The 50k race was scheduled to start at 7:00 am and the 25k race at 7:30 am. Race numbers were available for pick-up at 5:30 am. I was there around 5:45 am and there was hardly anybody there yet, so I picked up my race number and then wandered around for a bit. Not finding anything to do or anybody to talk to, I moved my car down closer to the race start. Most everyone that was there was hanging out in their vehicles at the time.
At about 6:30 or so, I walked back over to the Visitor Center to the restroom. After doing my business there, I had my first and only VFF siting of the day. I tried to strike up a conversation with him and he ended up taking off while I ended up chatting ti up with a couple other guys about them. One guy had a pair that he wears off and on for training for the last three years but hasn't run a race in them. The other guy I chatted with a little longer as we walked back to the race starting area. He seemed pretty knowledgeable about the VFF's, but did not have his own pair. He was running the 50k and took off to finish prepping for the race as it was only minutes away.
I cheered on the start of the 50k and noticed there was a guy wearing a World Vision shirt. I had thought about running this race as a World Vision sponsor, but just never got my logistics together to do it. Maybe I will get this set up for the Superior Trail Race. It's a great cause that I have supported in the past.
I took off my "warmth" layers, grabbed my water bottle, gloves and headed for the race start. It was warming up nicely and I suspected I wouldn't have to wear my stocking cap for very long. I hung around the back third of the pack or so and couldn't hear anything the race director was saying. There seemed to be some confusion as they were trying to line us all up behind the race start. All of a sudden the starting horn bellowed and we were off. Somewhat anti-climatic and unexpected start, but I guess that's the way it goes for such a low profile race such as this one. In the excitement of the start, I forgot to start my watch until over a quarter mile into the race. Oops, now my splits are going to be a little off.
I really had to hold myself back the first few miles and still felt like I was going out too fast. I can't stand running on the heels of other people, so I found myself pushing hard to get around several groups as it was really cluttered. After the third mile or so, I fell into a groove and stayed there for quite a while. Turns out that miles 2-3 was my second fastest split, but no harm done looking hindsight at my overall splits.
There were places where the trail was a bit wet and muddy, so I picked my way through those trying to keep my feet dry as long as I could. Inevitably, my feet got a bit wet and muddy. Wet feet has not bothered me yet in any of my running except for a little discomfort. Didn't even phase me during the race.
The 25k race consisted of two loops and at the beginning of the second loop, I was feeling pretty good. I felt I had maintained a pretty consistent pace throughout the race thus far and was content with continuing that. Fortunately I remembered to suck down a gel between miles 8-9, otherwise I probably would have crashed pretty hard.
I struck up a conversation with a couple guys at around mile 9 and the three of us yo-yo'ed with each other for most of the rest of the race. It was nice to hear their perspectives as they were both experienced runners. One of the guys at a couple titanium rods put in his leg a few years ago as a result of a hockey injury, so it was pretty impressive he was out running this race and maintaining this pace.
At about mile 12, I hit the wall as a small hill loomed in front of me. I walked up the hill hoping that it would give my legs enough rest to push hard through to the end. This was the ticket and I was able to push through to the end after the walk. The last mile was my fastest split at 7:43 and I was able to pass several people and got passed by one, a girl. I fought my pride and let her push on ahead. ;-)
Here's a pic of me coming into the finish line taken by my beautiful wife who was cheering me on and my little boys watching.
My overall official time was 2:16:11 resulting in a pace of 8:47 for the 15.5 miles. I am very happy with that for my first race ever and am looking forward to the next race!!
Here are the top 5 finishers for the 25k and 50k races below. Their times are absolutely amazing to me!!
25k RacePlace Name Age S City St Time Pace
===== =================== === = =============== == ======= =====
1 Fish Wilson 25 M Onamia MN 1:35:25 6:09 2 Brett Busacker 24 M Orono MN 1:37:38 6:18 3 Kirk Walztoni 38 M Eagan MN 1:38:05 6:19 4 Josh Riff 35 M Edina MN 1:38:23 6:21 5 Alex Hooke 26 M Rochester MN 1:40:12 6:28
Place Name Age S City St Time Pace ===== =================== === = =============== == ======= =====
1 Brian Peterson 25 M Minneapolis MN 3:16:52 6:21 2 Chris Gardner 33 M Duluth MN 3:28:34 6:43 3 Kelly Mortenson 38 M St Paul MN 3:37:40 7:01 4 Aaron Drevlow 36 M Woodbury MN 3:42:14 7:10 5 Jim Ramacier 46 M White Bear Lake MN 3:43:51 7:13Thanks to O.C. Williams (the race director) and all the volunteers for putting on such a great race!!