The parking lot was in a little better shape this year. Of course my reference is last year when the RD was skating on it. At least this year you could walk on it (a couple inches of slush kept you from falling on your arse). I needed a little maintenance on my shoes so I headed over to Bob Dion's car for some new bindings. Mine were ripped and about to separate. Bob had me ready to go in no time.
Surprisingly (or not) there was plenty of snow at Woodford (results). Not surprisingly it was totally saturated with nearly 24hrs of rain (and some snow I think). I did a very short warm up (mostly just walked in the wet cement-like snow). The weather definitely kept the crowd smallish, with maybe 60 racers showing up for the first WMAC race of the season. Too bad those darn fast guys didn't stay home :-)
UPDATED: 77 total racers.
I seeded myself appropriately and at 10:30 we were off. Thankfully the rain pretty much stopped by the time the whistle went off. I started fairly conservatively, trying not to reach maximum heart rate in the first 30yds. Probably made it 45yds. Oh well.
Start of the race - photo credit Kristin Wainwright
Early in the race, Abby Mahoney close behind, probably hoping I don't trip her this year like I did last year- photo credit Kristin Wainwright
I passed a few folks before we got to the single track knowing it would be difficult to pass once there. Generally I was able to run my own pace and only got hung up behind another shoer for a short time before passing off trail. The conditions were tough (for me anyways) and my legs were burning fairly early and stayed that way until the finish. Lots of leg strength required for this one (which I don't have). Kind of reminded me of Frosty's last year except it was MUCH wetter at Woodford. For those not at Frosty's last year, it was similar to running in sand...deep, wet sand. Lots of work, not much speed.
I felt slow the entire way. Last year I ran with a nice group. This year not so much. I got passed about 1/2 way and passed my last racer about 2/3rds in. Never really felt anyone pushing behind me and I was too chicken to look. I felt ok on the flats and downhills but struggled on nearly all hills. For the most part I recognized the course and had a good idea where I was most of the time. I just kept looking for the gate at the end of the single track.
Nearing the end - photo credit Kristin Wainwright
From there we had probably 1/2 mile to the finish. I thought for sure I'd be running 2-3 minutes slower than last year. Even though no one was in sight behind me I sprinted hard to the finish. I was really surprised to see the clock read 26:50, almost 1 minute faster than last year! Wasn't expecting that, on a day like today. Position was exactly the same though: 9th overall. I'll take it.
|Pl ||Name ||Age ||Time ||Team |
|1 ||Jim ||Johnson ||32 ||24:00 ||CMS |
|2 ||Tim ||VanOrden ||41 ||24:01 ||CMS |
|3 ||Brian ||Rusiecki ||31 ||24:07 |
|4 ||Dave ||Dunham ||45 ||24:36 ||CMS |
|5 ||Ben ||Nephew ||34 ||24:55 ||CMS |
|6 ||Matt ||Westerlund ||37 ||25:41 |
|7 ||Josh ||Ferenc ||28 ||25:42 ||BAA |
|8 ||Tim ||Mahoney ||30 ||25:43 ||CMS |
|9 ||Steve ||Wolfe ||45 ||26:50 ||aR |
|10 ||Jeremy ||Drowne ||32 ||27:28 |