2011 Sticks & Bones Trail 10k

9 Apr

This race took place at the Renaissance Park mountain bike trails. There are two 5k loops there–they are separated by a parking lot. One is considered easier (by the baseball fields) and the other is considered more technical (by the volleyball courts), though they both have lots of twists, turns, hills, rocks, drops, etc.

Both the 10k and 5k racers started at the same time in the parking lot going toward the more technical trail. The course routed us through the black diamond section (the one I bypassed during my preview runs). It wasn’t too bad but I kind of felt like I was on a rollercoaster and my feet were getting sore. I let myself “fall” on the downs and let that momentum carry me through the ups. After an initial crowded first mile, the runners settled into their paces and I was running by myself most of the time, which was nice.

My official pace for the 6.2mi course was 10mm, though my GPS watch only read 5.36 miles. I am guessing my Garmin didn’t pick up on all the twists, turns, and artificial drops. The discrepancy threw me off a little at the end when I was expecting to be running for one more mile.

It was a small race, so I got 2nd in my age group. The lady who got first was behind me the entire 5k portion, passed me between the two trail loops, I caught up with her midway through the second loop, but she pulled away on all the uphills in the last half mile. I think she finished 10-20 seconds in front of me. As a reference point for this course, the 1st place 5k finisher came in at ~24:30 and 1st place 10k finisher was ~49:xx.

This was my first race without an iPod. The race rules said no headphones so I went with that… it was enlightening to hear my breathing and that kind of helped me determine my effort. For the most part it was 2 steps in, 2 steps out and when I noticed it got to three steps I would pick it up a little. I was definitely panting on some of the longer climbs though!

Overall, I am pleased. This was a new trail to me and I hadn’t planned on this race until a few days before, so I was racing for fun rather than time, but I reached my two main goals 1) no walking, and keep up a strong effort throughout; 2) faster than my previous trail 10k, which was 1:09.


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