Sunday, February 27, 2011

Salado Creek 8 mile trail run

We were asked to raise our right hand and recite the trail runners pledge before the race. "I will not leave any trash on the course." And Roger added, "I will not complain to Bart (race director) about anything." Even though the course is actually 8.7 miles and not the "8 miler" as it is billed. Bart said he wouldn't charge us extra for the .7 miles.
The race began with a light but steady drizzle. The rocks were very slippery. Some areas of the course had very large uneven rocks we had to walk on or slip and fall. Most sections were soft dirt with many tight twists and turns. Low hanging tree branches made it difficult for really tall guys. The very narrow single track made me keep an even, steady, but relaxed pace. This kept me from pushing too hard at the start. I ran behind Brian up to the 3 and a half mile mark, then I picked up the pace. I was feeling really good. Up ahead I saw the guy who beat me for second place in the 50-59 age bracket last week. If I could keep him in sight I have a chance at third place today. With Roger Soler and Ty also running I had no chance at anything better than third. I say I run for the fun of it, but in these short races I push it. It's the competitiveness we all possess. I reeled this guy in and stayed close for the next mile and a half. I was relaxed and fed off his pace, I must confess. It would be unsportsmanlike to hang here and pass him on the home stretch so I decided I have to pass him soon and give him a chance to overtake me. At the six mile mark the trail opened up a bit and I passed him. I kicked hard and set my sights on a girl about a hundred yards ahead. I locked into her stride and reeled her in. Post race I would meet her and tell her how she helped me. Passing her I still felt strong and again set my sights on a runner up ahead. I passed the next runner with half a mile to go. With 2 tenths of a mile to go we're back on the road and on an incline. I heard a grunt behind me. Could he be gaining on me? I didn't look back and pushed a little harder. I crossed the finish line just over 1:17:00 in third place and a medal!
A pasta buffet followed with Shiner Beer and again, Great music by "I Ching Gatos"
Another great race put on by Bart Childers.

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