Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Old Mountain 5K Trail Race


Old Mountain 5K Trail Race.
Sunday, December 16, 2013

7th overall.  1st in age group.  19:53.  Full results here.

The second annual "4th Season" Trail Race series kicked off with 135 runners.  Temps about 40, and threatened rain held off until awards ceremony, making the race itself fine running weather, especially compared to the brutal cold we had at last year's race.  Arrived about 8AM and helped Mike G with course marking and then joined together with Jonny and his kids to finish up marking.  Jonny, Muddy, Mike B, and I then ran almost the full course as a warm-up to get the lay of the land.

... and we're off!
With a start and end on grass fields, the siren went off.  I ran a pretty fast pace to get into the woods quickly, and entered 2 places behind Jonny.  After the root section and bridge crossing the river, this was the only place all course that I passed a runner, and almost tripped on rocks doing so.  I didn't think I could keep the pace, but managed to keep Jonny and the guy behind him pretty close in front of me for the next two miles, including slipping through the muddy spots.  I actually did fairly well on the rocks, just taking one or two carefully chosen steps and running right through it.

Still 1/2 mile to go; not much left in the tank.
After the swamp and new single-track, we headed back towards Old Mountain Field.  The trail was clean, but after a couple of uphills I was starting to feel spent.  At the top of one such, I knew Muddy was now behind me as I recognized his groan at the top of the hill.  I was wondering if I should pull over and let him pass, but I felt at that point I was keeping right behind the guys in front of me.  Past the mile 2 marker at the top of the next hill and neat cliff/look-out on your left, and then the stone stairs going down.  Placed one foot about 3 stairs down, and then just jumped the rest of the flight of stairs.  Landed off the trail, but ran through some brush and got back on.  By the time we had wound around (and around and around) and started to climb again, I was starting to drop back now and I heard Muddy utter "Jeff", followed by something I couldn't understand because I'm pretty sure he was speaking Serbo-Croatian to me.  I yelled "GO!", and he went past.  Past the balanced rock, and now all the twisty-turny-curvy-damn-you-Galoob turns.  Uh-oh, on the switchbacks I see a guy in blue right on my tail.  One more uphill and switchback, and now downhill to the field and final sprint on grass around the ball field.  I picked up the pace downhill, took a final peek back at the ball field, and saw I had opened up distance on the blue shirt guy. 

Finished just under 20 minutes!!  Jonny led the way for WTAC in 5th place, followed by Justin in 6th, and me in 7th.  Tried to catch my breath as I watched Seth and Mike B finish, followed by my two boys, and then Carol Ann, John, Mike C., etc.  Short cool down while picking up flags, and then awards.  The older David Principe had taken1st place in our age group at the sweltering Run 4 Kerri this summer, so I was especially happy to regain 1st place age group this time.  For my prize, I actually took the same New Balance backpack that Mike G won as his age group prize at Run 4 Kerri, and with the same selflessness as Mike, I gave it to son Matthew, who had been coveting the backpack ever I since I picked up for Mike that summer day and it sat all summer in our dining room until I gave it to Mike when I saw him in the fall.  What goes around comes around!  Matthew was very happy, and I was just happy overall with my performance and the team's.


My 38th and final race of the year is in the bag.  Looking forward to 2013 races, especially with my WTAC teammates, with the kickoff at Resolution 5K on January 6.  GO WTAC!!!


  1. Hilarious starting line photo! Good race too.

  2. I love reading trail race recaps. Awesome job winning your age division over that Turtle. Can't wait to race with you next year!