Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A wet but fast Musk Ox Run

Decided to jump into the final race of the local trail series as a tune up for upcoming races. Ha, my plan was to run at a moderate effort, about 1:20, and I'd only push the middle 10-12 minutes. Heading over it seemed slightly grim, with low-slung clouds and a light to steady rain which had been going on all day.

But a funny thing happened at this normally low-key event, a bunch of fast runners came out of the woodwork they set a quick pace right away. A quarter mile into the 11 mile trail race I was going much faster than planned and I was in about 10th and fading.

I had reviewed earlier placings (before and after the 5-6 year hiatus from the local schedule) and usually a sub 1:20 would net a top 5, but not this year. So my strategy changed from a lope at marathon pace to something faster than that. Still I didn't want to go hard the entire way, so I hung back in 10th-12th and let the other guys fight it out for the first 4 miles or so, some 15-30 seconds ahead. I even power walked up about half of the steep climb off of Red Fox/Skaarland trail, leading to Skyline Ridge. I fell back even a bit more, but over the top I started catching up. I caught the pack (about 7 guys) just before the little loop by Ski Boot Hill Road leading to the KUAC tower. I figured most (being 10 to 30+ years younger) would have better leg speed on the downhill, so I passed them all and surged for the final 1:00 or 1:30 over the top. Only 2 (both early-mid 20s) went with me. I kept the surge on the downhill until Moose Trail before settling in again. After that I just wanted a steady effort--but not too hard because I'd planned a 20 miler on the weekend and I wanted something left. One of the guys took off on the steep decline and he was gone. But the other one stayed close so I just keyed in and tried to run efficiently.

We didn't plan to tie, but Andy took a wrong turn at the parking lot (heading toward Equinox Trail), so I kind of slowed up for him to catch up and we ended up crossing at the same time. 45 seconds faster than my only other effort here, in 2011, a race in which I twisted my foot and popped/stretched a ligament and injury that bothered me for more than a year.

So the effort was harder than expected, but not extending all out (pushed harder in the half marathon the other week). It was another good day on the trail, and the casual post-race barbeque was fun (although at 50F and drizzly, a bit cool and damp).

1 Chris Eversman 1:13:28
1 Devin McDowell 1:13:28
3 R. Bryant Wright 1:15:16
4 Roger Sayre 1:16:02
4 Andy Johnson 1:16:02
6 Alex Morris 1:17:18
7 Simon McLoughlin 1:17:34
8 Brian Atkinson 1:17:39
9 Max Kaufman 1:19:39
10 David Fee 1:19:59


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