Tuesday, November 15, 2011
the weekend turned into a trail running two for the price one. not only did i run the trails of minnewaska state park at the "after the leaves have fallen" 20k on sunday, but i also put in 10+ miles on the trails of rockefeller state park on saturday. it helped tremendously that we had beautiful weather both days! i've run a both parks in the past, each one offering spectacular views, but never back to back. i last ran at "rockies" this summer, getting in a long run during the training that led up to the vermont 100. i last ran at minnewaska at the summer solstice 15k in 2010.
"after the leaves have fallen" is a tough, hilly 20k+ (most garmins logged 12.6 miles instead of the standard 12.4). but the reward is all in the running - incredible views along practically the entire course, especially the route along the ridge line. because of trail damage from prior storms, we ran the reverse direction of the summer solstice 15k - with an additional 1.5 mile out and back tacked on to complete the distance. the race finished with a loop around the lake.
it's an incredibly low-frills, old school event. aside from the registration paperwork, that's it - no shirt, no bib, no timing chip - nada! after crossing the finish line each runner is handed a numbered index card. he then fills in the relevant data - name, age, sex - and hands it it for recording. it's simple and effective - a variation of is used during the westport summer series (replacing the index cards w/popsicle sticks)!
my time goal was to run 1:45 - but, as usual, i conveniently forgot how hilly the terrain was (of which i was quickly reminded during the 2+ mile ascent to the ridge line at the start)! my 1:49:06 finish was well off my target. even discounting the couple of minutes i used to snap some pictures (i carried my camera), i would only have run a 1:47 or so. i was the 55th finisher according to my index card :D the race results haven't been posted yet, but is suspect there were about a 100 finishers.
before the start i met up w/doug - who volunteered as the sweeper. i last saw doug at the harvest half marathon he co-directed w/lisa last month. and, in another twofer - lisa herself volunteered at a water station. she and her co-volunteers manned the water table at the start of the out and back section, where runners could grab some water at roughly the 8 and 11.5 mile marks. afterwards, volunteers dished out some fantastic veggie soup to take the chill off.
the trail miles at rockies and minnewaska were actually a fantastic change of pace - sandwiched between the pavement pounding of the nyc marathon the previous weekend and the upcoming brooklyn marathon this weekend! i'm a believer in mixing up the terrain as much as possible - it keeps the runner honest. after the brooklyn marathon (on the "roads" of prospect park, actually), i may heed the siren call of van cortlandt park for thanksgiving :D
here are my photos from the 20k.