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Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, November 8, 2010

2010 Stone Cat Trail Marathon

On Saturday I headed down to Ipswich, MA for the 10th annual Stone Cat Trail Marathon and 50 miler (results). I ran this race last year, had a good time, so it was a no-brainer signing up again. Next year I might want to look at my race calendar first. More on that later.
The 6:15am start slide into a 6:30ish start due to an accident on the road to the race. Either way, it was going to be a dark start and headlamps were required.
Last year I went out a little quick and tired in the second half so this year I was hoping for a slower start. Running on wet trails in the dark should slow me down...at least that was the plan.

Starting Line - photo credit Keith Magnus
Speaking of plans, I did have one this year. The marathon does two 12.5 mile loops of the 50 mile course (plus an extra 1.2 miles at the start to make it official). Along the way there are two aid stations, Al's Cafe around 4.2 miles and Fast Freddies around 7.5 miles. There are no mileage markers on this course so the only opportunity I had to check pace would be at the start/finish and at the aid stations. I wrote down some splits on a piece of paper and stuck them in my shorts (based on 7:30 pace). Plan was set, execution not so much. Technically, the plan was good for the first lap as I was fairly close to hitting my splits. In reality it is near impossible to gauge your pace on windy, rocky, rooty mountain bike single and double track trails so the fact I was even close is more due to luck than any skill.

Miles Plan Actual
Al's 5.4 0:40:30 0:39:14
Fast Freddies 8.7 1:05:15 1:05:27
Start/finish 13.7 1:43:30 1:44:13
Al's 17.9 2:15:00 2:17:11
Fast Freddies 21.2 2:39:45 2:45:06
Start/finish 26.2 3:16:30 3:27:10

I hung with the lead group for a couple of miles on the first lap before slipping coming down a hill and hyper-extending my knee, bringing me to a limping walk for a few minutes. Heck, it was probably a good thing, otherwise the lead group would have driven me into the ground, making for a painful 2nd loop. It did make me a little more cautious with my footing as the leaves and roots were very slippery all day. The water crossing around mile 4 was a nice touch this year. Nothing like ankle deep ice water during a cold marathon to keep you motivated. I could have done without the motivation....twice.
I was around runners during most of the first loop with my 6th place position set fairly early on. The second lap was generally 30 sec/mile slower, and I dropped to 7th early in the 2nd lap, running alone for the majority of the loop. Other than that the race was fairly uneventful. I felt pretty good, no cramps or anything. My only complaint was my hip flexors were sore as heck. It was a little frustrating because my legs didn't feel tired, I just couldn't get my stride going. In fact, I knew I was slowing down a bit but I had no idea I had slowed so much. I didn't feel that slow and was a little surprised when I saw the clock at the finish.
I suppose it should have been expected. I hadn't done a long run in I don't know how long and I've run 2 marathons and a 1/2 marathon in the last month. Gee, what could go wrong?

No complaints though. I ran, finished well and didn't get injured. I'll take it.
Top ten finishers:

Place Name Age Time
1 Keith Schmitt 42 3:11:32
2 Andy King 34 3:11:39
3 Paul Young 45 3:12:04
4 Wes Lassen 32 3:20:13
5 Brian Cullinan 30 3:23:42
6 Tommy Nagy 26 3:24:44
7 Steve Wolfe 46 3:27:10
8 Stephen Guillette 31 3:31:22
9 Paul Mandeville 32 3:38:03
10 Rob Martin - 3:38:23

Race photos should be available later this week here.

I've mentioned it before but it's worth mentioning again (for anyone looking to run a trail marathon). Sunday morning I got up and went for a nice 5m run with no aches or pains. Try to do that after a road marathon!

Next up: Rhode Island 6hr Ultra on Sunday (team relay).


Ken Skier said...

Great race report! Congrats on your run...and on feeling so good the morning after.

I tried to sign up for Stonecat...the day after registration had closed. :-(

Next year I will not delay.

Steve Wolfe said...

Thanks Ken. I think I'm getting closer to figuring out how to run this one!

Jim Hansen said...

Way to go, Steve.

kayan Association said...

Thank you for your wonderful blog