Saturday, July 28, 2007

Xterra Sundance 10K Trail Race

Up at 5:30. Gathered up my running gear and ate some cereal with soy milk. Out by 6:00 on my way to Sundance for the Xterra Sundance 10K Trail Race. Nice and cool when I arrived—upper 50’s. Picked up my number and shirt, then stretched out and jogged around the resort.

The race started at 7:30 with about 50 of us. About the same as the Snowbird race. We ran almost a half mile up a steep road on our way to the trail. I’m not a hill runner, but I forced myself to keep pace so I could maintain a decent position leaving the road. Entered the trail in 7th place and stayed in that spot for several more miles of winding single track which climbed into the mountains above the resort.

While the altitude and uphill made it difficult, it was heaven compared to Snowbird with the heat and direct sun overhead. I thought I was cruising pretty good, but two people passed me before I reached the summit. There was supposed to be a water station at the half-way point, but we beat them to the top and missed it. I spotted the truck heading up as I was running downhill. Fortunately I was feeling good and wasn’t thirsty.

The last 3 miles or so were mainly downhill, with some fairly steep sections. The rocks and roots in the trail had been easy to avoid on the way up, but proved more of a challenge while speeding down. I let gravity take its course and allowed myself to go as fast as the switch backs would let me.

I made up the ¼ mile lead of the girl ahead of me, but she held me at bay about 20 yards back as we left the trail. The last half mile was on the asphalt road we first ran up. I went all out, moving into a dead sprint the last 100 yards, passing the girl as we entered the chute. I came in 9th overall and 4th in my age group, with a time of 48:19. Much better than last time. (7:46 min pace)

With the points I receive from this race, I will for sure qualify in my age group for the Nationals in Lake Tahoe. The next race is worth double points, but I’m going to skip it so that others can hopefully pass me. The finals are Sep 29th, which is at the end of my Thailand trip. I’d have to leave 3 days early to make it, plus make arrangements to get to Lake Tahoe and find a place to sleep, etc. I decided to let it go this year and make plans to qualify next year when my schedule is more flexible and I’m hopefully in better shape.

I really enjoyed today's race and look forward to competing again next year.

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