Friday, June 15, 2007
an impromptu race
Imagine a nice casual family-oriented evening in the park on a Thursday. I didn't know what to expect really, and was running late in getting to the Peters Canyon Summer Trail Run Series. From the event site description, I somehow formed the idea that this was just going to be an easy fun run/jog around the park. When I arrived there, I realized that this was not necessarily the case when I saw serious-looking runners with bib numbers, short shorts (that's an indication in my view) and a start/finish banner sign. With literally minutes to spare, I parked, sprinted to the registration table, filled out the paperwork, paid, pinned my number, and got to the start line.
With hardly any time to warm up and stretch, the gun goes off, and the 80+ runners including OCTR mates Eric KP and Mari take off, and fast. Wait a minute! This is a race. That's right. And not a slow one too. Well no jogging for me here. This is definitely not an endurance event. It's a 5-mile loop--which means I need to haul my lazy ass. I haven't been doing any consistent speed work to speak of so it was kinda strange going at something faster than a nine minute mile pace.
The course heads down the canyon, then turns up the ridge where racers went through several rolling hills. It seemed like every time I topped a hill, there was another one waiting for me. Because this park is a popular destination for an evening jaunt, there were other runners, mountain bikers, and walkers/hikers on the trail, which, I thought, added to the relaxed and casual feel of this event.
This really is a nice laid-back race. For a low-key event, it was pretty well-organized; they even had water stations along the way too. At the end of the race, the smell of barbeque beckoned the runners to hurry up and cross the line. Although I wasn't used to turning my legs over very fast, I was able to leave some in the tank for a strong finish. I ended up about mid of the pack at 42:32. Fab Abs Mari was ahead of me at 39:00 while Eric KP burned the course at 36:55.
After the race, I picked up my event shirt and hung out with Wendy, her kids, Jake and Tiana (who were there to cheer us on), and Eric KP while we enjoyed the rest of the evening at the park. They had a raffle and several give-aways, and we walked away with a bunch of freebies including Cliff bars, Cliff shots, and Cliff gels. I even won a pair of Asics running socks. KP got on the mike after the raffle and plugged OCTR. We got a couple of inquiries about it including from an older gent who's done over 100 marathons. Wow!
Make-U-Fit which organized this series will have two more PCSTRS races for the rest of the summer, and given my experience on this first one, I will definitely put them on my calendar.
Hope to see you there.
Photos courtesy of Wendy.
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