I don't even know where to start with this race report but here goes...
I signed up for the Xterra Turkey Track Trail Marathon and Half Marathon intending to run the half marathon. The course is two 13.1 mile loops, hilly and rocky, and about 95% muddy singletrack. After the start, I settled into second place following a Brazillian dude who was running the full marathon. Eventually he built about a 30 second lead on me but I could still see him (I didn't know he was running the marathon). Anyway, we were pretty much all alone and after 3 miles, I figured out why...Brazillian dude missed a turn and I followed him and we got ridiculously lost. When he stopped in the middle of this Forest Service road we began trying to communicate. He was pissed! Talking about how in Brazil trail races are marked every kilometer and such and swearing in Brazillian. He did know the F word in English though.
Anyway, we jogged about 3 miles along the road until I came to a marker I racognized from driving in. We made it back to the start line (also the finish line) and the race directors were sincerely upset and apologetic, one even saying that he had "thought about" putting a person at the turn we missed. Here's where it gets really odd for a mostly road racer guy like me. They offered to do a seperate re-start of the race for the two of us and said they would count the times in the official results. After some thought, the Brazillian took them up on the offer and started out on the marathon again after having already run 7 or 8 hard miles.
I asked them for an entry in the 10k which was a half hour later and they graciously did that for me. So I started the 10k at 10 am, the same time Abby started the 5k. The 10k course went about 2.5 miles downhill on a supper muddy (lots of rain lately in Pagosa Springs) dirt road and then about 4 miles of rolling singletrack with a couple tough climbs. Anyway, once again I settled into second place behind this youngster who really looked like he knew what he was doing decked out in all his Pearl Izumi Racing Team gear and all. So I was in no-man's land once again just after the 5k running some pretty good splits in the 6:20-6:30 range and really enjoying the challenging course when Pearl Izumi dude comes running back towards me.
"Is there a turn-around up there" I said.
"No, we ran off the course". He said.
At this point, I uttered the F word. It just doesn't pay to play follow the leader!
So we started jogging back and I asked him why he thought we were off the course. He said he asked a walking half-marathoner. I asked him why he thought a fat, walking, half-marathoner knew anything about the 10k course. He didn't answer. At this point we encountered the 3rd runner who was a local and assurred us we didn't run off the course.
"Man, you guys came a long way back". He said.
So we did another 180 and resumed racing but I have to admit, I lost a bit of interest. My goal was to enjoy the run and finish 2nd, which I did. But I finished and Andy was sitting on a log about a quarter mile from the finish with a camera and cheering for me so I spunked up a bit and finished with a little bit of pride.
Ran about 7 miles in 49 minutes.
So I ended up doing about 13 miles of racing today in 2 seperate races. So I guess I raced a half marathon. I am sad that I couoldn't finish the half which was won in about 1:45. I would have run about 1:30 or so on that course. They had just about the coolest trophy I've ever seen.
Spending the night in Monticello, Utah tonight and will be back in Salt Lake tommorrow.
Oh, and congratulations to Abby for being the overall women's winner in the 5k!!!!