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Rails to Trails 10K Race Report

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Author Topic:   Rails to Trails 10K Race Report
Cool Runner
posted Oct-06-2007 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tagcaver     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today Jennifer along with one of our mutual running friends, Eric, and I made the 1 hour drive to Elkmont, AL to run the Rails to Trails 10K. This is a small race in a small town; however, the course is really fun. You run the first 3 miles on a hilly state highway. Then, you run the last 3.2 miles on a packed gravel trail through the forest along an old railroad line.

We've had another heat wave pass through the area so at 8am it was already in the seventies with 85% humidity, so I ran without my shirt. I feel cooler without my shirt plus I have this theory that a shirt soaked in sweat weighs about 1.5 pounds which slows me down.

The race starts with a long climb up a seemingly never ending hill. As we climbed this hill I compared the course to a roller coaster. You know the kind that starts with a slow climb to the top then shoots you rapidly down a series of hills before you climb again. You climb for about the first half mile, then for the next 2.5 miles you are mostly going downhill until turning onto the converted railroad bed trail. I ran these first 3 miles at 7:20, 7:14, and 7:42 dropping about 300 feet in elevation. You gradually regain that 300 feet over the next 3 miles on the trails. I ran these 3 miles in 7:55, 8:02, and 7:59 before attempting to sprint with what energy I had left the last .22 miles at a 7:18 pace for a 47:57. This was another PR for me (second straight weekend) and got 2nd place in my AG and 21st overall for the race. The results have not been posted yet so I still do not know how many actually ran in the race, but it wasn't a lot. I'd guess 80 or 90 overall and maybe 5 in my AG.

Eric pushed me the whole way. He led by a hundred feet or so most of the race. I caught up with him at the 4 mile mark when he walked while drinking water and I just skipped it and kept running. We ran side by side both afraid to slow down until the 6 mile mark, then he sprinted a little ways ahead of me. However, he couldn't maintain it and I was able to pass him back about 300 feet from the finish line. I saw the clock approaching 48 minutes up ahead and sprinted even harder to get under 48 by a whisker with Eric crossing just a second or two behind. I told Eric if he hadn't been pushing me that I'd have probably finished 20 or 30 seconds slower than I did. I also told him that the only reason I beat him was that he ran with his shirt on giving up 2 seconds per mile.

Jen still hasn't fully recovered from the pneumonia she had a month ago. She said she was having trouble getting enough oxygen the last 2 miles, finishing around 52:30. However, that was still fast enough to get 1st place in her AG on a fairly tough course.

Next weekend all 3 of us will be racing again in a 15K. The 15K is one of my favorite race distances. Should be fun.


[This message has been edited by tagcaver (edited Oct-07-2007).]

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Cool Runner
posted Oct-06-2007 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tselbs   Click Here to Email tselbs     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was a good day for the 3 of you, tag. It sounds like a tough course but you still PR and get 2nd in AG. Jen's 1st in AG is especially impressive coming off a bout with pneumonia. Congratulations to all of you.


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Cool Runner
posted Oct-06-2007 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for huskydon   Click Here to Email huskydon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good job on a tough course. Congrats! I agree with you that a running partner can significantly help you keep pace.

We could probably test your theory about how much a sweat soaked shirt weighs.....

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Cool Runner
posted Oct-06-2007 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RunsTheBitterroot   Click Here to Email RunsTheBitterroot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Tag, great job to all of you on your race. Looks like a fun and challenging race. Larry

"If you see a man running up a mountain trail in Montana with a fly pole attached to his back, you are probably lost. LDD

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Cool Runner
posted Oct-06-2007 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tomwhite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
...nice running tag//.......sorry Jen isn't feeling well, but excellent effort.....and Pleasant Surprise on her AG Win///

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Cool Runner
posted Oct-06-2007 10:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for smpankowski   Click Here to Email smpankowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That sounds like a wonderful course and a fun race. Gotta love the hardware. Thanks for the RR

Have Fartlek - Will Travel, SteveP

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Cool Runner
posted Oct-06-2007 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JJJessee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice runing Tag and Jen, congrats to both of ya on hardware.
Good work on that final sprint. I didn't know of Elkmont, but have some friends just across the border in Elkton, Tn.
Great job guys,

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Cool Runner
posted Oct-07-2007 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Canfit     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great race, tag! Sounds like running with your shirt off is the key to victory. Nice PR and AG award too!

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La Tortuga
Cool Runner
posted Oct-07-2007 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for La Tortuga     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a fun race and "3.2 miles on a packed gravel trail through the forest" sounds lovely.

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Cool Runner
posted Oct-07-2007 07:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtoce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
congratulations, Tag!

Another pr and age placing...sounds pretty good to me. Nice finish on a long hill-holding pace. Seems like you're getting into pretty good racing shape for the fall.


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