My third time here at this great little race. 2008 was a three mile race, but for the last two years the course has been lengthened to be much closer to a 5K. Huge variety of trails but they are all flat.
I am thinking about the Seattle Marathon that is two weeks away and that I have not run long for three weeks now. I really should get in a long run. I could do it tomorrow, but here I am up early and dressed to run. I decide to do a very long warm up, run the race as best I can, then finish with a super long cool down.
A little muddy in spots but I have seen it much worse. Its cool and foggy and may drizzle. I run 5.7 miles alone on the trails before the start. At a bridge that crosses a little creek I see two large coho salmon.
Start - Twelve of us line up. One more than last year. A couple of young guys and Rich is going to run as well. We start off and four of them explode away, a tight pack when I see them on the short out and back section. Meanwhile I am running way too fast and I know I will slow. I hold with Ron who always beats me and Nick is in there two.
Mile 1 - Ron has pulled away. Nick is pushing me from behind. Whenever there is a good section of trail I put on a surge, then ease up a bit where the trail gets rough or I just run out of steam. Nick passes me and looks like he is out for a stroll.
Mile 1.75 - At the end of the first loop, all the volunteers and spectators are cheering. The sound dies down and I can not help but listen for the next round of cheering so I can know how far back the next runner is. Sounds good, looks like I am locked into this position.
Mile 3.1 - Smooth running to the finish. I did slow some but my time is 24 seconds faster than last year. I gave it a good effort and am happy with the result. Everyone got a pumpkin pie and I won a "raffle" and got a nice pair of socks. I am starting to cool off and really need to get running again so it is back on the trail, but as slowly as I feel like going, which is very slow at this point. Five miles into it I turn an ankle and almost fall. That ankle is OK but within another mile my other ankle starts to bug me. The next couple of miles are a debate on how much farther to push myself not wanting to get injured. Finally I get good and tired and go for another half mile before quitting. 18.2 miles for the morning. Got in the long run, the race, and the ankles are fine.
22:23 (course record)
7th of 12
ClubOly Tis the Season race at Millersylvania #3