Saturday, September 29, 2018

Wild Vine Trail ½ Marathon

I have been busy with work so I am behind getting my blog updated with my latest happens. Let's start with the Wild Vine Trail ½ marathon at the Whitewater Center.

Last year, I used this as my lead in to their 50k race in October. This year, I used it as my lead in to their 50 miler next month.

The race started beside the adventure pavilion and makes a circle of channel before picking up the North Main trail by the boat dock. We were barely on the North Main trail before transitioning to the South Main Trail. Two guys had rocketed out from the start. Given this race's late starting time – 9:30, I was fully expecting to see them again on the back half of this race. I settled in to 5th place by the time that we entered trail.

There was a guy between the two leaders, Brian, a guy in USA flag colored shorts, and another guy behind me.

We caught the 3rd place guy by the time that we entered the Carpet. Brain and USA flag shorts guy were flying down the hills. I was doing my best to keep it close.

Just before the Wedge, Brian passed mister USA flag shorts, and I followed along. He was still pushing the pace pretty good, and me following along was not doing me any favors. The day was already warming into the upper 80s. My body was feeling the heat.

At the water stop by the Goat Trail, Brian said that he was stopping for water. I grabbed a couple of cups and kept running so did the guy trailing along behind me. The two guys that took off at the start were long out sight by now. The warm day was taxing my body pretty good so I was doing my best to measure my effort through the Lake Loop.

When I slowed to grab some water leaving the Lake Loop, the guy following me bolted past me. He looked smooth and relax so I figured that he was having a pretty good day.

He really pushed pace once we hit the Parkway Trail. I was in no condition to stay with him. When I left Parkway Trail to pick up East Main, the thought crossed my mind that he was really pushing the pace. There is a decently long straight section here, yet he was completely out sight or so I thought. I will share more about this later.

I have spent so much time running East Main this year that I feel like I have it memorized. I could probably describe just about every rock and root on it.

My legs were feeling the effects of the heat and the hard early pace. At this point, I was just counting down the miles.

With each switch back, I was looking over my shoulder to see if anyone was catching me. While I was descending from one of climbs, I caught sight of Brian walking up the other side. This was the first time that I had seen anyone in the last 30 minutes. The sight of him told me two things. I knew instantly how much distance was between us and just the sight spurred me to run a little faster.

Exiting the East Main trail, they sent us up the road hill. Oh, how I hate running up the road hill. This section of the coarse is super steep. Not mention, cars were going up and down so I got the dust coming and going. But once on top, the coarse is pretty much downhill back to the pavilion.

I crossed the finish line in 1:52:33. Those two guys never came back to us. They ended up settling for a tie. For me, my time was 27 seconds faster than last year, and only 8 seconds off my time 4 years ago. When I looked at the results, surprisingly, I was in 3rd place. Brian finished in 4th place some 22 seconds later so he was closing on me. We just ran out of race before I ran out time.

I wondered what happened to the guy that passed me off the Lake Loop. I had assumed that he continued to pull away from me.

Later one of the race officials was asking me if I had any trouble following the coarse. Well, no, duh, I run at these trail nearly every weekend. At this point, I would have trouble getting lost but he didn't know this piece of info.

I replied no; the coarse was well marked. He then asked me about the transition from Parkway to East Main. Again, I told him that I had no issues. The coarse coned for us to turn right and then left on to the East main trail. Additional, they had added orange ribbon between the cones as they do trails when they want to make sure that we don't get off coarse. This is the point where he told me that the runner in front of me missed this turn. “Interesting” I replied. I cannot see how he could have missed the turn. He would have had to run around the cones to continue on Parkway. Literally, he would have make extra effort to go around. Not to mention they had numerous signs and arrows directing us. I am still puzzled how he could have ignored all of those directions. Anyway, he did and what is done is done.

I walked way happy with my 3rd overall place and first in my age group. I'll take it any day.

The Cool Down Runner

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