Tuesday, August 30, 2011

US trail 10km national championships

I headed down to North Carolina for the third consecutive year to act as the USATF liaison for the 10km trail championships.  This would be the second year that I’d also be competing over the very tough up/down course in Laurel Springs straddling the Eastern Continental Divide.

I flew down very early on Friday and meandered around the North West part of NC bagging five County High points.  I arrived at the race site in the afternoon and had a big spaghetti dinner before settling in for a (rough) sleep.   I was up at 5:30 seeking out coffee and once I found some race day prep began.

I found the flattest loop I could and did 5 loops to get 3 miles warm-up, then changed into my race flats and did another mile with some strides.  I felt pretty lousy and very nervous, both are good signs.  My hope was to run at least a minute faster than last year with a stretch goal of 1:30 faster than my 48:58 in 2011.  TiVo and I jogged around a bit waiting for the start and listened to the introductions of the big guns who were running.  There were a couple of sub-14 5k guys and I heard a 28 minute 10k runner and a sub-4 miler.  The field sounded like it was pretty deep.

It seemed like all 150 guys sprinted off the line for the first ½ mile of downhill.  I just wanted to stay on my feet and keep race director Jason Bryant in sight.  I was around 30th place at the end of the first downhill (300’ in ½ mile) and started to move up during the next ½ mile climb back up to the start area.  I’m not very good at descending but I held my position as we dropped another 300’.  I worked hard on the next climb (the longest in the race and during the nearly 400’ of uphill I moved up into the top 20.  I checked my watch as we passed the start/finish, knowing we were approximately halfway through.  I had run low 24 through this point last year and was happy to be running just over 23 minutes this year.  I was recovering on the descents because I just couldn’t run hard enough without running right off the narrow trail.  I looked ahead and could see 4 or 5 guys I thought would be catch-able with two climbs left.  It was surprising to see TiVo was one of those guys.  He was having a rough day.

The 200’ climb from 4 miles to 4.5 took a lot of concentration.  I was trying to run as hard as possible but also trying to save something in the tank for the final climb.  I passed Tim on this climb and closed on a couple of other guys.  The switchbacks on the next drop really slowed me down but I kept the four guys in front of me in sight.  I was really looking forward to the final climb!  I don’t think I climbed all that fast but I was consistent and the guys slowly came back.  It wasn’t easy getting around them on the narrow trail but a few calls of “on your right” and a couple of well placed elbows got me by.  Knowing the course and being able to pay out the effort evenly was definitely helpful.  I rolled into the finish line in 14th place running 2:15 faster than last year (but getting the same place).  The big surprise was taking first in the 45-49 getting a gold medal for my efforts and also taking second place in the master’s category (40-49) to earn $200.

I’m finally starting to feel like I’m fully recovered from the calf injury and rounding into shape.  I’ll be aiming for a master’s personal best for 10 Km next month, just need to stay healthy.

1 Joe Moore                 27                                            0:41:37
2 Ryan Woods               32        Appalachian Mtn Goat   0:41:46
3 Bobby Mack               26                                            0:42:05
4 Jared Scott               28                                            0:42:36
5 Alex Varner               26        Bull City TC                  0:42:58
6 David Roche               23                                            0:43:40
7 Mario Mendoza          25                                            0:43:54
8 Matthew Grey            23        Rosemont RC                 0:44:05
9 Chris Wiley                42        Atlanta TC                    0:44:33
10 Tim Sykes                30                                            0:45:12
11 David Bell                 27                                            0:45:32
12 Justin TeBockhorst  26                                            0:45:48
13 John Kenworthy       23                                            0:45:53
14 Dave Dunham            47        Central MA Striders     0:46:44
15 Brandon Mader        27                                            0:46:49
16 Andy Highlander      24        Chattanooga TC            0:47:18
17 Duncan Hoge            23        Bull City TC                  0:47:24
18 Brian Lang                25        Rosemont RC                 0:47:28
19 Tim Van Orden         43        Central MA Striders     0:47:52
about 3.5 miles in...photo by Tad Davis

1 comment:

pbazanchuk said...

nice work Dave. some hardware and some cash.

too far inland to be affected by Irene?

see you're sportin some Inov8s :)

stay healthy.