I finally had time today to write up a short race report for the race I did this weekend, the Frosty Fat Sass 3 Hour Trail Race.
This race was on Saturday at South Mountain Reservation. There were three options for this race, the 5K race, the 3 hour race, and the 6 hour race. I opted to do the 3 hour race for a couple of reasons, the first being that I did have my club's Award Banquet that night, and needed to save my energy for that night. Secondly, it was early in the year and didn't want to overextend myself running the 6 hour race.
The race course is a 5k loop on the trails of South Mountain Reservation near the Turtleback Zoo. My goal was to try to get in 6 laps, but it was called into question as there was a good amount of ice on the course which would slow me down. The course also had some decent sized hills in the back end of the course. I would need to complete each of these loops in 30 minutes or less; it would be quite the challenge to do!
I decided to take up the challenge. I really wanted to see how fit I was, so this course would push me to the limits. So even if the wheels started to fall off and was forced to slow down, I would definitely know how fit I was at this time.
Staying under the 30 minute mark also meant not stopping at the aid station after each loop. I was to mark down my completed lap, and then immediately push off on a new lap.
The temps were about 25 degrees at the start. Since I didn't want to stop to change clothes or shed layers, I had to make sure that the clothes I was wearing was adequate for the entire 3 hour run.
At 9AM, we were off and running. And started pushing the pace.
The first lap was a little slow as I was in with a crowd of people. I finished the first lap a little over 29 minutes. The hills and the ice did indeed slow me down and I knew then that I needed a huge effort to keep under 30 minutes for each lap.
Second lap wasn't as crowded as the first, so I finished the course a little over 28 minutes. I felt strong after the second loop.
The third loop was also very strong. I was starting to lap some of the slower people at this point. The day was warming up, but I did choose the right amount of clothing. No issues with food or drink either. I finished over 28 minutes for this loop.
The fourth loop I started to get tired climbing the hills in the back end. Still I was fighting hard. I had my first of two falls on the ice towards the end of the loop, but I landed on my butt and was fine. I got up and immediately resumed running. I took more time to climb the hills. The time of the 4th lap was 30 minutes exactly.
I knew my energy was waning when I hit the fifth loop. I still kept competitive as I descended the hills in the front half of the loop, but when it came to climbing the hills in the back, I had little left. Matt, a friend from my running club who is quite fast on the trails, passed me in the last half mile of the loop and decided to go for the 6.
I actually was quite surprised I was ahead of him all this time!
When I got to the line, I was debating whether I had time to try for that last lap. I completed the fifth loop in 33 minutes. I would need 31 minutes to complete the last loop. I decided to stop it there, knowing I was not going to make the last loop.
Matt did finish his 6th loop with only 20 seconds to spare. I knew that it would have been impossible to stay with him, so there wasn't a chance that I would finish 6 loops.
Still, I was quite pleased with my performance. I held a very aggressive pace for 15.5 miles.
I will need to go even faster, but this was a promising start to the year. The trend toward faster runs is there; I just need to continue the training and hard work to make it happen.
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