January 24, 2009

Snow Cheap Race #3 report

So last year during the summer of 2008 there was a series called the Dirt Cheap trail series which was like the little summer cousin of the Snow Cheap races. During those races, I would generally be in the lead and then blow it by taking a wrong turn on the course and just zoning out while running... this happened so much that I lost the entire series (one race in particular I went from 1st place overall to 9th...) and I earned the "Dora the Explorer" award for getting most lost in the series.
So this time around, and in the New Year, one of my resolutions was to NOT get lost in this series and not blow it again. Race #3 was a little different...
This was the first time around for a snowshoe run as we got dumped on the last few weeks and there was enough snow pack to be able to run on snowshoes. I was stoked to get going and race again. It was a good vibe as always for these races, basically it's just a mid-week low-key style trail race that everyone gets together and we all just have fun.
The race went off and we all tried so hard to keep our heart rates down as we clomped thru the snow. There were half of the people on trail shoes and half on snowshoes (it all depends on what series that you sign up for...I was snowshoe) We're going along and I'm just cruising and all of the sudden I catch a good gap, I think. I'm bombing thru the woods and the only thing I can hear is the crunch of my feet on the snow and my headlamp is so dim that it takes a little bit of effort to be able to see the cones and reflective tape.
I'm going along feeling good, hitting some of the big climbs and just bombing thru the woods. I hit a trail junction and I went straight. I've gone for like 45 seconds down the trail and realized that I T'ed into another trail with no markers anywhere to be found. CRAP...I was in the lead at this point and just knew what to do (this wasn't my first rodeo...) I turned around and raced back to where I saw the trail markers again. I hit the spot where I saw the left trail branch and I just missed the cones.
I looked and saw some other people that weren't to the spot where I was on the trail yet and I thought I still had the lead. I was going thru and still had about 1.5 miles left to go. I was heading up one of the big climbs and saw a headlamp up in front of me by like 300 yards. I thought it was just a person scouting the course and thought really nothing of it. I kept on racing thru the woods and wasn't really gaining any time on the light up ahead.
Now about 1/4 mile from the line we ducked back into the woods and I caught the mystery light. It was Kurt Spacher and he had finished 2nd the last two races against me. As I was catching the light I had a feeling of, "you know I could just let that person go...or if it's Kurt and I do then I'm going to be kicking myself for that forever" Luckily I didn't let it go and chased him down and was able to make a quick pass within sight of the line right before the giant leaf pile again :o)

I hit the line in first again and finished it off 3 for 3 in starts versus wins for this race series. I'm already getting antsy for the next one on 2/4/09. Good times and some monster climbs made for a good race and fun.

I've been keeping busy here with training (last 3 weeks have been 10, 13 and 15 hours) and have a glorious rest week planned next week. JFT at it's finest. Keep it up during the cold winter months folks. Be back with another report soonish. Cheers.

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