Friday, July 11, 2008

Peters Canyon Trail Race

Yesterday evening I ran in my first trail race. It was part of the Vasque Peters Canyon Trail Run Series in Tustin. It was a 5-mile race put on by Renegade Racing. Not only had I never raced on dirt before, I had never run this course! Mentally it is always challenging to be unfamiliar with the course.

I felt like I got schooled in the ways of trail running. Almost immediately I found myself thinking, "Oh, no, there are hills!" I don't know what I was thinking, but I had not antisipated the steep inclines at all, "Duh!" Indeed, the first two miles were grueling. The first hills were like running up the down escalator! I was running about an 11-minute per mile pace for the first two miles and I found myself praying, "God, just let me not have to walk these hills." Had I been familiar with the course I would have at least known how many more of those pesky inclines I had to face. Plus, there was sand, and running downhill presentented its own challenges for my legs! It was actually quite funny, I had looked at the course map on-line, but it didn't dawn on me to interpret it as anything but flat, like running around the streets near my home. Like I said, I got an education!

You see, I had just run a 5K race on Independence Day. It was the Lake Forest 5K and I was pretty pleased with my results. I ran a 21:03 time which averaged to a 6:48 pace. Foolishly, not being a trail runner, I thought I would bust out with about the same pace for the five-miler on dirt. Like I said, hills!

Despite everything, my secondwind kicked in and I was really able to pick up my pace during the last part of the race. It felt good to pass a bunch of folks during those last two miles. My pace increased so much during the last half that I was able to run an overall 7-minute, 30-second pace. My results were as follows: 37:26 total time on a five-mile course, running a 7:30 pace, placing 51st out of 326 runners.

My sons were waiting for me at the finish line, cheering me on. Max surprised me by snapping a photo of my finish with his cell phone. It was a good evening.

All-in-all, it was an exhilarating experience. I actually totally loved it. What a rush!



Blogger Tony said...

Bravo buddy, bravo! Good job my friend!

5:09 PM  
Blogger Truth said...

Congrats! I can hardly get through a 5-k in 37 minutes, let alone 5 miles! Great job!

3:59 PM  

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