I have never been less prepared for a race than this one. We spent last week away, I didn’t run at all when we were in Steamboat skiing. The day before the race, we were travelling back. I barely had time to think about it! I could only hope that my super-pumped skiing thighs and a week at altitude would get me through.
This trail race was held in my favourite park, Huddart Park. Jen was running the half-marathon, as was my friend Agnes. Jen’s boyfriend, the Gypsy Runner, was running the 10k. I got to see Jen and the GR before the race which was lovely. I didn’t spot Agnes at all! The half-marathon started at 9, Jen sped off and I got myself ready for my race.It was cold – I thought that after Colorado I wouldn’t be bothered by California cold, but it was pretty nippy. The field was pretty small but as ever at trail races, everyone looked pretty gnarly!
We set off, pelting down the hill and onto single track. I ran as fast as I could for the first mile as it was mainly downhill. It was little rocky and I worried a bit for my ankle – it feels fine now but I wanted to protect it. Before too long, we were on the fireroad and started the climb.
The climb was about 3.5 miles long. It’s the same climb as the half-marathon that I ran here in August and it’s just relentless. I’d under-estimated both how hard it would be and how long the climb was. I walked a little but slowly edged my way up. When I got to the top and turned downhill, I squealed with relief!
(Quite intrigued by the foot and leg position in this photo! What’s going on there?)
Anyway…as ever with trails, the downhills are so good that you very quickly forget the unrelenting misery of the climb. I was by myself for most of the race so found myself alone in the forest, running downhill under redwood trees, pretending to be Katniss. It was heaven. I was grinning the whole time. I emerged into the clearing and dashed for the finish line. I’d run it in 1.05, which I was more than happy with.
I was slightly gutted to find that I’d come 4th in my age-group – awards went three deep. The girl who came third passed me with half a mile to go. Darn it. But never mind. Jen’s boyfriend came fourth in his age-group too, so we commiserated and then I attacked the goodies on the refreshment table, which included pumpkin pie!
No medals for this race but a nice shirt and a great mug. Inside Trail did a great job today, it was excellent. I really enjoyed the race – after the snow and the ice of Colorado, it felt really good to be back under the redwoods.
I headed off after a while – my family had a hot date at the Christmas Tree Farm, so I didn’t get to see Agnes or Jen finish, but I heard they had good races and found it brutal but beautiful! It’s nice to be home!