Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ENDURrun Stage 3 - 30K XC

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the radio informing me that a heat warning had been issued for the region and would last until the end of the week. Great. Oh well, everyone is racing in the same conditions, we just need to be smart out there and hydrate hydrate hydrate!

When I arrived at Bechtel Park it was still quite pleasantly cool, but obviously that was not going to last. The sun was rising, and it was strong.

The race started out at a fairly conservative pace, which was exactly what I wanted to happen. Going out too fast on this long course is never a good idea. The first 4 laps, the temperature didn't seem too bad, but it REALLY heated up after that. Laps 5 and 6 were very hot when out in the sun, but the trail section gave some much needed relief.

My laps weren't as consistent as I would like, but they weren't atrocious. Here's how they went:

Lap 1, 26:06: started out with Catherine, who was running the first leg of the Schmidt Family Relay. She went ahead (of course) somewhere around the school yard section, I don't remember if it was before, after, or in. After that, I stuck just behind Val with Hunter just behind me for the remainder of the lap.

Lap 2, 25:37: Val picked up the pace and moved ahead, I picked it up slightly as well, but was well back from Val and ran solo for this lap.

Lap 3, 25:52: Solo until Jordan (Schmidt Relay) yelled at me while running around the soccer field that he was going to catch me, which he did about 1km or so later, just after entering the woods. I expected him to pass me and keep running, but was pleasantly surprised that he slowed down and ran with me. It was great to have company.

Jordan and I at the end of Lap 3: half way for me
Lap 4, 26:46: I ran this entire lap with Jordan as he was doing 2 loops for his relay. We ran this one a little slower than I probably should have, but that's OK. We were yapping the entire time that we ran together, which at the time I thought was a good idea, to keep the pace on the conservative side for the middle laps, but perhaps should have been more aggressive. But who knows.. that could have backfired with the heat in the final two laps.

Lap 5, 26:22: Lloyd started his relay lap and I thought maybe, just maybe, I'd have company again... but no... he wanted to run faster. :) This lap was run solo. The heat was rising, but I ran it quicker than the previous lap, so that was good.

Lap 6, 27:07: This final lap was tough in the heat. I stopped at the aid station just after the start/finsh, grabbed two cups and actually walked to the first corner to drink them.. not because I wanted a break from running, but because I wanted to be sure to actually get the fluids into me instead of just spilling them all over the place. The sun was strong and it was hot.. I wanted to focus on hydration. After that severe slow-down, I got back to business. Running in the full sun for the first half of the lap made me feel like maybe my fitness wasn't where I thought it was... I was very happy that this was my last lap and was starting to do math of... even if I slow down to x pace, I will still finish under 2:40. I really thought I was going to suffer this entire lap. I walked through the aid station by the playground as well, drinking 2 cups, but then as I got going again and entered the woods, I felt so much better! It was amazing how much of a difference just getting out of the sun made. I felt strong again. I finished up my lap, and crossed the finish line in 2:37:49. I wasn't happy that my final lap was over 27 minutes, but when I thought about the fact that I walked through 2 aid stations, it made sense. I still would have rather run it quicker (obviously), but I'm glad that I was thinking about the conditions and making sure I was hydrating well.

I finished in 2nd Ultimate Female again today, 3rd female overall (Val of the H+P Women's Team was 1st woman across the line).

Post-race photos:
Lloyd reading the results
Listening to Lloyd
Platter o' food

Cumulative Results after Stage 3 (top 3):
Rob 4:04:27
Mark 4:45:44
Kyle 4:56:41

Angela 5:07:28
Me 5:24:19
Hunter 5:39:40

After the race, I saw emergency vehicles entering the park and I learned that a runner had gone down about 2K from the finish. We were informed in the post-race announcements that he had been taken to the hospital, but that he will be OK. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Justin!

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