Today was the inaugural running of The Conquer The Cove 25k and Marathon trail race, Chris and I both signed up for the 25k option. My goals for this race were to A) have a good time, B) not get injured, C) Thank all volunteers, and D) Finish with a sub 9:00 pace. I had a good time, I didn't get injured, I missed thanking a volunteer or 2, and my final pace was 9:16 so thats like 2 1/2 out of 4 I guess.
Good time. Really, if you like to run trails, then this would have been the hardest race ever to not have a good time at. Josh and Gina Gilbert of Mountain Junkies LLC and their volunteers had an excellently laid out and well marked course, their was good variety in the post race food, plenty to eat, and an excellent venue in Loch Haven Lake with its swimming area for a post race cool down.
Not get injured. I did play it just a bit conservatively today so as not to turn a minor discomfort into a serious injury. I doubt it cost me more than a minute or two on the clock. I never really established a competitive mileage base for this race anyway, so since I wasn't bringing my "A" game I didn't see any need to push much harder than a comfortable effort.
Thank all volunteers. Volunteers are the life blood of my recreational life. They make ALL races/competitions possible. If I missed saying it to you directly, then hopefully you will read this and know that you are appreciated. My lovely wife, Denise, volunteered today and I appreciate her effort especially knowing what she was dealing with.
Finish with a sub 9:00 pace. I usually set pace goals based on previous runnings of the same route, but I never ran this route to train for it, so I just took my trail half marathon pace from a few weeks back of 8:09 and I added 30 seconds per mile to accommodate the longer distance then I added 20 more seconds per mile to accommodate my lack of a training. I ended up with a 9:16 and the truth is a 9:16 pace IS a very solid pace for this course. Sometimes a trails elevation profile is a significant factor and that was the case here because even some of the hard core mountain junkies who always finish strong ended up pacing in the 9's today. So in retrospect I probably should have added another 21 seconds per mile to my goal and aimed for a 9:20 pace in which case I would have been slightly faster than goal pace!
After I crossed the finish line I accepted my finishers medal, which is of an excellent design, and waited on series points to get tallied. My son, Chris, picked up first place for his age group and I ended up with 2nd in mine. An excellent ending to the 2011 RNUTS trail races. Looking forward to 2012.
Conquer The Cove 25k
2011-time: 2:26:22.57, Pace: 9:16, Place 19/122 overall, 3/7 in my age group, 16/74 among men