Jun 032011

2011 Pineland Farms Trail Challenge 25k Race Report (Or “Where Did I Lose Those Six Seconds?!”)

by Danielle Triffitt

I managed to miss beating Ryan’s time from last year on the Pineland course by 6 seconds. Yup, six lousy seconds! Ah well, you win some, you lose some, and despite my best efforts, Ryan is still the reigning 25k record holder in our house. D*mn! 🙂 But really, it was all friendly banter, and although it would have been fun to beat his time, the reality is he can truly run much faster than that, and so it’s sort of a moot point anyway. It did give me something to shoot for though, and I am thrilled to have finished in 2:14:05, which is a 12 minute PR, despite being 6 seconds off my mark.

The day dawned foggy and misty, and Ryan got up bright and early to head over to Pineland to cheer on all our friends starting the 50 miler at 6am. I got up and enjoyed a bit of quiet, before Sam woke up, and then the two of us headed over around 8:30. My parents, Kristen and Morgan met us there, and took over on Sam duty, so that I could get ready (which translates into: stand in line for an inane amount of time to use the port-a-potty) to race. I lined up at the start near Randy, Tom Whittaker and Jeremy. Jeremy is coming back from a stress fracture, so he decided to take it easy during the race, and we ended up running the first 5k together. It was fun to have someone to chat with, and the early miles went by quickly. I finally let him go, a bit reluctantly, near the yurt. We had gone through 5k in 24:00ish, which was just a touch too fast for me.

As we got into the fields beyond the yurt, the clouds finally burned off, and the sun came out. The fields were wet and sloppy, but after all the rain we’d had over the past few weeks, at least they were actually able to clear a decent path for us out there! Once the sun came out, the humidity became all the more noticeable. I stopped to tie my shoe at one point, and realized my face was hot, hot, hot. The silver lining was that there was indeed a breeze, which felt really nice when it kicked up! My goal was to run everything, so I slogged up the hills after the yurt, and did the same once I hit the Campus loop. I was happy to see Mindy and Valerie at the aid station at the bottom of the Campus loop. Val looked happy and relaxed! Hurray! The hills were definitely taking a bit out of me, but I tried to crank up the pace as I neared the top of the Campus loop and headed for the start/finish area.

Ryan yelled to me that I was 12th woman, and I think I made some sort of face in return to indicate that I was feeling the miles, the heat, the lack of sleep this past week. But, I did resolve to run as fast as my little legs could carry me over on Oak Hill. Once I crossed the street, I ended up with a guy who was walking all the hills I was running, and we were leap-frogging back and forth. Finally, as I passed him once again, I said, “we have to stop meeting like this.” He replied, “yeah, otherwise we’ll have to start talking to each other.” We hopped back and forth a few times, and I finally lost him at the bottom of Gloucester Hill, when I ran about 1/2 way up. I heard him mutter, “No way,” as I ran off. Of course, I did end up walking the second half of the hill. I just couldn’t quite muster the run all the way up. But once I hit the top, I knew I only had a few miles to go, and I pushed as much as I could. I actually felt better in the final few miles than I did in the stretch up the Campus loop.

As I neared the finish line, after yelling “Go Danielle,” Ryan yelled, in jest, “It’s still mine!” 🙂 Just six seconds shy. Where did those six seconds go? Guess I shouldn’t have stopped for those few sips of water, or walked those few extra steps up Gloucester Hill! Ha. Regardless, I felt like I gave it all I could give out there, and I’m happy with the result. Turns out, I ended up 10th woman too, which is cool. A solid day, overall, for sure!

Finish line push (Photo courtesy: Maine Running Photos)


Many, many thanks to Ian and Erik, and all the volunteers for putting on such a great race! It was fun (in that not-fun sort of way :-)) as always! Thanks too, to Ryan, for cheering his heart out (in fact, I think he lost his voice in the 12 hours he was out there helping and cheering!), and for providing me with a goal to for after. Also to Mom and Dad for watching Sam for us so we could play for the day! And last but not least, congrats to all the Trail Monsters for putting up some great results! Woohoo! Way to rock it everyone!!


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