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 Weekend racing double-header
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Weekend racing double-header Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:19 pm 

I did a pair of mountain races this weekend. It was a blast, but boy are my legs slammed!

Saturday was the Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Run, a hilly 21K trail race through some beautiful redwood forests with about 2500 feet of elevation gain. There was a honking huge field for a trail race, too-- about 400-500 people between the 10K, 21K, 29K, and 50K. It was a cool foggy day, and as beautiful as could be in the mountain groves. My plan was to run hard but not really all-out, and just have fun with it.

The first few miles were a little too crowded, with packs of runners having trouble passing one another on the single-track trails. At about mile 3 we reached the river crossing-- a "unique feature" I hadn't been aware of when I signed up for the race.

http://www.pctrailruns.com/SCM_River_Crossing_04.jpg

The river was about thigh deep at its deepest point, and maybe 25 feet wide. I wasn't sure whether I should take off my shoes, or just blast through and run on in soaking wet shoes and socks, and I still hadn't made up my mind when I reached the water. Most everyone else seemed to be taking off their shoes, but I decided to just go right through. The water was deep, and it took me about a minute to carefully wade across, but I still gained several minutes over the folks who stopped to fiddle with their shoes at the river on both the out and back legs.

After the halfway turn-around, I didn't see much of anyone for a long time. Fortunately the course was well-marked, or I would have feared I was lost. I must have run several miles without seeing anyone else from the race. At about 17K I saw a woman way off ahead, and slowly reeled her in, passing her with about 1K to go. I came screaming down th final stretch to finish in 2:00:48. The race was a blast! I think I placed pretty well too, although I won't know until the results are posted later this week.

I followed that race up with my running club's annual 9.1 mile mountain race this morning. Today's race wasn't as tough-- only about 750 feet of climbing, and all on back roads rather than crazy steep trails. With my legs being pretty toasted from yesterday, I wasn't expecting much. I planned on getting another enjoyable drubbing by guys 3 decades older than me. I went out fairly conservatively, slowing to a near walking speed during some very steep sections in the first couple of miles. After mile 2 we reached the summit, and settled in for a long rolling section.

With only 23 people in the race, it was pretty lonely. I could see the next runner way, way up ahead, but there was nobody nearby. Around 5-6 miles I realized I wasn't feeling half-bad, and so I slowly cranked up the pace, gradually gaining on the runner ahead. I caught and passed him at mile 7, just as we turned back downhill for a long slope back to the finish. I kicked it into high gear then, though I never saw another runner, and finished in 1:09:42. Although I've never done that race before, my time was nearly exactly what another runner of similar ability ran last year, so I'm pleased. It doesn't seem like the 21K trail run the day before had much adverse affect at all.

So all is good, although my legs are SORE tonight. Ouch!


BGibbsLMT

Southington, CT
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 68

Re: Weekend racing double-header Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:04 pm 

Griffin Trail Madness rules clearly state "If there is water, mud, muck or anything else on the trail you MUST RUN THROUGH IT" Trail Madness 2006 had guys with paintball guns to enforce that rule.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Weekend racing double-header Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:05 pm 

Paintballs, are you serious? Ouch!!! Was there a huge mud pit everyone was trying to avoid or something?

I ended up finishing 11th out of 114 in the 21K race. Not too bad, although it's not a very competitive event, and quite a few people walked it.


BGibbsLMT

Southington, CT
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 68

Re: Weekend racing double-header Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:50 pm 

I'm serious. The section of the course is known affectionately as the stench trench, mud and rotting leaves. Sounds like you did real well at your race.

mrbill

Sub-Chicago
Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 84

Re: Weekend racing double-header Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:45 am 

That sounds awesome!!

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