Saturday, December 10, 2011

PRA Cross Country Trail Run Recap

I could do an entire blog just on my job these past few months!  My goodness!  The life of a school technology coordinator!

Anyway, I'm here and I want to talk briefly about my last race.  The PRA (Pensacola Runners Association) Cross Country Train Run put on by the University of West Florida Cross Country team.  For me, this is the first trail race of the season.  One of my favorite races.  As with most trail races, at least around here, there aren't many people that run this race.  Usually around 50 runners.  This time was no different.

It was a brisk morning with the temps somewhere in the mid to high 40s.  Perfect for a run actually.  Did my usual mile warm and then waited patiently for the race to start.  I thought I noticed more 'little' people then usual (kids) for this race, so I wanted to be sure to get up front.  I don't usually take off like a rocket, so I had to be sure to get some distance between me and the kids.  If you have ever run with young kids, you know why!

The race starts in a small field and then heads up into the woods after about 75 to 90 yards.  I managed to get in front of most of the kids, but not all.  Once we got in the woods, I found myself behind a young boy and his mom.  Lisa F. (from Dailymile and a local friend of mine) was in front of me and the son and mom in front of her.   Our pace was slowed way down.  I didn't check my Garmin because on a trail run, you want to keep your eyes on the trail.  Nothing worse then taking a tumble on a trail run (which btw, I have done a few times).  At one point, Lisa managed to dart past them.  The path narrowed quickly, so there wasn't time for me to get past them as well.  I had to wait a minute or two more before the path opened up enough for me to get past.  Once pace them, I settled into a pretty good pace.  This course is a steady up hill for 3/4 of a mile.  Then you get a nice steep downhill that goes past the original point of entry.  We then loop back up the hill for the second loop.  The second loop is longer and has a pretty steep uphill.  By the time I reached this point, I was plum tired!  Legs were definitely burning.  I have to admit, I slowed to a walk a couple of times going up the last big climb.  The nice thing about that last hill is that you get to go down.  I relished the downhill.  It gave me a chance to make up some of the time I lost on the uphill.  I got to the original point of entry and then there was another 100 yards to the finish.  I pushed myself as best I could on some worn out legs.  I crossed the finish line at at time of 25:13.  Not too bad.  You never know how it is going to go on a trail run.  Some say you can usually expect a minute or more slower time on a trial then on a road race.  My time would indicate that is true.

The after party was nice.  The UWF cross country team does a great job with the help of the PRA.  It was a good time spent socializing with the local runners and meeting new people.  I actually got to know the mom and her son that were in front of me at the start pretty well.  She is one of the leaders in our Grand Prix series which I manage.  Her and I are now friends on Facebook.  That is one of the things I love about running, the people.  I am constantly meeting new runners and making new friends.

Me and a pretty girl! 
Anyway, I digress.  The awards were wonderful as always.  I wasn't sure how my time would fair.  I didn't notice who was in my age group and on a trail run, it's hard to see who is in front of you.  Lisa ended up taking Grand Master, my new friend Angela took 1st in her AG and her son took 2nd.  Numerous other friends did well in their age groups also.  Me, well, I ended up taking 3rd in my AG.  No idea who the guy was the took first, but the guy that took 2nd is one of my major challengers.

All in all, another fun,successful race!  As always my friends, remember, "Real athletes run, all others just play games"!

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