|Lake Chabot on a hot July morning|
|1790' that feels like 2500'|
|I'm in the center with the black & white visor trying to hustle!|
Wildcat Canyon Race. In that article I wrote "I heard a voice say "How'd it go out there?" It was the guy I had been racing with/ against all morning. His name was Jason and what an exceptionally nice guy to talk to. He seemed filled with positive vibes and a cheerful spirit. We chatted for a bit and I congratulated him on beating me and he informed me that I actually beat him. I had no idea but I guess at some point I went past and bested him by just a few minutes. That's awesome but it does not prove anything. I'm convinced Jason is the better runner just based on his uphill performance. I could get him on a downhill maybe but he had me on the uphills all day long." As true today as it was a few months ago. He ended up beating me by 1:26. That's awesome! I was one of the last guys going up that hill from the little racing pack we unknowingly created. Those guys passed me early on the way up and it wasn't until we crested the hill that I caught back up.
I also caught back up to a female runner (that I highly respect but will not name) coming out of the aid station atop that big hill. Unfortunately when we were 100 yds outside of the aid station she threw down her Dixie cup in the weeds on the side of the trail! I was stunned. That is trail racing etiquette #1. NO LITTERING. I wanted to say something but couldn't. I was both too afraid of being offensive and too shocked to know how to respond properly. She ran on ahead with her speedy self and I cruised along the rolling hills averaging 8:30 to 9:00 pace for the most part. I traded places with a few of "the guys" a couple times and two of them stayed ahead of me from around mile 6 on.
I felt pretty good coming into what I knew to be the last big hill climb of the race around mile 8. I tried to keep a slow and steady pace but finally succumbed to the power hiking pace of 13:30. The two guys that were fairly close behind eventually caught up and passed me for what I thought was the last time. I was wrong. I crested that hill and began the decent back down to lake level at a very fast 7:30 pace. I passed one of the two guys who had got me on the uphill pretty quickly. A half mile later I caught up to the other guy and as I passed him I said in the most humble of tones "hey man, I'm gonna come around your left and squeeze on by. Thanks so much. Great race man, really great race!" I said this, in this way, because it felt right to give this guy some respect. He was giving it his all and he was a worthy competitor. I was certain I would beat him and I just wanted him to know I respected his efforts. I eventually made it back down to the paved bike path and I was feeling strong. I was at mile 10ish at this point and I tried to zone out and keep a steady pace for the final 3 miles. The best I could hold was 8:45 pace but that turned out to be fairly decent. The two guys that had passed me 6 miles ago were lined up one after the other and only separated by 15 seconds or so. I ended up passing them both right before the final aid station at the 12 mile mark.
|Dying down the finish shoot at 7:40 pace|
I came out of that aid station with a purpose thinking that dude was hot on my heels. It wasn't until a slight upward corner came that gave me a peek behind me that I realized he was not a threat. I kept the fire stoked as best I could and crossed the finish line in 2:06:17. I had missed my goal by 6 minutes but I finished 8th in my age group and 46th out of 275 finishers. I was very happy with that. The winner for the men, Nick Scalfone, came in 41 minutes ahead of me at 1:25:14. That is almost exactly 1 minute away from Lon Freeman's record. The female winner, Felice Kelly came in at 1:39:31 which places her in the top 10 overall.
Another great race put on by Brazen Racing. I think for the price you get an excellent value for your money but that price will likely increase in the future if we don't get a grip on this trail littering business. I saw 2 more Dixie cups on the paved path in the last miles of the race. Disgraceful and unacceptable. It is common (but still uncool) to throw your cup on the ground NEAR THE AID STATION at a road race but not at a trail race and NOT well away from the aid station. That's just sloppy and we all need to set a good example for those who maybe new to trail racing.
Next up for me is the Bobcat Blitz at Huddart Park in Woodside on the following weekend (8/3/14). See you out there!