-ward-Ho we went,

Was Heather of the Fatdog Race;

Her presence Heaven-sent.

She supplied us all with salty chips

And mini pecan pies,

And since we weren’t expecting her

It was a great surprise!


Our path next crossed a merry group

On a baby-shower run!

‘Cause Tara Berry’s pregnant state 

Won’t stop her from having fun.

“30 weeks along” she said,

Her balloon announced “a boy!”

Alicia Woodside led the way

And meeting them spread joy.










At Cleveland Dam we took some chäir,

Seating our sweaty asses

On a rolling hill by Mama’s car,

Our legs brushed by gentle grasses.

I chugged my first of six cold beers;

A lovely palette cleanser.

And Erik Bird soon changed his tune

About drinking on adventures.

We bid adieu to our fair chäirs

And found that sitting took its toll,

As our running legs were clunky stiff

When departing from our knoll.

We made it close to a km

When Erik abruptly said “Ahem,”

“I’ve left behind my poles.”


We received a text from Jarvis

That he was lurking about,

And our estimated meeting time

Gave him plenty of time to pout.

That trail is just an asshole though;

30 minutes becomes an hour.

Although messaging “you’re fucking slow,”

When we met, he wasn’t that sour.

In fact Nick Jarvis was glowing,

For he’d recently finished showing,

His trail-newbie friend, 

The wrong end

Of an ass-kicking in roughly an hour.



(At the mention of Nick I find,

I’ve slipped into limerick rhyme.

It’s fitting you see,

Because to me,

Nick’s the biggest troll of all time.


And limerick’s the most troll-y verse

That ever could be rehearsed.

And his partner in crime,

Another friend of mine,

Is possibly additionally worse.


They royally roasted my QBU Fail,

Now I must retaliate on similar scale.

Despite all that was said,

Hannah shit the bed.

Hence the trolling tone of this tale.


Yes Hannah deserves introduction,

As she’ll be joining this production.

We’ll meet her real soon,

When greeting the moon.

So please pardon the interruption:


There once was a girl from Squamish,

Who the Baden-Powell demolished.

She brought up the rear,

And shed many a tear,

And by trolls she was sorely admonished.


Couch-to-ultra peacocking!

Suffice to say it was shocking,

When she called it a day

25 percent away,

And her trolls continued their mocking.)










At Hollyburn we hit the snow

Around 800 meters high,

But we had much more climb to go;

Beware of postholes to your thigh!

And then adjacent, down she went!

Marina punched through snowy crust,

Face-first into a riverbed,

And we all made quite a fuss.

But Mama’s knee-pads saved her then;

The same ones that to me,

Provoke such childish dirty jokes

About her getting on her knees.


At Cypress Lot we took *real* chäir;

Erik’s lovely wife Christine,

With pizza and beer, was waiting there;

The perfect dinner scene.

Nick and his demolished friend,

Who was also christened Nick,

Were chilling, drinking post-run beers,

Which we cheers’d with an audible click.

I was offered a blue blanket,

Which I took with gratitude.

For the elevation had a chill,

And I craved warmth along with food.

But all good chäir must sadly end.

On our feet despite their ache.

Again we pressed on, West and Up,

To summit Black, then reach Whyte Lake.


We cheered upon the crest of Black!

Then on to Eagle Bluffs,

Where treated to a fine sunset,

Before boulder fields at dusk.

The descent to Whyte is super sketch,

But at least the first time we were fresh,

Though it was still my ardent wish

To not become a bloody mess

Or a paraplegic husk.

We made it down without a tumble!

And soon six tired legs did stumble

Into Whyte Lake aid in quite a rush

To ease our hungry tummies’ rumbles.


Our feast commenced, but suddenly

A most spirit-lifting sight!

Our headlamps illuminating Jorts!

Alan’s booty in the night.

Reinforcements had arrived!

Yes there was Hannah by his side,

And some dude named Matthew over there,

Incoming pacers extraordinaire

And trusty forest guides.

Our pacers had their own set goals:

“A hundred k or bust” we’re told.

Perhaps -based on their training- bold?


The time had come to turn around

And do the whole course in reverse.

12 hours gone, 55k in,

And now to do it all again!

The route was less than that of course,

But we had wandered lost before,

And likely would get lost some more;

Expecting things to get way worse.

‘Cuz back up Black our path now led;

A 1200 meter climb ahead.


Speaking of lost, as we began,

We quickly became lost again

In darkness on steep slopes of Black,

Forcing tactics of “Back-track!”

Then “Wait! What’s that over there?!?”

Some random dude with Pokémon hair!

Calling him Random is barely fair;

The understatement of the year?

Yes he was in a *state*, you see,

Exclaiming of underwear hanging from trees!



With reinforcements came rain

And a deep distant thunder,

Which we met with disdain:

“We’re not made of sugar!”

Yes the clouds had rolled in,

But their one silver lining

Was that we missed Seymour’s hail;

The wrong place, the right timing.

For what did we find,

When we reached Seymour’s Grind?

Drifts of those pellets that infuriate minds.


New blood brought new synergy,

But the night slowly thwarted

And deflated the energy

Our new friends had afforded.

I myself now retreated,

Pulling deeper inside,

With an earbud inserted,

Adding beats to my strides.

Heads down, we pushed on,

Running towards dawn.


That faint purple glow,

Which soon silhouetted

Distant Mount Seymour,

Towards which we were headed.

The glow promised dawn,

And the night had been awful.

Weary warriors with focus on breakfast

Of coffee, bacon and waffles.


But with morning came complaints of a curious kind.

From our pacers no less, I couldn’t find

Explanation for Hannah and Al’ to be falling asleep;

They were 30km in!  The toll not yet steep.

My suspicions were raised:

“Was this all a troll?”

Statements of exhaustion with nefarious role?

But by their sallow complexions and the depth of their pouts,

I think they were truly about to pass out!


Around 11am, our wish was fulfilled:

Deep Cove smelled of bacon being grilled!

And Tasha was there just raring to join.

But first we must rest, eat and enjoy!

It was then that I made my second mistake:

Which discovered my first, for my socks I did take

Off before eating, to my great terror.

“I should have swapped socks long before here!”

I scolded myself for my rookie error.

Mottled whiteness and macerated.

A sight from which appetite evaporated.

At least until Christine had the waffles plated,

And I forgot all about feet and masticated!


“Hey, wanna run a 50k?” Says Erik quite chipper,

Feigning fresh as a daisy, as if right at the start.

Instead of reality, decidedly grimmer:

25 hours in, with wavering hearts.

“Every step we do now, we don’t do again.”

“The final lap, 50ish k to the end.”

“Every descent we run down,

We won’t later ascend.”

“It’s all in our rear-view-mirror,

And when we finally drag our butts to the end, 

We don’t have to ever again come near here.


Back on the trail with Tasha now leading.

New-to-her trails, yet still did she guide

Unfairly fresh legs found starkly contrasting

To my hovercraft shuffle-step stride.

Coiled compressed springs launched her strongly up stairs,

Only to look back and find we were not there.

She’d stop, we’d catch up, and then off she would streak.

Definitely an interesting pacing technique!

I could never catch her, as hard as I tried;

Until I saw my chance on her right-hand-side,

And suddenly sprinted on legs that were fried!

-Catching her off-guard, for a moment I’d passed!

But a moment was all that my glory would last.


At Cleveland Dam, third time’s the charm:

Greeted by chowder found pleasantly warm.

But more satisfying yet, before taking my spoon,

Bathroom facilities where I ‘created some room’.

Now my tummy felt great, and the food was a treat!

My only issue was my burning trench-foot feet.

But I began to notice an odd effect:

After stopping they’d hurt as one would expect,

But after running a while, the pain would fade;

Still there but muted, as though a choice was made,

To simply ignore it, or hear and discard it.

As though the rhythm of running

Itself was numbing, and preventing succumbing.


Leaving Cleveland, we got some bad news:

Our good buddy Hannah was singing the blues.

She’d decided to drop, and all kidding aside,

Hannah is tough as they come; she’d confide

That her head and her heart weren’t in it this time.

She had more important things on her mind.

It’s not like she didn’t complete it last year,

And her car was parked conveniently near.

Lessons were learned, and a new rule will bind:

‘No more parking her car anywhere but the finish line.’


As we were moving, at random intervals,

Tourette’s-like it came; some form of battle-call:

“Jorts!” would be heard, sometimes loud, sometimes soft,

And echoes by teammates would carry aloft.

A hiker might think it an unusual bear-call.

Yes a fondness for Jorts sure pervaded us all. 

But through all the fanfare, I felt second class

In my faux-Jorts, when Alan had the real deal on his ass.


I think the event-host Craig Moore was also a fan.

And how could one *not* enjoy Jorts on a man?

We crossed paths with Craig after many a mile,

In Hollyburn Chute, and he was wearing a smile.

Was it the Jorts?  It’s difficult to say.

Ironically the fourth time passing his name ‘today’.

(There’s a street called ‘Craigmohr.’

Yes the spelling’s astray, 

But let’s humour him please;

It seems to just make his day.)


Our final aid at Cypress, once more approaching night,

Featured lovely apple pie, our blankets wrapped quite tight.

And if it seems that my focus is on eating,

It’s because support crew was so key

To our success, and they were treating

Us with so many treats that they all can’t be included,

But to think that we would finish this without them is deluded.

And please consider the old ultrarunning adage,

That it’s less about your actual training mileage,

Quality, or quantity, when it comes to a race,

And more about the sheer quantity of food

That you can comfortably stuff down your face.


Despite blankets and tight turnover, while sitting we got chilled,

So Matthew led out fast, working hard as he up-hilled

Towards the peak of Black, up its slick snowy surface;

Jacking up the heart rate, stoking up the furnace.

Faintly foggy but single minded,

Our team stoically grinded

Up our last significant climb and

“Where are the other headlamps?”

“I count three.”

(How many beams of light should there be?)

There they glow, far below in the snow.

As it turns out, Mama had a low.

But not much further to go.


We took a moment on the summit, little said.

Fatigue was taking over, and the dread

Of the boulder-fields awaiting, sharp and slick;

We expected our descent would not be quick.

Another moment at the Bluffs, 

But upon taking his seat,

Erik announced that he must move or fall asleep.

So we took one last look at the city lights arrayed,

Then took a step, and another, like the blade

That slowly pares the pear, we sliced away, 

At the diminishing distance still before us; 

Descending through slabs, boulders,

And finally into forest.


But before barely getting started going down, 

A headlamp coming up:  “It’s Jason Brown!”

Another Van100 hopeful from our town,

And he looked about to lay down on the ground.

Mama’s instincts immediately took charge

And she loomed up like a Mama-bear at large,

“We’re taking you home, Jason!  You’re coming with us!”

Directing him back down the perilous precipice.

I said, “Hold on Mama, that doesn’t make sense!

I’d take a 3k ski-run cruise over a massive sketch descent.

He’ll be with his crew at Cypress long before we’re done.”

(This all was discussed with much confusion.

Our trusty thinking thingies just weren’t thinking at optimum.)


Fighting to hold focus, but starting to break down.

Sleep is a limiting factor, we definitely found.

Forcing concentration, for one misstep

Would be a SAR call in the making.

Weary legs are shaking 

As feet are planted carefully;

Testing, not trusting

A body that’s carried us this far.

Descending so much further than last time.

Forever descending; 

So technical, so treacherous.  

Just get it done.


“Alan and Tasha are still back there somewhere?”

“Should we wait?  Do we have to?”

A selfishness upon us: (Just get it done.)

The thought of stopping somehow feels terrible, unthinkable.

A terrible way to think, but survival instinct;

Fight or flight shit, everything screaming

For the finish line, so close.

Stopping lets the pain rush back to the surface;

Keep on moving, cocooned in sluggish numbing rhythms.

But we stop and wait nonetheless,

And they aren’t far behind.


The mind getting more creative, seeing things differently?

Not hallucinations, but the next best thing:

A leaning jagged stump looks like a giant Elk head,

With great protruding antlers.

And sure enough it does, even when examined,

But I would never have noticed,

If not in this state.

Half expecting to see underwear hanging from trees,

Like our strange nocturnal visitor on these very slopes

Had claimed, 24 hours prior.

Matthew takes a dump 500 meters from the end.

This time we didn’t wait.

Ten days removed and looking back,

I must say that I’m impressed

That those of us who formed The Pact

All passed this hundred miler’s test.

Impressed but not surprised, that is;

Our trio’s 11 month desire

Prepared us for the pain, the conditions and ‘the tired’.

I know that had I been alone, I’d most definitely drop,

But commitment to my friends precluded necessity to stop.

A force beside which, it would seem, that even ego pales;

For ego may have got me 2+ laps before the fail.

Yes, we completed our tall task,

A rare Triple Baden-Powell!

Without throwing in the towel,

To the finish line we clawed!

But I caution you, my friend,

Unless looking for a scowl,

Don’t you fucking dare to ask

To make a pact to do the Quad.