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Jeff Jones ran: http://j.mp/N1ZCLx. ...
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- 13 miles
- 02:22 time
- 10:50 pace
- 2362 calories
I thought I would revisit and update with my official results as well as a few thoughts.
This was my first race where I felt like I could've done much better if only...
I could make a lot of excuses for my performance, and I think a lot of it boils down to lack of experience in a trail race setting. Of course big elevation (2300feet up/down) played a big part in it too.
As I might have told some of you, they did not post the route information as some of it went through private property. Not knowing much of anything about the trail other then there was a lot of hill and poison oak, I decided to start about 3/4 of the way back in the pack. I thought I would make my way forward and work towards the front. Unfotunately, due to the nature of the trail and large number of people ahead of me (301 total participants), it made for slow going once we got to the main climb.
I was also taken in by the quick 1 mile downhill start and then proceeded to blast on up the mountain. By mile 3, I was starting to question my sanity and whether I could slink back through the woods and hit the reset button. People were piled up on the trail with no room to pass and so we ended up slowing down to a walk at certain points.
At some point around mile 5 or 6, a group of us was talking while we ran and I asked i anyone had ran in last year's race. To which one woman replied, 'If I had, I wouldn't be running this now...' Deep down I think a lot of us were thinking that same thing, but I munched on my Clif bar and soldiered on.
The race ended up starting at 10am instead of 9am like I had thought, so I ended up screwing up my pre-race carb. Then I also had even warmer temps to deal with - it was 80F/27C by the time the race was done - ended up chugging every last bit of my 2L hydration pack and then resorted to actually utilizing the last 2 aid stations. Not sure how people can run something like that with no water or just a small handheld.
Another lesson learned was road shoes are a poor choice for a race that is 80% single-track. It was incredibly rutted and rocky, not really a flat spot to be found. The last 4.5-5 miles was insane breakneck downhill. To the point that I'm sure had I fallen or twisted an ankle, that would have been the least of my worries.
Not sure if I will run this next year, but it was a great learning experience. I definitely need to spend some more time on the trail and look forward to trying to add at least a trail run a week if I can.
So I ended up 87th out of 301. With a little more effort and experience I'm sure I could've placed much higher and probably even sub 2 hour. I guess now I'll have to wait until next year to see if I have forgotten how brutal this was ;-)