I’ve done this Burlington, NC race before in 2005 and 2006. It takes place in Cedarock Park which has more than just several miles of excellent singletrack, but also lots of other fun stuff to do. This is why I suggested Gary and Remy attend with me, but the little guy didn’t love the cold weather, so cold weather local events are Mommy only in the future. Anyway, here’s my race report.
I had a really strong race in 2006, when I shot off at the beginning try to hang on to the heels of some faster runners then held on for a 1:48 finish time. I remember nursing an injury after than effort. This year’s race plan was a little different. To test my legs out with a little more trail speed, I wanted to set myself up with a moderate paced 1st loop and then finish the second half strong for a negative split.
I didn’t really have a clear idea about what my first half split should be, but I figured so long as it was under 1 hour, that would be fine. As it turns out, I did it easily in 57:30, according to the big clock they had posted near the finish. The course runs us right past the 7 mile finish, so I get the cheering support from faster finishers and general laughter at the fact that I still have half the race to go. ThassOK. I take a gulp of homemade goop and start firing up the afterburners.
The second loop is a lot more fun without the hordes of other runners clogging up the trail. I blaze past a few peeps at the beginning of the loop but run mostly solo. The only problem I had was that my shoes loosened a little, which made the fairly technical course a little more dicey. I considered stopping to retie them tighter, but I figured that would be a waste of time since I only had a few miles left and didn’t want to mess up my negative split attempt.
The official results say I have a gun time of 1:53, but a chip time over a minute faster. However, I started my GPS several seconds early and it says total elapsed time just over 1:52, giving me a second loop about 3 minutes faster than the first. No matter. I got a good workout, met my goals and managed a first master’s female finish. The awards ceremony didn’t happen quickly enough for an impatient and cold toddler, so I didn’t get my black mug. Oh well. We have mugs.
Oh, and hey, check out my colorful race outfit. Stylish.