After Waldo, I was seriously considering a DNS for this race. Then I ran HTC, did really well, and decided to go for 4:15! What a difference a week makes. I came up with some splits based on one year of experience running this race...really there was no basis for them. I didn't really stick to them...definitely ran too fast from aid station 1 to 2...and missed 4:15 by about 7 minutes...4:21:56.
5.7 miles, 47:54, 8:24 pace
5.5 miles, 41:05, 7:28 pace
5.5 miles, 46:10, 8:24 pace
5.1 miles, 45:06, 8:51 pace
3.3 miles, 29:08, 8:50 pace
5.9 miles, 52:33, 8:54 pace
I rode over to the race with the Pain Train, Dennis Gamroth, and Mike Tyler...needless to say, it was fun ride. Big props to Dennis for running a great race even though he was sick...4:49:57. Here's how my race went...
It really felt like I was running hard from the start to the first aid station...I had the debate going on in my head...am I going too fast? No Garmin to know for sure. There was a guy right behind me for most of the way up...I felt like I was letting him push me a little too hard. When I got to the first aid station, I wasn't sure if the split was right there or after the short out and back. I hit it after the out and back and was actually about a minute behind where I wanted to be!
So naturally I pushed a little harder on the next section. I saw the Pain Train on my way back down the trail and was pretty surprised he was so far back...I wasn't really sure what he had planned for this race since he already had the Trail Series wrapped up. A short time later I caught up to Will Kalenius because he had made a pit stop off the trail...when he got back out on the trail, just ahead of me, he really put the hammer down...or at least it felt to me like he did...I decided I would try and stick with him, but I knew I was going too fast. This was confirmed a mile or two later when up ahead I could see a group of Rogue Valley Runners! It's one thing to try and run with them...it's quite another to catch up to them...so at this point I slowed down and let Will go. Needless to say, I was several minutes ahead of my split time for this section. By the way, Will ran an awesome race...4:05:07...it was nice to get to talk to him a little after the race.
The next section was the technical section...lots of lava rock...this was definitely not factored into my splits. I made it through OK...no trips. After this section I was still a little ahead of the pace for 4:15.
Surprisingly, I had trouble on the next section. I was running along on a nice flat/soft section of trail and must have missed a root, as in, I didn't see it...I went flying...landed face down on the trail and when I hit, my water bottle went flying out of my hand and over the cliff, down into the river! It only took a split second for me to realize it was gone for good, so I just got back up and took off. Luckily, someone at the next aid station had a bottle I could use for the rest of the race...thank-you! When I got to this aid station, I was pretty sure 4:15 was out of the question.
The next short section went by pretty quick...but the whole time I was dreading the final long section to the finish. I was pretty much spent by this point and really just trying to hang on. A mile or two into the last section, Jeff Phillips went flying by me...literally...he was out of sight real fast. And a mile or two after that Mike Tyler caught up to me. I got the impression he was kind of hurting too...he didn't seem to want to pass me, so we ran the rest of the way together...I have to say, he really pushed me...I would not have been going that fast otherwise. So we finished, and before I can even catch my breath, here comes the Pain Train! I have to admit, I was a little surprised...he may not be real happy with the race he ran, but I was impressed. This guy has incredible patience...it really serves him well in these long distance races.
Below are a couple pictures of me from the race...thanks to Tom Riley for the pictures.
11 months ago