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XTERRA McDowell Mountain 15 Mile Trail Run - Run15 Mile

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McDowell Mountain Park, Arizona
United States
55F / 13C
Total Time = 1h 42m 6s
Overall Rank = 6/136
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/13
Pre-race routine:

This is pretty much a hometown race for me, taking place in McDowell Mountain Park which is 6 miles from my home. Jamie and I frequent the trails there on a regular basis and have a season pass, so I was able to sleep in and left home a little before 7 to get there for the 8 am start. Weather was cool, high 40's, and sunny. Perfect. I had coffe and a Cliff Bar for breakfast.
Event warmup:

Once I arrived at the parking lot of the Pemberton Trail head, I had plenty of time to get my packet and get myself sorted. My good friend Nir pulled me from my warm jeep to run up the trail with him about 30min before the start to get the legs moving. Nir is a very good runner and beat me by almost 5:30 at XTERRA White Tanks four weeks ago. Granted it was my first race back after taking a lot of time off running to heal my torn fascia, but that stung a little and I was hoping that my increase in run volume over the past month had given my run fitness a a boost and I could reasert myself to the front of the AG. I lined up next to Nir to keep an eye on him.
  • 1h 40m 6s
  • 15.2 miles
  • 06m 35s  min/mile

At the gun, Nir took off. He went staright into the lead. I knew better then to think that pace would hold and that there would be a few fast cats amongst the pigeons who would win this race and it wasn't me or Nir. I felt pretty good, not super sharp, but I let my HR build towards the low 160's. I knew if I could get my effort dialed in ealry I could sit on it and propelry manage the long, gradual climbs that make up the first few miles of the race. By mile 2, Nir had been shuffled back into the pack head of me as a group of three guys were now leading.

As we climbed Pemberton towards Dixie Mine, I settle into a good staedy effort and began to close in on Nir. As he turned on Dixie Mine, he looked back quickly and said, "Bryan, is that you?". "Yep!" I replied and tucked in behind him. We were now descending a bit and I was curious to see how fast he would go. I knew there was another long climb coming and decided as we hit a wash before the ridge, I should make a pass. I did and wished my friend well, hoping I could make this pass stick and last the race but not being 100% sure. I knew Nir has a tendency to go out too fast, go throuh a low patch, but finish strong.

I began the climb up Dixie Mine and just focused on the trail and the next runner ahead who was about 30 or so yards ahead of me. As we neared the turn around of the out and back. I took a gel knowing there would be an aid station there to get a sip of water to wash it down. The turn is half way up a very steep but short hill. As I made the turn I could see that Nir was in a group of three other guys chasing me. I tried to use the climb back up Dixie to make the gap larger. I saw the lead woman coming the other way and was encouraged as it was the same gal I passed but who passed me before the finish at Whtite Tanks. So I had her and near behind me, that made me feel good.

I made the turn onto Coach Whip and knew I would have a downhill recovery before making the last big climb of the race on this trail just past mile 8. As I climbed, I was actually closing in quickly on the guy infront of me. Towards the top, he was no more than 5 feet in front and I was thinking I could make a pass as we crested the ridge and began another long descent. This dude just took off! He gapped me so quickly it was startling and I was like, see 'ya! 5 feet turned into 100 feet in less then 30 seconds and I knew I had run out of big climbs to catch that guy.

As I made my way down back towards Pemberton, I took another gel in anticipation of another aid station. I was starting to feel kind of crappy. My HR had been falling a bit as i made the long descent but now back on more level, rillong terrain I was struggling to push it back up. I also got caught here by one of the guys who had been in that chase group. I didn't know him but he was runnign really well and went by me before the turn onto Tonto Tanks. I did look back but couldn't see anyone else coming up. Once I turned onto Tonto, I could see back up Pemberton a good ways and still the coast was clear. meanwhile they guy who passed me was quickly reeling in the guy ahead and I watched them battle as we descended the long, open trail. They were now almost 1min ahead of me but I could still see them.

Now I was really tired and just kind of wanted to be done. As i went through mile 13 I began to feel confidant I was far enough ahead of any pursuers that I could hold my position. I was fading and the last mile was kind of cruise control but I knew that I am still a work on progress and holding effort for 15 miles was a big ask at this point. But I also took a great deal of encouragement from the fact that I was up towards the front and ahead of athletes who had beaten me pretty soundly a month before.

At the awards ceremony, the RD announced me for the AG win and said I was back at the top of the list. That made me feel really good. :)
Post race

Last updated: 2012-02-01 12:00 AM
01:40:06 | 15.2 miles | 06m 35s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/13
Overall: 6/136
Performance: Good
Average HR- 157 Max HR- 165 Elevation Gain- 1,210 feet
Course: Pemberton Trail to Dixie Mine. Dixie Mine is an out and back and then up Coach Whip, back to Pemberton, Tonto Tanks, back again to Pemberton and to the parking lot for the finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
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

2012-02-06 9:35 AM

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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: XTERRA McDowell Mountain 15 Mile Trail Run

2012-02-06 12:43 PM
in reply to: #4031528

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Subject: RE: XTERRA McDowell Mountain 15 Mile Trail Run
Nice work Jedi master.
2012-02-06 1:21 PM
in reply to: #4031528

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Subject: RE: XTERRA McDowell Mountain 15 Mile Trail Run
Congrats on the OA M40-44 series Win.  Well done.  
2012-02-10 7:25 PM
in reply to: #4031528

No excuses!
Subject: RE: XTERRA McDowell Mountain 15 Mile Trail Run
Nice race Bryan!
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