Sep 112012

by Jeff Walker – Perfect racing weather and conditions for a race like this. I jumped out at what I thought was a fast pace and traded pulling with Jeremy, James, and Brett Hellstedt through the first four miles. Just before bat cave I lost contact with that gang and that was it. Nice racing boys! If you want to read about real racing, read Jeremy’s fantastic post. After I lost contact, I wasn’t really racing anyone but thought I was running at my maximum sustainable pace. I was alone through bat cave, the remainder of Fox East, and the lower half of the snomo trail back to the top of the course but on the upper half of the snowmo trail, Gabe Flanders became visible in my rearview mirror. I found another gear (or maybe 1/2 gear) and kept him at bay until the O trail. At the O trail I let him by with the goal to have him pull me through faster than I could him. He drifted away very quickly but was always in sight, although it was impossible on that trail to figure out what the gap was. He finished 1:10 ahead of me. Wow. About 1/2 way through I became keenly aware that George and Morgan Laidlaw were in sight behind me and seemed to be catching up. They didn’t but they closed the gap to about 35s.

So my O-trail was slow. Jeremy‘s statement that he entered the O-trail at 1:11:xx is just flogging a dead horse. I entered at 1:13:32 so at most I entered 2:20 back but finished the race 3:27 back so lost at least 1:17 to Jeremy in there. Clearly my O-trail running is slow, which maybe shouldn’t surprise since I have zero acceleration skillz.

Here are my segment splits compared to 2010, the last time I raced the bruiser (and the O trail)

Segment 2010 2012 Seg Diff % diff
start + Lanzo 0:02:57 0:03:04 0:00:07 3.95
Island 0:13:52 0:14:17 0:00:18 2.75
Ragan + Ginn West 0:24:58 0:25:48 0:00:25 3.75
Ginn East 0:36:28 0:37:50 0:00:32 4.64
Bat Cave 0:42:09 0:43:54 0:00:23 6.74
Fox East 0:47:16 0:49:25 0:00:24 7.82
Snomo 0:53:41 0:56:07 0:00:17 4.42
Ginn/Fox West 1:05:40 1:08:27 0:00:21 2.92
Uphill to O trail 1:10:45 1:13:32 0:00:00 0.00
O trail 1:32:13 1:35:55 0:00:55 4.27
Finish runout 1:33:01 1:36:34 0:00:09 -11.36

I’m very surprised that the first few segments were slower than 2010 because my watch was telling me these were faster. Never believe a gps watch on a twisty single track trail (note this criticism doesn’t affect my segment times since these can be found very accurately on the map). My slowest segments were in the middle when I was racing all alone. Interesting.

It felt good to get out and do a long trail race. For many reasons, that was my first trail race of the season (I’m not counting the Pineland 10K). I’m happy with the effort, if not the results. That said, the race absolutely destroyed my foot (the retrocalcaneal bursitis that I’ve had since March).