Yesterday, I competed in my last race of 2014; the ORRRC Winter Solstice 10 Miler! It was actually 10.3 miles, but in a trail race, you always round down. 😉 The race was held at a state park about 30 minutes from our house, so it was pretty convenient! I’ve actually run some of the trails at the park before, so I was familiar with the terrain.
We got to the park about an hour prior to the race in order to register (they only do day-of registration for their smaller races). I was glad we got there early cuz the line was really short at first, but after I finished registering, there was a HUGE line behind me! ORRRC registration is super easy because if you are a club member (which I am), the shorter races are free, AND if you are wearing a Road ID, you don’t need a bib number! Super convenient, and saves paper.
It was a very cold morning, so after waiting in line, I was pretty chilly, so we headed back to the car to warm up before warming up 😉 About 20 minutes prior to the race, I decided to do a short jog to warm up. Then, I headed to the start!
The race director informed us that this was a 5ish mile, 2 loop course. I liked hearing that because I knew for the first loop, I’d probably have plenty of people to follow, and the second loop, I’d be familiar with the course. I started off at a pretty fast pace with the lead male pack. I wanted to make sure I secured my position before getting into the narrow section. After about 5 minutes, I settled down though, and let a few guys pass me. The first half of the loop was crazy! We zig zagged back and forth all the way up the cliff! It was kind of cool though because we could see who was behind and in front of us the whole 2.5 miles. The second half of the loop was mostly flat and straight, which I loved! I was pretty tired by the time I got to the flat part though, so I slowed down a bit and a few more guys passed me. One of them mentioned that two females were right behind him. “Oh no!”, I said, “I better pick up the pace!”
As we came through the first lap, I glanced behind me and saw there was a girl very close behind. I did not want to loose my position, so I kicked it up a notch through the hard first part of the second loop! I looked behind me after making it through the zig-zags, and the girl was much further behind me. I didn’t want to slack off again on the flat part though, so I pushed as hard as I could for the last 2.5 miles! My legs were feeling pretty heavy by this point because I’m not much of a trail runner, especially when steps, rocks, and trees are involved! (Oh yes, I forgot to mention, the state park was having logging done, so there were several felled trees across the paths that we had to jump over!!)
I came into the clearing about 200 meters from the finish, and I knew I was the first female! I crossed the finish line completely beat, but happy with another 1st place! My finishing time was 1:24:22. Also, I was 15th place overall, and I’d passed 3 guys on the 2nd lap. Overall, I was very pleased with how I raced my first ever 10(ish) mile race!
Anyone else have more races planned for the last days of 2014? I want to do a Jingle Bell run, but we’ll be out of state for Christmas, so it’s not feasible. Happy running!!