After a long hiatus of writing on this blog, I have decided that it may be a worthwhile venture and have decided to post a summary of the larger events of 2012. Unlike most blogs, I am not going to go into the step by step minutia details of each race as found on most blogs. If you would like this detail of information, go to Google, type in the name of the race you are interested in and the word “blog” and you should have enough reading forage for at least an evening. I have left out a couple of smaller low profile local races and will just summarize the larger or notable events of the year.
Rocky Raccoon 50 mile
This race is down in Huntsville, Texas and is known to be a fast course, a WS qualifier, and large. I had decided to do this almost on a whim, and was able to first get on the waiting list, then make it in. The year before Ian Sharman had run an insane fast 100 miler, sub 13 hours on this course. Weather and trail conditions were perfect the evening before, but things were about to change. In the early morning hours of race day, a massive t-storm front moved through and dumped something like 4 inches of rain on the area. Large portions of the course were quickly reduced to pits of mud and water. In the sandier sections the, course held up fine. I was able to run a sub 8 hour 50 mile and place in the top 10 so the day was a success with a WS qualifying time and a decent one at that. I was planning on doing this race again in 2013, but it filled up and the waiting list was huge by early October, so if this race is on your to-do list, sign up early. I was also able to socialize with several fellow runners’ from the mid-west so this was an extra bonus and made the event even more enjoyable .
Way Too Cool 50K
Another large event with a ton of blog posts, so you can find all the details you could ever with for. In a nutshell, drove over the night before, and spent the night in Auburn. Got up and ran the race, hung around for a while socializing and had a big picnic lunch then headed home. The days leading up to the race, the area had seen some rain and many of the creeks were up a bit but not raging, though you were going to get your feet wet crossing. The nice thing about this area, is that even after a rain, I have never seen the trails shoe sucking sloppy. I ended up running in the 4:20 range which placed me a ways back in the field since this race draws more than a few talented trail runners. The large pot-luck picnic was fun and a hit, a must-do for next year.
Escape from Prison Hill trail half marathon
A small trail half held in Carson City. The course is in a large green space just outside of CC and several prisons can be seen from the course. The area has few trees and almost no shade so it is known to heat up most years, this year was no exception. This race is mostly on single track trail with a couple miles of dirt/gravel two track/roads. For the most part you are either climbing or descending with some portions that are soft and sandy. This race favors the strong fast runners, and there were some fast runners this year. Large raffle at the end with a large breakfast spread with plenty of food for all.
Western States 100 mile (pacing)
Once again, I went over and worked the Forest Hill aid station during the afternoon, then paced a runner through the night for the last 38 miles. This year the runner was Dalus Kumpa, a local runner and a good one at that. The pacing went off without a hitch and no major issues on the final leg of this race. Dalus came into this race well prepared on all fronts with a solid summer of training, a reasonable race plan that he stuck to, and he was mentally prepared. In many ways, pacing is as or even more fun than racing and very rewarding. Currently have my name in the hat for this race and if I do not get in, I will be pacing.
Tahoe Rim Trail 50 mile
Another well run race with some great scenery. I had originally put in for the 50K then later upgraded to the 50 mile. Conditions were warm and dry and by the afternoon was bordering on hot. Again, I had some stomach issues starting near mile 30, but was able to work through them better than in the past and ended up running a few minutes slower than last year. In the end I considered it a successful race in that I was able to work on nutrition and hydration- hit a low spot and be able to pull back out and recover to some degree. Still some work to be done in this area of the longer races but I am getting better. Finished 10th overall in a field of fast masters runners, no AG prize for me this time around. Free, drinks including beer, and a huge burrito bar at the finish. I wish I felt better at the end of these longer races to fully enjoy the spread.
Kokanee run half
A rather small race that has been around for a while near South Lake Tahoe. This is one of those event that might have too many event with a half, 10k, and a 5k all at the same time. This year the half course was changed due to ongoing work in the area, so it consisted of two 10k loops. I ran in 2nd place for the majority of the race and was able to catch the front runner with less than half a mile to go and win it outright. The course ended up being about a mile short on my Garmin, but hey, it was a great day to be racing in some great scenery, so I am not complaining.
California International Marathon
This years’ race will be remembered for some time for the rain and wind, check out all the whiny blog posts. The people that came with their game faces and ready to race did fine and more than a few had PR’s. The others did not have a much success or fun. It was all about your outlook at the start. What I experienced was steady rains and some strong south winds for the first half of the race. The second half was light winds with light rain or drizzle and by the end the day was starting to look nice for running . The weather caught the race committee a bit flat footed, but for the most part, the race did a great job and still had an army of volunteers helping out. In my opinion, the saving grace was the rather warm temperatures (in the 50’s) during the race. It was cool and wet at the start, but one you got moving, I was about right with SS shirt, shorts, cap and light cotton gloves. Many were over dressed. Near PR time of 2:54, but felt much better after this marathon (was actually able to step up on the curb!) than in the past. Of you are looking for a PR or BQ race, look seriously at CIM. This is a fast course, I do not care what anyone says!
Looking Forward into 2013?
Not sure what 2013 will hold as far as racing or training. Not so long ago, I came to the conclusion that my somewhat shotgun approach to racing and training is not allowing me to perform my best at any particular event. I have been racing “seriously” from road marathons up to 50 mile and even considering 100 k/m events for the upcoming year. Should I concentrate on one distance? Or just continue what I have been doing since I have been having decent success and enjoying myself for the most part. As of right now, I have a smattering of events in the queue, leaning hard to the trail end of things. Most are local such as TRT and some events in the Auburn/cool area. I may also do some fun running like a trip down to the Grand Canyon or Zion NP. Only time will tell.