Monday, March 30, 2009

2009 wurtsboro mountain 30k: race report

it was a tough start to the day that i'd run my 5th wurtsboro mountain 30k. i woke up to the sounds of rain outside my window - an eerie repeat of the start of last year's race. but luckily, by the time emmy got to my house the rain had stopped and it looked like it would be a great day to run! despite the improved weather, i really didn't feel that well. it felt like the onset of a head cold - an annoying morning headache and some nauseous queasiness - like a hangover, except i hadn't had anything to drink! after copious amounts of coffee and propel on the drive there, i convinced myself that i was okay enough to run.

pre-race registration was one big social. after i picked up my race bib and said hi to myriam, i met up with don, jill and kate. todd was there with his two boys. christine and joe were there. barbara was there. and i finally had a chance to meet up with a fellow runners world forumite, rina. at the very last minute, emmy decided to run the race - instead of her original plan to volunteer (and use the weekend to taper for umstead)! i think her decision turned more on getting the pink wurtsboro 30k race cap ;D

as we lined up for the start, i briefly thought about racing it. i quickly nixed that idea because i wanted to bounce back quickly and, like emmy, rest up for umstead next weekend. a 2:30 target seemed like a decent middle ground. but, even so, i had no intention of pushing the first 3.5 miles - straight uphill (for almost a 1000 feet of elevation gain). i knew from experience that making up some lost time on the downhill was very doable.

still, i was pretty disappointed at my 3 mile split of 27:35 - and 4 mile split of 36:08 (9:02 pace with the benefit of a downhill slope in last half mile)! dennis and rene were manning the water station at mile 4. my 9 minute pace was a solid 30 seconds per mile slower than what my perceived pace was (and well off the 8 minute pace i wanted to climb those miles at). the next mile, 5, was an easy 8:04. myriam was there at the intersection taking pictures of the us as we made a left turn on the course. todd and his boys were at the 6 mile aid station.

i reached 8 miles in 1:06:39 - with the pace now a more realistic 8:19! the next few miles, following alongside the river, is my favorite stretch of the course. i reached the 15k half way mark in 1:16:42, an 8:13 pace. i was slowly working off the "extra" 4 minutes i spent getting up the mountain. but i would need a decent negative split for the second 15k if i planned to hit my 2:30 target. so i readjusted my pace downward, to 7:45 miles.

i reached the half marathon split at 1:45:39, an 8:04 pace. this was a rolling, albeit beautiful stretch of the course. at two points along this stretch - heading into 16 miles - there were two dogs running free on the course. the first, a tiny thing running alongside the runners, was pretty innocuous. the second, near a horse farm(?) - was a big as a horse and scared me to death. that was NOT fun. i flew by mile 15 (uniquely canine assisted) in 2:00:07, my average pace now down to a flat 8 minutes a mile.

dennis and rene had hopscotched over to the mile 16 aid station. and as i neared mile 17, todd was getting in a few post-volunteer miles as he ran the course in the opposite direction. my last 3 miles were all sub 7:40's and i finished up in 2:27:46 (a 7:56 pace). i was very pleased with outcome, especially happy with a negative split for the second 15k - 1:11:04 (a 7:37 pace). except for the half mile stretch where i felt seriously compelled to outrun - at least mentally - the wolf dog that roamed the course, i tried to maintain a sub-7:45 pace.

after the race we had pizza and 6 foot subs waiting for us - an awesome post-race spread. emmy went back out to run another 1.4 miles, don iced his knee, while kate and i took some pictures as we waited for the awards. plenty more socializing - and here is quick plug for a new race that todd and his club (orange runner's club) are putting on next month - april 19 - the hudson valley 15k (which by his own description is "challenging"). count me in.

the next day, don, jill and kate ran a second 30k in fairfield, the "boston blowout" - incredible! on sunday, i ran a 4 miler with my daughter (it doesn't get any better than that for me)!

check out kate's race report and photos.
check out emmy's photos.
check out my race photos.


Pam said...

Great job Frank.
Good luck at Umstead!

Morrissey said...

great race frank--- i heard wurts is one of the difficult courses out there! Im leaning towards this one next year after your race report!

DawnB said...

great job Frank, I'm sure you would have kick butt at the blowout 30k sunday.

running a 4 miler with katie on sunday....priceless.