Sunday, May 20, 2012

Great Day on the Trails

Rocks, Roots, Rocks
Today was the trail race at Mount Airy forest, a race in the Dirt Days series. The trail is mostly single track, lots of rocks and roots, and plenty of hills. Brian joined me for his first trail experience, race or otherwise and I think he's hooked. They offer a single lap of 5+ miles or two laps (10+) which we did. 

Beautiful morning about 60F which would heat up to 70F by race end. Faster people > finish cooler, slower > hotter.

The 10 mile people started 15 minutes before the 5 mile people. This was intended to reduce trail passing as the 5 mile group out numbered the 10 mile group 3:1. They also used a 1/4 mile road section at the start to reduce congestion entering the trails.  Our two lappers group (2L) quickly formed three loose groups on the road section, with contenders in 1, brian in 2 and I in 3.
Loved these!

I felt strong and settled in after 2 miles with the same butts in front and the sounds of steps behind. After a long climb, I would reward myself with a walking drink and it was cool to see the person who passed me was a young person who looked fit. yea! 

Brian also had a good first loop and he saw a really big snake crossing the trail.  They suspected someone had released a boa or other such killer snake in the forest after it consumed somebody's pet or child.  Fortunately he (or she) had moved on before we got there.

After 3 miles or so, the leaders in the 5 mile race showed up. I had fun telling the 4 runners who passed me where they were and rooting them to catch the person in front of them. A young girl came flying by and I told her if she was a one lapper she was in 6th. She said thanks but she was running two which made me wonder how she was running so fast and had not passed me by mile 4. Maybe an alarm clock issue.

Now for my brain fade episode which are occurring more often. Finishing the first loop, a girl was sending the 1L to the finish and telling the 2L to turn right and head back into the woods. I noticed the time was 58 minutes so meeting my sub 2 hours was looking good as the 2nd loop was shorter without the 1/4 mile road section. So I turned right, but before the correct spot and headed merrily down the wrong trail. I descended a long section and started to wonder where the flags and people were, hmmm.  After a while I saw a lady walking her dog and asked her if she saw any runners. She did not, so I turned around, climbed back up to whence I came. The "official clock" was now 1:10 so I lost 12 minutes. poop

My final time was 2:10 but if you "give me" the 12 minutes, I was under 2 hours. Almost even splits, yea!

Brian finished his 1st loop in 41 minutes which was really fast considering the 1L winner was at 35 minutes. Unfortunately he twisted his ankle on loop 2 and ended up with a 1:50 after sitting a bit and walking until is loosened up. He jogged the way back in.  

Stone Steps is in Oct, 27K or 50K. Last year was a 27K. If I go and train this place, once every few weeks, I'll be ready for my first 50. That's assuming the snake finds other things to eat and not me.

Brian and I (photo by sue)

Post Race snooze with pups (photo by sue)

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