Early this morning I met up with Aaron, Ben, Mike, Megan, Adam, and Justin for a run over the Salem Lake 30k course.
While I have been to Winston-Salem several times and raced there a few times, I have never run the Salem Lake 30k. So I was excited about checking out the course and seeing what people have talked about for many years. If you must know, I have wanted to do this race for a long time but there was always conflicted with the Brixx 10k which meant, I couldn't do it.
This year, the Salem Lake 30k was on my race list early so I would not waiver in my commitment to doing it.
What did I learn about the course today?
Well, I learned a few things.
- The course is not completely flat. There are some rolling hills in the first few miles and again about 6 miles into the race. Since the course is out and back, the hills get tackled from both sides. The 2nd set of hills around 6 miles I consider the hardest because of the requirement to run the switch backs to get to the top.
- The trail section bounces back and forth from a smooth dirt road to a rocky road. Just rocky enough, racing flats might not be doable.
- On the far side of the lake there is a 100 yard section that is paved and quite narrow.
- Once you leave the trail and hit the greenway, the course is mainly pavement with a few sections of concert.
- The turnaround is a next to a soccer field on the greenway. We saw the markings on the pavement. Looks like runners need to make a complete stop turn around, and head back.
- With about 5 miles left, runners can see back where the finish is located, but they still have to circumvent the lake first.
- As far as roots are concerned, there course does have roots sticking up through the road but there is nothing that runners cannot run around or over.
- The course is marked every mile so runners have a good idea of the distance run.
There is some construction going on at the lake and we heard they may be reversing the direction of the race. I have not seen this confirmed anywhere else, but pay attention to the web site. I am sure they will let us know.
While we were running today, I dropped off after about 10 miles. My week had been heavy with running and riding which left the legs heavy. I wasn't too concerned with dropping the pace down to 7:50 a mile. Running slower and alone, I got a chance to take-in the course and makes some mental notes for the race in September.
But all in all, the trail and greenway make a nice place for training. And with it being just over an hour's drive to Winston-Salem, the drive up and back is relatively easy.
Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner