So here it goes.. the 2011 Frozen Sasquatch 25k race report. Let me say this first… it was really cold, and I mean cold. 19 degrees Farenheit cold. Despite the temperature and the 5 or 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground, the turnout was really very good.. I believe that nearly 130 or so of the 150 registered toed the start line. A few minutes after 8 a.m. the start gun went off… actually it was Dan Lehmann just saying something like, “okay go ahead and go!” So we head up Overlook trail and start the march up the steep rocky trail in single file. Once at the top, we were finally able to actually break into a run and roll along the ridge tops and out onto the boundary road. I was feeling pretty good and got into a nice rhythm, getting passed by a few but passing even more. I was able to take advantage of the recon runs that I was able to do the week leading up to the race. Though I didn’t train much, only 4 runs in the month leading up to this, I got some miles in on the course and knew it fairly well. This “local knowledge” paid off as I knew for example, if I gutted it out for a little bit longer on a certain climb, then I could recover and pick up time on a long gradual downhill, or later on the length of a certain piece of singletrack. So on we go down Hemlock Falls where I basically just tucked in with a group and chugged along to the first aid station and filled up my handheld with some Heed. After that, the gentle climb to the base of the steeper climb up Beech Glen began and again, I hooked onto the back of a group of 5 or 6 runners, trying my best to hang on and use the group to motivate me. I started to falter as we hiked up the steepest parts, but pushed ahead and actually passed a couple of folks near the top. I had a good descent of Wildcat and just shuffled along through the campground to the aid station at the base of Johnson Hollow and the last big climb of the race. Once again, filled up with a bottle of Heed and a Hammer gel, I trotted off and then hiked on the tail end of another group of about 6 or 7 racers to the ridge top and the last 6 miles of the race and the Middle Ridge singletrack trails. I was really starting to hurt a bit, especially in my hips… sure sign of poor preparation, but was able to almost always see someone ahead or close behind, inspiring me to push on to keep from getting passed or left behind. I love the singletrack there and have come to know it really well from countless runs and mountain bike rides over the trails. So, finally, the last short downhill over Teaberry trail is here… about a mile or so left, and I just let it go and let my legs go and had a great close to a tough day. I actually passed 6 or seven racers, and this is where my local knowledge really served me well as I have trained on taking this particular downhill as fast as possible at the end of my summer and fall training runs and have come to know this trail better than most. I felt really strong and confident where some were forced to be more tentative in the snow and ice. I did not reach my 3 hour goal, but was close as I finished in 3 hours and 37 seconds. That was good enough for 17th overall (out of 62), and 3rd in my age group (40-49 males). I was really proud of myself with that run, and now think of all the places I could have made up the 9 or 10 minutes that my age group winner had on me! Oh well, Mike Dolin put on a good race, cool Patagonia Cap 2 shirt, well marked, good crowd… all that, and I will surely be back next year and better prepared! I am motivated more than ever… if you read my blog entries, I have been suffering with low motivation lately.. but not anymore. The 2011 season awaits! Thanks for reading my report!
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