Summer Intro Trail Run Race Report
|In the words of Brian Warren, "Overachieved like a mofo!"|
|(L to R) Mark, me, Jill & Kristy ready for the race!|
We lined up for the start and got some words from Ben and were ready to go. It was definitely less than ideal conditions to test my speed (about 81* and quite humid) but I was ready to see what I could do. About the time Ben finished his spiel a loud bang could be heard in the background so Ben said "Well, I guess that means we're ready" and fired off the air horn and we got on our way. We took off fast and in one big jumble of bodies (about 160 total runners in the race). Apparently the girl that was right in front of me was a little freaked out by that because she literally stopped and covered like she was in the middle of a pack of raging bulls! I did a pretty nice move (if I do say so myself) to avoid running her over. We sprinted hard around a short section of road to get to the trail entrance.
Not far onto the trail I passed Ben's 10 year old grandson who had started right up at the front of the pack (he may be slightly competitive!). He was running hard and doing quite well. As we came up to the fork in the trail I was still feeling great and we were more or less at a dead sprint, we took the fork to the right as one of our fellow Nerds stood at the intersection and took some great pics! As I said, this section of trail is almost completely flat and very few turns or obstacles so we were in a strong sprint almost the entire section. I was having fun but breathing hard since I haven't tried to run this fast in quite a long time. As we came out of the trees there is a fairly short gravel road that goes from the trail to the turn around which is fairly downhill in this direction so we were moving even faster as we passed Dick Ross from See KC Run taking pictures and then another Nerd Ryan also taking pics. I couldn't believe how fast we had gotten to the aid station!! We got there (a little less than half way) in 9:58! I grabbed a cup of water and walked for a moment to get a drink and throw the cup in the trash can. As soon as I threw out the cup I got back to running headed back to the trail, this time the road was uphill so I wasn't moving quite as fast but still feeling great.
I got back into the trees and ran the short distance from the entrance to the fork where we'd head up up to the upper trail still moving fairly quickly. This upper section of the trail has a couple fairly steep hills, some switch backs and is a little more technical with some roots and stumps to avoid. As I turned onto this section the humidity suddenly hit me like a freight train!! I was drenched in sweat (big shocker to those that know me well) and kind of gasping for air after a sprint in thick air. I know this course well since we run it every Thursday, and running it the opposite direction I knew there is a strong downhill for about the last 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile that is easily sprintable if you are comfortable on the trails so I decided to power hike the tougher uphills and save some energy for a strong finish.
As I was power hiking some of the runners that had been behind me passed me and several of them kind of scoffed at me as they went by and I was "just walking". "Scoff all you want, I'll pass you again in a minute," I thought in my head. I was getting my breath back pretty quickly hiking up the hills and running the flats and downhills conserving energy. As soon as we hit the crest of the final big uphill I took off. I was in a dead sprint down the hill only slowing to jump over obstacles as I went passed the people that had scoffed at me! Running fast down hills on a trail is an absolute blast! Gravity does most of the hard work, but when you're going that fast you have to be on full alert for obstacles, rocks, turns, etc. It is fun physically to move that fast and dodge things and fun mentally to have to be so focused, alert and reacting to things in a split second.
|The single greatest running picture of me ever taken. Thanks, Ryan!|