Race Review: Autumn Salomon Trail Series #1

A nicely organized, fairly low-key 5.7k trail race at Hyland Park.

That is a good summary of the Wednesday night trail series called the Autumn Salomon Trail Series.  The race series is put on by local skier and endurance coach Audrey Weber.  On race night you could find her mom helping at registration and the food table!! A true family affair.

I was actually surprised by the number of families who were hanging out supporting their runner at the QBP parking lot/starting area.  I assumed even with a 6:30 start that most of the runners would be coming straight from work and hitting the trails for a nice race/speed session.  A few young kids even ran the race.

Salomon is the title sponsor so that meant shoe and gear giveaways.  My twitter friend Jennifer won a pair of shoes! Congrats!! All I got was a free water bottle and a mesh cinch backpack!  Plus a free short ART/Massage session; this was well worth the $15 price of entry.  Dr. Chris worked on my IT band and it feels much better!

Oh yea, a race report should talk about the race…

But first, my results:

Place Place/Male Bib# Name Last Age Gender Time
25 23 18 Nick Cross 30 Male 0:27:34

My Garmin said 3.6 miles in 27:34 which is 7:39 pace.

We started pretty much right on time and hit a short gravel trail that took us away from QBP into the south-end of Hyland Park and uphill right away.  Audrey described the course as a “stubby lollipop” and the stick part took us into the rolling meadow area before going downhill.   I don’t remember the course quite blow by blow, but there were several hills none of which were singularly super-challenging.  I’ve not done any speed work and don’t get a lot of hill training in so they made the race a bit difficult.

The plan had been to start of easy and pick it up throughout and then see what I had left going into the third mile.   I went out a little harder than I probably should have, but otherwise executed the plan well.  Once we all got sorted out I only got passed twice.  At the half way point you can see my pace starting to creep upwards – before getting significantly slower at the 5k mark.   I thought the race was only a 5k so after 2 miles I slowly picked up the pace and when I hit the 3 mile mark really started to pickup the pace a bit.  Then I hit the sign that said “5k”.  Oh, crap.  Is this a 5 mile race? That is why I slowed down again – fairly significantly.  I was evaluating how I felt and the possibility of having to run 2 more miles.  I got more than a little anxious about this uncertainty.

Fortunately, we came back into the meadow area and I realized we were getting close to the lollipop stick and I tried to regain my composure and finish the race with a downhill aided “kick.”

Hyland Park isn’t an amazingly beautiful park, especially on a hot (82) summer day.  The course was on wide cross-country ski trails and an occasional paved trail. I felt bad for the guy wearing spikes!  The lake is pretty, but you don’t actually get to see a lot of it.  There was also a section that was really soft ground – in past years it has been covered in wood chips which made it a little spongy.  I don’t remember the wood chips but the ground was still spongy.  I tried to run in as straight of a line as possible through the curvy sections and always felt like there was someone ahead of me to focus on reeling in.

Here is a link to Audrey’s race recap as well as full results.

I wish this race series wasn’t so far from our house or that we had more than one car.  I was planning on biking with Nadia in the trailer the 17 miles from home to QBP with Christy meeting us as the start.  Fortunately, she got off work early and made it home in enough time for me to use the car!  But it adds a little stress to the race for those extra logistics.  I don’t know if I’ll make it to the next race on Sept 14, but I’d like to try… Anyone else in?

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