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Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run - RunOther

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Grafton, Illinois
United States
Team Godzilla and Fleet Feet
30F / -1C
Total Time = 59m 56s
Overall Rank = 14/488
Age Group = 25-29
Age Group Rank = 4/18
Pre-race routine:

My wife and I stayed at the Lodge in Pere Marquette State Park, so I got to sleep in until about 7:15. I took a shower, put on my race gear, ate a PB&J sammich and part of a banana, and then headed across the street to packet pick-up to meet up with some friends.
Event warmup:

Travis, Ranger, and I all jogged around for about 15 minutes to get good and loose. I ate a GU and had a swig of water and made it to the start line with about 90 seconds to spare.
  • 59m 56s
  • 7.6 miles
  • 07m 53s  min/mile

I started in wave #4 (technically, the 5th wave) by virtue of entering my most recent 10k time. Admittedly, I made one up since I didn't have one to go with. It was fair, though. It gave me a shot to run with faster people, and not get bogged down folks who would start a lot slower than me.
Right out of the gate, people blasted forward and I ended up about mid-pack as we surged up the first hill, a behemoth mound of dirt, steps, roots, and rocks boasting a relentless 450ft of climb in about 1.25miles. It didn't take long before I started power walking the steepest pitches. Success! A few racers ran by me in first few minutes that I reeled in by walking shortly thereafter. Those who were laboring to even jog up these initial hills were doing themselves a huge disservice. With long strides and swinging arms, I quickly made my way to the top of the hill, no worse for the wear, and most importantly, ready to RUN.
I barrelled down every hill at top speed, sometimes with reckless abandon. I was already catching people from the waves ahead of me less than 2 miles in, and doing most of this damage on the descents. It took a solid mental effort not to get caught up in my own competitiveness as people ran by me up the hills. Just before the peak of each big climb, I'd start running again and pass a few more people who couldn't gather their legs under them. Not one single person passed me permanently.
Eventually, the race was really strung out at the front, and at times 50-100yds separated people. Every time it felt like I had picked off the last person I was going to be able to catch, I'd close in on, and pass, one more.
I knew I was having a pretty good race when I didn't see my wife at the road-crossing about 6mi in because she wasn't expecting me there yet. At best, I'd hoped to finish in around 1:05. But until the last 1.25 miles, I hadn't really taken the time to do any math. It dawned on me that I could break that elusive 1hr barrier if I really let it rip. I gathered myself for one final push and ran like hell trying to catch the next guy in front of me. I gave chase with everything I had left, but didn't gain much ground. The guys at the front of this race had some really quick legs!
I ran full tilt through the finish line to the cheers of my wife and friends. Totally spent! That was awesome.
What would you do differently?:

I would either carry my own bottle, or skip water altogether. It was so damn icy cold, it cramped my gut both times I took some from the aid stations. Live and learn.
Post race
Warm down:

I kept moving and got into some dry clothes. Wish I would have taken a quick ice bath, because I was in the hurt locker the next day!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The sideaches bothered me a little bit during a couple stretches. Otherwise, there was nothing I could have done to go faster on this day.

Event comments:

This is such a fun race with lots of tradition. I love that they have a band, wave starts, the best post-race cookie table EVER, beer, a sweet vest for all competitors, and instant results at the finish line.

Last updated: 2009-10-01 12:00 AM
00:59:56 | 07.6 miles | 07m 53s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/18
Overall: 14/488
Performance: Good
Course: Hilly, rugged single track through the park.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-12-14 1:32 PM

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Subject: Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run
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