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Afton Trail Run 25K - Run

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Afton, Minnesota
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 3h 26m 15s
Overall Rank = 154/261
Age Group = Master F
Age Group Rank = 58/93
Pre-race routine:

*Overall is Female Only*

I definitely ramped up my training pretty quickly after a slow start this spring, but put in a good May and June training for this. Several trail runs, both long and short, and really got to like trail running. I started to find road running so boring! Hah. I figured out my fueling, etc., and felt pretty good once race week arrived.
Event warmup:

We had a shuttle ride from the parking area (nice!!!) and then I just got my packet, fussed with my hydration pack, and talked to a few friends. The first part of the race is an easy downhill - perfect for a warmup.
  • 3h 26m 15s
  • 25 kms
  • 08m 15s  min/km

Overall this went about as expected. I figured I would finish between 3:15 (overly hopeful scenario) and 3:45. 4 if the weather was really brutally hot. The weather was on the good side. Very humid, but overcast for most of the race. That is really great for me - sun is my nemesis more than anything. The main areas where I lost time are hills, especially at the end, and one brief potty stop. My watch time was 3:23:56 because it stops when I do.

Miles 1-6 loop around a prairie, but have several ups and down in the process including some single track. On a hot day this section is really tough, but in the overcast morning it was fine. There's an AS at 2.5/4 miles, which helps the time go by and the crowd is still pretty thick. By the way, there were 525 total finishers - a big race!

Mile 6.4-10.3 are two big loops - all either up or down. The first hill is LOOOONG. Although this is all shaded and the views from the top are stunning. One of many points I regretted not having the camera out for pictures. I need to come back and just hike so I can enjoy it. At AS 3/4 I saw my friend Elena, so when I came by the 2nd time (at mile 10.3) I found her so she could reach in my pack for my next batch of gels. I was having one every 30 mins and needed a refill :)

From there to mile 11.7 it's a long flat stretch. I ran by a LOT of people here. So many walkers. Most normal humans run on flats or downhills and save the walking for hills, so I think this stretch is more mentally draining. I felt great though!

Then starts the "Meat Grinder" I don't think it's objectively a lot harder than any of the other climbs and may be shorter, but at mile 12 it's rough. Here is where I saw many folks blow by me, since I'm so bad at climbing. I have developed pretty good downhill skills and am trained enough that the flats are used for some speed. Unfortunately I suck at going up hills. Short legs and too much weight are working against me. I could easily run faster than the majority of people I was with, but they always eventually pulled away on the hills. It's not a matter of pacing, even fresh I am slow. I would need to step up my game big time to do this much faster - including increasing my fitness so that I could jog up more hills. I do think jogging is a better strategy for short-legged folks, although when it's rooted and rocky.. I don't know.

The last 3 miles includes two shorter climbs (still steep) and a mix of prairie and single track in the woods. This is the one section I didn't know. It was mentally challenging not knowing what to expect because it was really windy and you never seemed to be making progress. I regret not having run this before race day. So pretty, too! I definitely want to hike this section.

Finally got to the last mile or so and we see civilization. The last 1/2 mile is pretty much downhill and I saw some friends, so I ran it in. I was very happy to see that I had beat my "realistic goal" of 3:30. No WAY could I have done 50k on this course (or any course this difficult). I would like to try another 25k on a less hilly course. I like the scenery and the distance fine, just so very greuling. I'm happy I did a good job and have no real regrets.
Post race
Event comments:

It's a hard course and you should know that going in. I can't say it's "too hard" because it's what I expected, but it's no walk in the park. I like this time of year because now I can enjoy the summer without the trail run priority.

Rocksteady Running does a fantastic job. Great post-race food, tons of volunteers, many many AS. Would always recommend them.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2019-07-08 12:00 AM
03:26:15 | 25 kms | 08m 15s  min/km
Age Group: 58/93
Overall: 154/261
Performance: Good
Course: Hills, single-track, horse paths, meadow, everything. This race takes great advantage of the beautiful Afton State Park. This park is situated on the bluffs of the St. Croix River, so you are almost always climbing up or down.
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

2019-07-08 10:04 AM

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, Minnesota
Subject: Afton Trail Run 25K

2019-07-08 12:53 PM
in reply to: #5260656

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Afton Trail Run 25K
2019-07-08 1:07 PM
in reply to: leapdog

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, Minnesota
Subject: RE: Afton Trail Run 25K

Originally posted by leapdog Good job!

Thanks buddy!  Nice to hear from you!

2019-07-08 1:15 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Extreme Veteran
San Diego, California
Subject: RE: Afton Trail Run 25K
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