Thursday, July 31, 2014

2014 escarpment trail run: race report

my fifth escarpment trail run is in the books!  despite the new wave starts, it was practically a repeat of my 2013 escarpment trail run (including the rainy start) - except it came in a solid 15 minutes slower this time around.  but i've gotten ahead of myself.

when i got my wave assignment - #17 set to go off at 10:20 - i was more than a little worried. not only was it just before the last wave itself, but i wouldn't even start until the race had been underway for an hour and 20 minutes.  milling around for all that time wasn't going to be fun.

in the week leading up to the race there hadn't been any weather forecasts calling for rain - much less thunderstorms.  so it was an eye opener to hear a forecast for heavy rain and thunderstorms the night before the race.  as it turned out, it was pouring when i arrived at the trailhead - most of the runners waiting for their waves to start were waiting in cars or under any available shelter to stay dry.  but by 10 the rain stopped and the sky cleared up. 

interestingly, the foul weather may have contributed to a lot of no-shows (as evidenced by the stack of unclaimed bibs).  most of the 15 person waves were being filled with runners from later waves (to start a full complement in each wave).  so instead of 10:20, my wave went off 15 minutes earlier than scheduled (at 10:05) - and was, in fact the last wave start because it was filled out by the remaining runners from the 18th wave.

once underway the start time became irrelevant.  my only objective was to run from aid station to aid station.  my only objective was to finish in under 6 hours and re-qualify for the 2015 edition.  but i did think a 5:30 finish was doable if the terrain conditions weren't too bad as a result of the rain.  as it was i started off soaked to the bone from the pre-race rain.  that would eventually come back to haunt me 4 hours into the race, as chafing became a problem :(

i made it up to windham peak in 57 minutes.  the 3.1 mile uphill climb to the 3525 foot peak was only a minute off my 2013 time.  but things got dicier on the slippery descent down to burnt knob.  all the rain, plus the stream of runners, had made the trail into one long mudslide.  i was 7 minutes behind my 2013 time getting down that slope! and by the time i reached the base of blackhead in 2:23, i was 11 minutes behind my 2013 pace.  at this point a 5:30 finish was starting to seem out of reach.

i got my head back into it with a 30 minute climb up to blackhead - a minute faster than the climb took last year - and 9 minutes behind my overall time at that stage.  but i lost another couple of minutes getting down to dutcher's notch (47 versus 45 minutes) and 3 more climbing up to stoppel point (47 versus 43).  at stopple point i was a solid 14 minutes behind my 2013 performance.

but, as the race gods sometimes tease - i picked up a solid 5 minutes on the run to the last aid station at north point (25 minutes versus 30).  at 4:53 i had a solid 37 minutes to cover the remaining 2 miles to the finish.  even so, that wasn't enough of a cushion because it took 44 minutes to cover that rocky,  incredibly technical stretch in 2013.  another factor that dimmed my prospects for a fast close was the chafing had finally become intolerable.  for the last hour it had become increasingly uncomfortable - i was so wet at that point that sweat continually dripped from the brim of my hat!

so instead of keeping pace with my 2013 effort, i wound up walking the last mile and spent 51 minutes covering the last stretch.  i not only gave back the 5 minutes i picked up on the way to stoppel, but tossed in another 2 minutes!  i crossed the finish in 5:45:11 - and wasn't the least disappointed that it took an "extra" 15 minutes to get there.  in fact, i was already looking forward to lining up for number six next year!

here are my race photos.

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 escarpment trail run: race photos & results

my 5th escarpment trail run is in the books!  at 5:45, it was also my slowest - but as long as i finished in less than 6 hours i was more than pleased to get to north lake :D

i'll write up a race report with more details.  but one thing worth noting (aside from the first year utilizing wave starts) was the large number of non-starters.  with the heavy rain - and occasional rumbles of thunder - which lasted for most of the first hour, a good number of bibs weren't still sitting out - unclaimed - as the race went off.  but, the rain did stop - and the skies did clear - so off we went to climb the wall of manitou :D

here is my race report.

here are the race result via the albany running exchange.


the rest of my photos are up on facebook.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 norwalk summer series 7 miler: race photos & results

i had mixed feelings about running the Norwalk summer series 7 miler this morning because tomorrow is the escarpment trail run.  but since i'd probably run an easy 5-6 miles in any event, i decided to run the 7 miler and try to hold back a little for tomorrow.

i hadn't realized the last time i ran this one was back in 2010!  even so, i knew most of the course well - with the race starting at the same location as the boston build-up 10k.  the lower loop covers the same ground as the rowayton fathers' day fun runs.

my 54:46 was my slowest finish for this race - even slower than my 2010 finish in 53+ minutes.  but even had i gone all out, not sure i would have run a sub 50 minute race (like 2009 and the years preceding!).  still, i was more than glad to have run it.  the true test, however, will be how my legs feel tomorrow climbing the wall of manitou :O

here are the race results from lightfoot runners.

the rest of my photos are on facebook.  and thanks to tony for getting a great shot of the start!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014 norwalk summer series 5 miler: race photos & results

the 2nd race in the norwalk summer series, the 5 miler, had great weather and a large turnout.  two of my taconic teammates, bob and tom, also made the trip from new york - but had battery trouble after the race (but made it back okay).

as for the race itself, my 37 minute time goal was in line with my finish at the 2013 edition (36:59).  but, my 7:30 in mile three, put the sub-37 just out of reach.  my 37:12 was a redemption of sorts, for the 39:21 i ran at the achilles 5 miler last month - so i was more than pleased with it :D

afterwards, i had a chance to give don his age group medal from the 4th of july wlf ptnam county classic.  after the challenging 8 miler, don couldn't stay for the awards - so he got his at the end of the award ceremony for the 5 miler!

here are the race results from hi-tek racing.

next up is the wstport summer series 4.1 miler next weekend.



thanks to kate for taking a few of these photos (the start, tommy & me, and don w/his medal)! the rest of my photos are up on facebook.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

2014 westport summer series 3.1 miler: race photos & results

what a difference a day makes - the nasty weather we had on thursday and friday finally left and was replaced with some excellent running conditions for the 2nd westport summer series race.  it was the 5k which started and finished at the long shore country club.  what a difference a year makes because last year's edition was run under the more typical sweltering summer heat!

in a somewhat of a surprise, my 21:28 was a solid 4 seconds faster than my 2013 finish!  it was actually my fastest 5k since my 21:25 at the greenwich alliance turkey trot last november.  given my inability to get over to the track for some speedwork so far this season - i'm more than happy with it :D

here are the race results from westport road runners.

next up a change of town -- the norwalk summer series 5 miler next weekend.  as always, if you're at that one... say hello!

Friday, July 4, 2014

2014 wlf putnam county classic: race photos & results

by some strange quirk of nature, we dodged the rain and thunder the weather prognosticators expected this morning.  instead, we had unusually cool and overcast conditions for the wlf putnam county classic - pretty good running weather, actually!  unfortunately, the heavy news coverage of the expected bad weather dampened turnout.  we had 100 fewer finishers this year (and about 30 preregistered runners didn't pick up bibs and line up) :(

even so, about 300 finishers ran the hilly loop around lake mahopac :D

here are the race results from the taconic road runners.

here are the rest of my photos up on facebook.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

july 2014 race schedule

july kicks off with the taconic road runner's putnam county classic on the 4th of july.  for the last few years the race has sponsored by the world lung foundation.  so before the annual hot dog eating championships at nathon's famous in coney island that afternoon, plan to get in a challenging 8 mile run around lake mahopac!

if possible, i may head over to van cortandt park the night before to run the vctc summer xc series relay. last year both races were on the same day - july 4th fell on a thursday. do well at the relay and bring home a carrot cake cupcake :D

on saturday it's back to westport for the summer series 5k - which starts and finishes at longshore country club (instead of the staples track).  the rest of the month includes more summer series races in norwalk and westport: the nowalk 5 miler, westport 4.1 miler, and norwalk 7 miler.

last but not least is the escarpment trail run to end the month.  escarpment is one of my all time favorite race - and probably one of the most challenging!  this will be my 5th time lining up to climb the wall of manitou :D

7/3 - vctv summer series relay
7/4 - wlf putnam county classic
7/5 - westport summer series 5k
7/12 -norwalk summer series 5m
4/19 - westport summer series 4.1m
7/26 - norwalk summer series 7m
7/27 - escarpment trail run 30k

as always, if you're at any of these races - say hello!