Thursday, August 14, 2014

ENDURrun Stage 4: Hilly 10 Miler

Last night's stage was tough. My legs were starting to feel the previous 3 stages and the headwind after the turnaround certainly didn't help anything.

Here's a description of the course from the race website:
The first of two hill runs, this course is for the fast, strong runner. This 10 miler is on paved and packed gravel roads and is characterized as demanding and hilly. The start and finish are both up hill, mainly along Wilmot Line west of Waterloo. The gathering point is at Camp Heidelberg at 6pm – the only stage to start at the end of the day. After the short hill start, runners run through a low forested region then join Wilmot Line. There are a series of large hills to slow you up, but the descents are long and fast. Approximately half way out the course doubles back straight towards the finish. The rapid succession of hills during the last third of the course draws on all the strengths of the runner. The final 300m finish usually sees the competitors battle to the finish line and a well deserved leg massage!
Although stage 4 didn't feel great for me, I was perfectly happy with the end result. I wanted to finish in under 1:20 and I did. My finish time was 1:19:47, a 10 mile PB for me (mind you, I've never run a non-ENDURrun 10 mile race) and was another 5th place finish.

My Post-Stage 4 Food
It was incredibly great to see the crowd of Health & Performance members cheering on the final hill to the finish, and some runners who were on the other side just up a bit further (Matt, Mindy, I don't remember who else was there... sorry.. your regular shirts didn't stand out as much as the gold!). It is always fantastic to have people cheering on that final uphill stretch. Thank you to all who stood and cheered!

As with every stage of this event, there is plenty of time to socialize with other runners, family, and friends while enjoying an amazing assortment of food and a nice casual setting. A highlight this year was the unexpected ENDURrun reunion! Several former ENDURrun Ultimates were out as guests, including Jessica and Brian, who I haven't seen in 3 years! It was great to see you!

Since it's Thursday today... here's a throwback to Jess and I running stage 4 in 2011!
After today's "rest day" (probably the busiest day of the week with the eating stages 4.5 and 4.75 and a massage appointment), it is time to prepare for tomorrow's tough stage: Chicopee. I hope the legs are happy tomorrow because they need to carry me up and down a ski hill many times.

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