Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Run for the Hills Race Review!

Compared to the heat of the Girls on the Run 5k the day before, the Run for the Hills 8k offered a little good news...and a little bad.

The good: it's a trail run, so there was bound to be more shade than we had on Saturday (which was zero).

The bad: it's a trail run, so there was bound to be more hills than we had on Saturday (which was pretty much, again, zero).

So, I woke up Sunday morning with my legs not exactly feeling fresh, but not feeling too bad. Couldn't get my support crew to head out the door with me however, even with a race start time of 9:00, so I've just got stock photos of the race (that's probably better, you won't have to see my ugly mug again).

Lined up at the start line at Midge Cramer Path for about the fourth or fifth time this year, with about 200 or so other hardy souls. The weather was warm for sure, but didn't seem quite as blazing hot as a day earlier. The race director mentioned something about lots of poison oak everywhere, so don't pass too much on the trails (what the?!?), then the gun sounded and we were off!

I started well back in the pack on this one. I knew it was only about a half mile to the start of the single-track trail and I didn't want to be in front of a bunch of better hill-runners looking to get by me. Probably started too far back because I had to try to get around a number of Sunday drivers, but made it to "my people" before the trail started.

This one has some serious hills, as you can see below. It even gives a decent showing of elevation compared to the Mac 50, which is basically the gold standard of hill running in the Northwest. The elevation numbers from my Garmin were: 157 ft/mile at the Run for the Hills and 216 ft/mile at the Mac 50. So, yeah, they both go up.

Made it up the first big hill slowly, but stayed in line. Then the first big downhill. Man, I love running downhill on the trails! It's just fun. Running on the roads - uphill, downhill, flat - it can be very rewarding, but I'd rarely call it "fun." Running downhill on trails is fun. There's just no other way to describe it.

Of course, what goes down, must eventually go back up (is that right?), and so we were soon heading back up. Oof. Really slowed down on this one, but as soon as I hit the top, I knew it was basically downhill or flat until the tape, so I really tried to let go. Passed a few people by hitting the inside corner on sharp turns going down - I love doing that! Had a 7:14 pace for the last mile, so I was clearly happy to be going downhill for the finish. (Check the Results right here)

Came back out onto the asphalt path and the sun for about the last half-mile. Gah, where's the shade? Hit the tape about two minutes slower than I hoped, but hey, there's always next week.

NO, actually there's NOT next week! For the first time since April 23rd, I have a weekend without a race coming up! Woot.

See you at the Midsummer Night's Run 10k on June 18th. Night Run!

Update with a new photo of yours truly! Find more here.

Thanks to Jesse Skoubo of the Corvallis Gazette Times for the top photo, from the 2010 Run for the Hills.

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