Follower of Forrest
Event: Lost Brook Trail Race
Distance: 10 miler (gps says 9.6)
As 9:00 rolled around, about 120 of us gathered at the start area to hear the final announcements from the RD. The course was a ~5 mile loop, which could be completed once for the 5 mile event or twice for the 10 miler. Participants of both events started intermingled together. The RD shouted “GO” and away we went. I started about 4 people deep from the starting line and it got real tight as we sped off down the downhill start.
I had run the course several times in the past month or so, and I knew that I wanted to be on the right side of the course as the trail ascended several dirt retaining steps. On the right side you can run around most of the steps and not have to jump up each one. As I hit the first step, I fell. Not hard and I was back up quickly (good thing too because I could have easily been stampeded) but it broke the seriousness of the race and some of the guys around me joked about getting it out of the way early.
After ascending the steps, the trail takes a hard left and goes into single track. I was about #15 into the Congo line. I spent the next 2 miles taking it nice and easy and passing those who fell off the pace. We spread out a bit and I could count 6 in front of me, but I wasn’t sure if anyone was far out front…”OK there are 6 people in your world” I told myself. One fellow fell off the pace at about mile 4 so I moved by him and just focused on maintaining a constant effort (5 ppl in my world).
At the finish of the loop, I was right behind 2 runners. The trail hit a T and was labeled 10 milers left, 5 milers right. The 2 in front of me went right. I never had considered that anyone that was ahead of me was running the 5 miler (don’t ask me why). I went left and someone called out “you’re in 4th…Catch someone”. Fourth? I can see all three about 100 yards ahead of me!
The fellow in third place fell off the lead pace within the first mile of this loop and I reeled him in. My plan was to stick behind him for a while and conserve some energy, but he stepped aside and let me pass as soon as I was behind him. Then he fell in behind me. He stayed behind me for maybe 10 steps, which I did not like at all. The thought crossed my mind that if I don’t drop this guy right now and make it stick then I’m not going to finish in the top 3. I took off and put about 100 yards between us as quick as I could. This also moved me to about 150 yards behind the 2 leaders. I kept pushing hoping I could move up and put some pressure on them. That never happened. I hit the aid station at mile 8 and took a cup of Powerade. I stood and sipped it…the aid station worker said “you’re doing great but you gotta go”, so away I went. I ran without seeing anyone for the rest of the race. I found myself on a section of course about ¼ mile long and realized I hadn’t seen any of the pink tape that was demarking the course for a while. I stopped and said aloud “did I go the wrong way?” Nobody around to answer. I made a quick decision and continued on, figuring if I was going the wrong way it was too late anyways. I was pretty relieved when I turned the corner and saw another ribbon. The small dose of panic relief put a smile on my face and I ran the rest of the race in a blissful state and really enjoyed myself. (I found out after the race that my girlfriend who did the 5 miler had an identical “am I lost” experience…new distance PR for her by the way!)
All in all, this was my first race at the 10 mile distance. The course is really beautiful and it was a great day for the event. For a trail that has very little elevation change, it really beats you up. There are just not many steps that are on flat ground…rocks, roots, and footbridges the whole way. I had a great time and I would certainly do it again.
6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi
A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man
Great report and nice running - 7:30 pace on trails is moving!
Uh oh... now what?
Wowzis and congratulations and yes, rollin' 7:30s onna trails is movin' on--good stuff in early spring.
Faster Than Your Couch!
Whoopsie, that was fast! Congratulations on finishing 3rd place!
Nice race strategy. I sometimes have similar thoughts about putting in distance and not letting someone stick with me, just my numbers are slightly different (insert 347th instead of 3rd here...).
Thanks for the report, fun read!
Run for fun.
3rd out of 46, nice work. You were cruising!
Congrats to your gf on the 5 PR.
Thanks for the report.
running under the BigSky
congrats- yeah that is really cruising!
note to self: don't run w/ Jamezilla
jez: I've got some issues
Thanks everyone for your kind words. I was moving at a good clip the whole time, but if you look at last years results the winner finished in 1 hour flat! I can't even imagine that. I felt like I was stepping faster than I could process the terrain and I made many mis -steps. I'll think about doing some trail speed work if I end up doing a fast paced race like that again...that would probably help with choosing better footing.
Great job, and excellent placement! Congratulations to you and your g/f!
"We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. " ---- Shasta Nelson