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Rescue Run - Run10k

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Colorado Springs, Colorado
United States
Pikes Peak Road Runners
6F / -14C
Total Time = 46m 44s
Overall Rank = 23/269
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 1/35
Pre-race routine:

Normal breakfast
Event warmup:

Easy running over to base of big hill and back.
  • 46m 44s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 07m 32s  min/mile

This race is always challenging due to the terrain. Not a PR type of course at all. This year the weather made it even more of a challenge. We had snow a couple days before that came down wet and froze into ice as the temperatures plummeted from the mid 30s down below zero in a few hours. Much of the course was covered with a thin layer of ice, making the hills especially challenging.

A 5K and 10K are held and everyone starts together with a split off about a mile into the race almost at the top of a big steep hill. The 10K course winds around some rolling trails for a few miles before rejoining the 5K route at the same point where the original split was. Then there is an additional loop that goes a bit beyond where the 5K turnaround is.

I arrived at the race with several different shoes and various clothing choices. Even though it was very icy I elected to go with my regular racing flats and even with the very cold temps I decided I could do the race without a jacket as there was almost no wind.

During my warmup I ran over to the base of the big hill and back. I found if I stayed right on the edge of the road it was less icy and better footing. However, the road is winding and I knew that would cause me to have to run further because I would be on the outside corner in a few places.

I started a few rows back from the front, but got off to a decent start. The first few hundred yards were mostly bumpy and uneven snow on a dirt road, before getting on the icy pavement. Once on the pavement I stayed on the outside as planned and some people were getting ahead by running the shorter tangents until the base of the big hill. Then the icy conditions caused many to slow while I was still able to keep a decent pace on the edge of the road. At the point where the 5/10K splits, the 10K goes downhill for a short distance and I just went for it at that point. Fortunately I was able to retain enough control to keep from falling. After this short downhill the course goes onto dirt roads and trails. The footing was much better and I was able to really pickup the pace. I began passing bunches of people. Around the 2 mile mark I was very surprised to pass Eric, a usually very fast guy who was struggling in the poor conditions. I had to chuckle when I went by the aid stations because they were handing out ice water due to the low temps. Uh, no thanks, it's cold enough already. Once I got back to the paved road one of the guys I had passed went back by me. I worked hard to keep up with him, but couldn't keep the pace on the ice. I started passing the 5K stragglers about a half mile before the 5K turnaround. The 10K leaders went by on their way back and they were flying! There didn't seem to be all that many ahead of me though. When I got to the 10K turnaround I could see nobody was close behind me and I intended to keep it that way. I kept a strong pace going and when I started down the steep hill I tried to back off slightly.

A slow 5K person was on the edge where I wanted to run and when I started moving toward the middle I began to slip and let out a loud grunt. That ended up startling the person into moving just enough so I was able to get by and somehow I remained on my feet. I think some of my skiing skills may have come into play. As the road leveled out I was carrying lots of speed and hoping I wouldn't crash as I was pushing to the finish. Finally around the last corner I could see the finish clock and see I wasn't too far off my time from last year. Crossed the line in 46:44.

Within a couple minutes I got into my warmer clothes, then got a hot chocolate. That helped warm me up. Soon some of my friends were finishing and talking about the tough conditions this year. I was 36 seconds slower this year, but many other people were several minutes slower. I started thinking maybe I had a chance for an award. I remember just a few years ago when I thought it was great to just finish in the top 10 in my age group in this race, and now I was thinking I might place. They were doing the results as fast as they could, but were focused on getting the 5K done first. That made for a cold wait. Finally the 5K awards were done and the 10K results were posted. I walked over to have a look. I won! I actually won my age group by over a minute. What a great way to start off the New Year!

46:44 - 1/35 AG, 23/269 OA, 7:32 pace

All the running I've done in the past few months is paying off. I ended up with 3135 miles in 2010. However, it was really starting to wear me down toward the end and I'm going to back off some for a while.

Have a Great New Year!

What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Got into warm clothes right away and had a hot drink.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Weather conditions and snow/ice on the course.

Event comments:

This race is a fund raiser for the El Paso County Search & Rescue. It's always a fun way to start off the New Year.

Last updated: 2011-01-07 12:00 AM
00:46:44 | 06.2 miles | 07m 32s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/35
Overall: 23/269
Performance: Good
Course: Hilly and challenging. The 10K course is about 4+ miles on paved roads and about 2 miles on dirt trails. The first mile is mostly uphill. Then it is rolling/level for a few miles. The last 1 1/2 miles are mostly downhill. The 10K course offers some panoramic vistas of the Colorado Springs area and the Front Range mountains. The course was quite icy on the paved section of the course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2011-01-07 12:20 PM

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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Subject: Rescue Run
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