Sunday, June 9, 2013

Run for the Hills 30k Trail Run Race Review and Results

Little late on this one, but better late than blah, blah...

Just looking for results? Here you go.

So anyhoo...last week was the Run for the Hills trail run, usually just an 8k in the Bald Hill area, but a new 30k was added this year.

As I've mentioned before, I signed up for the 30k way back when before I realized I was going to be well into training for my fall marathon, and in fact, in my fourth week of the Hansons plan. My scheduled workout for the Sunday of the Run for the Hills was to be an easy 8 miles. Instead, I was staring at 18.5 miles with about 3000 feet of climbing. Ouch.

So the whole plan for this one was to go slow and not get injured. I still have nightmares of rolling my ankle at last year's Condor Trail Run, which scuttled my training for the California International Marathon. Plus, I didn't want to go full out and be so sore and tired that I'd have to skip my scheduled marathon workouts. So, as you can see here, I started conservatively...that's me, fifth from the very back as we head out from the start line.

The first hill we tackled was Bald Hill, which was fine as I run it all the time, but then we quickly moved on toward Fitton Green, which I don't run all the time, and it was steep going.

I moved past a few people and settled into my pace. It was an interesting course as there were a good number of out and back spokes. So you ended up seeing the same people over and over and could gauge if you were gaining or losing ground. I didn't much care, but for someone up front, I could see that it would be a good course to know exactly where you're at relative to the other runners.

There are a few "ankle-breaker" sections that aren't really "trail." They're more "beaten down weeds over mole hills." You've got to slow down a bit on those.

We finally made it way out on the trail through Fitton Green where it runs along Marys River. Although I walked plenty on the steeper uphills, I never felt too bad. My pace looked OK as long as I wasn't heading up the really steep stuff.

The race director had told us at the beginning of the run that they had decided against placing a water stop at the top of Bald Hill, which turned out to be a tough decision, for me, in retrospect. As we neared the end of the race, maybe a mile and a half to go, we came up the back side of Bald Hill and hit the summit. There was a race marker sign that read "straight." Unfortunately, it was placed about 15 feet in front of a "Y" on the trail. There was no "straight," there was only left or right. I figured maybe they meant to stay on the main, bigger, trail. Another guy at the top agreed with me and we started down the horse trail. About halfway down, I realized we had taken the wrong trail. That's a steep downhill - there was no way I was turning around and going back up. I knew where it came out, down on the bike path, and I knew we'd have to run a little extra to get back on track, but it seemed like the better option. As I came to the bottom of the trail, I came up on another runner who had taken the wrong trail as well. After the obligatory "wrong trail?" and "yep, wrong trail," we headed back on the bike path toward the Fairgrounds parking lot.

I definitely lost a couple places - I saw some people had already finished that were behind me pretty much the whole race - but what are you going to do?

Amazingly enough, even though I was pretty sore and tired, I managed through my Hansons workouts the entire week after the race. Didn't miss a one.

The shirt is clean and sharp-looking. Sort of a different feel for a tech shirt - definitely has more of a cotton feel. I'm not a huge fan of white race shirts, but it's pretty nice all the same.

Good race. With luck, I won't have to worry about marathon training next year and can really race it.

Thanks to Jim MacDonald for the photos.

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