I need to keep this brief because I am sick as a dog from hanging out in the raw and cold Saturday Morning before, during and after the Rivah Run. Coursing fluids through the system to try to get everything back in working order.
As advertised from fellow trail runners and bloggers, the course is fairly flat over the first 3 miles, and then the climbing and descending begins for the next two to the turn around point. Then the battle continues with the hills to the last three miles of mostly flat running. Basically the hills were my downfall. The first three miles all had splits under 10 minutes a mile, but the hilly miles were well above that. Fortunately I had enough at the end to rattle off negative splits of 9:55, 9:41, and 9:16.
It was a total lift seeing kZ in the group ahead of me for most of the first half of the race, and Trail Pixie was lurking somewhere behind me for the first 9 miles, but came surging past me and a group of three other guys. It was neat seeing the results and having kZ, Trail Pixie and myself all finishing under 1:40 and within 4 1/2 minutes of each other. Great race guys!
All things considered, I finished the course in 1:39:50, 152nd place out of 228. Above all though, I am just happy to be trail racing again. The winter was long and trying. I have no speed work, or tempo work, or hill work under my belt since getting injured in October. Meeting fellow trail junkies and getting muddy over wild and wet courses together is way too much fun to mope around complaining about how I'd rather be in better shape before I race.
The bottom line is that the adventure of trail races makes me happy and the middle miles of hills at the Merrimack are chock full of stream crossings and roller coaster ascents and descents, who could ask for more?
Special shout out to Trail Pixie and her fabulous Gator Bait Gators: http://gatorbaitgaiters.blogspot.com/ Threw on my custom made pair prior to the race and can't wait to get out on the trail for more training with the Gator Baits!
Numerous photos from the event can be found here:
Courtesy of the photographic handiwork of Jim Johnson ('Double J") and Jamie Doucett.
Click here to see my honest attempt at ascending the power line hill (outbound):
Courtesy of Jaime Doucett.
Next week I hope to get the Succeed and S-Caps I ordered for some experimentation out on the trails - perhaps a three hour run next weekend. Next adventure will be the Blue Hills Fox Trot Trail 10 miler on April 26th.
Happy Trails (Cough, cough, sniff, sniff)...
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