I wanted to write up a decent race report today so I could remember a few things but all the data is missing from my Garmin and I don't know why. I saved my run after crossing the finish line but when I push the history button on my watch it says "No history. Go Run"!
Screw you Garmin. I'll try to go by memory...
Mile 1: 6:40 something. This is a very gradual uphill most of the way on a wide trail. I was breathing a little harder than I wanted to that early. Was in something like 9th place.
Mile 2: 7:30ish. All uphill, some of it pretty steep, with some rocky singletrack at the end. Maintained my position but felt like crap and refused to push the uphills.
Miles 3, 4: Low 7 pace for both.Switchbacks and singletrack the whole way. Rolling hills. Pretty rocky so I had to be careful on the downhills not wanting to mess up my knee. Got passed by a couple guys after the 4 mile including Mark Christopherson, a 40 something year-old ultra trail running dude from Park City that I beat a few weeks ago in the 5k. Thought I might catch him later but no dice. This is the kind of running that I don't excel at in trail races. I'm just sort of trotting along, enjoying the scenery, not racing with much intensity but really enjoying the view.
Mile 5: 6:06. Fastest mile on the course. Only caught one guy though. Disappointed in that but happy with the split.
Mile 6: 6:50ish. I could see Christopherson but I was gased. Was hoping he'd roll an ankle or get mauled by a bear. No luck!
Last half mile: 3:20. Decent finish. 12th overall - down from 11th in the 5k. Won the not very competative 50-54 age group.
Gulped a lot of free chocolate milk after and ran 2 miles in 18 minutes. Went to the awards ceremony and basked in the adulation of the crowd. Humbly answered a couple questions about how a human could possibly run so fast at such an advanced age. Odd after a 45:32 but it is a hard course at a high elevation and it was unusually hot today so I'm happy. Interestingly, the people who were asking were both wearing these big running backpack things. I asked them if they wore them in the race and they said they did. I suggested that with 3 water/gatorade stops over 6 plus miles that they might not be benefiitting from carrying such a large store of provisions on their backs.
Listened to Tom Petty's "Pack Up the Plantation" live album on the way down the mountain.
No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life's most rewarding experiences. My times become slower and slower, but the experience of the race is unchanged. Each race a drama, each race a challenge, each race stretching me in one way or another, and each race telling me more about myself.
- George Sheehan