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Valley Crest Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Tarzana, California
United States
Trail Run Events
80F / 27C
Total Time = 1h 47m 21s
Overall Rank = 15/222
Age Group = M 55-59
Age Group Rank = 2/12
Pre-race routine:

Showed up not sure if I was going to race or just volunteer. Spent an hour with my orthopedist two days before the race getting x-rays and exam to try to see if recurrence of mid-back pain that started during Lake Balboa Half on 5/27 was due to a new compression fracture in my thoracic spine. (Ironically, the first one was diagnosed after this race in 2015.) X-rays didn't indicate re-fracture of T-10, but suggested a new fracture in T-9 above it. Last x-ray for comparison was in Jan 2017, so all my doc could say was that I'd likely had a fracture there sometime in the last 18 months. Based on manual exam of the site, he felt there was minimal likelihood of an active fracture and that my back pain was muscular.

Got up at 4:15am to get to site early enough that I could help with registration if things went that way, but my back felt sound enough after a few short warmup runs that I decided to race. I knew it wasn't healed and I'd have to deal with some discomfort during the race at a minimum...the race director suggested I drop down to the 10K, but I decided I'd just pull out at 7 miles if it was too much.

Event warmup:

A few short runs and decent amount of stretching.
  • 1h 47m 21s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 11s  min/mile

Back didn't start to hurt until a downhill section around 4.5 miles, only got bad during long descent around mile 11.5. At the western turnaround, I was 21st overall, by the time I got to the eastern one, I was 15th. Moved up to 14th briefly, then got passed back to 15th. Hot day and injured, which added up to 7 minutes slower than my previous race here, back in 2015.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. Getting through this and placing where I did when I showed up not even sure I'd race was a big accomplishment.
Post race
Warm down:

Mostly walked...did a bit of Achilles stretching. Back was okay, albeit sore, and I know moving around helps it.

A lot of confusion around the age group awards. The results had my time correct per my watch, as well as my overall placement (and the fact that I was behind the top two women). But I'm almost positive the guy who was announced as the winner of my AG finished behind me (as did the guy who was the winner of the 50-54 AG)...I have a feeling that some people were credited with times from other people's bibs and that I actually won my AG.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Back injury. Heat.

Event comments:

My running club has a charitable partnership with the race directors and staffs registration and the aid stations. This is a pretty user-friendly trail half, inasmuch as it is all on wide-open fire roads, with virtually no technical sections (really only the start/finish).

Last updated: 2018-05-23 12:00 AM
01:47:21 | 13.1 miles | 08m 11s  min/mile
Age Group: 2/12
Overall: 15/222
Performance: Average
Garmin FR25 had time/distance as 1:47:18/13.25 mi.
Course: 'T' shaped course with a very short vertical. Roughly 3-3.5 mile out-and-back sections, first west, then east. All on fire road.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2018-06-10 5:10 PM

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Northridge, California
Subject: Valley Crest Half Marathon
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