Sunday, January 5, 2014

Old Mountain Trail 5K

Saturday, January 4, 2014

4th overall of 66.  1st in age group.  25:15 (8:09 pace on snow covered trails).  Results here.

On a day where temperatures started below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and with 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground, I really didn't know what to expect.  It turns out that as long as you dressed properly and brought along a change of dry clothes and a positive attitude, you could have a great time.  That's exactly what I did.
Fresh tracks in snow at start of race

Mile 1:  Started in the 2nd row with Muddy.  Mass start making fresh tracks across a field.  After a hundred yards or so, you get to the end of the field and a sharp-left turn down an embankment with a foot of snow.  Here a runner fell in front of me and it took me some time to work about him (her?) in the deep snow.  I should have pushed him in the snow, stepped on top of him, and kept going [kidding].  This set me back to 20th place or so at least.  I tried to pick up the pace between here and the next 1/10 mile where you cross over a bridge and turn left into the woods, but it's hard to make progress.  I passed 2-3 more runners and then cut in front of teammate Mark Fuller just before entering the single-track.
Now about 15 runners back, I have my work cut out for me.  I passed teammate Josh, then Sandals and about 3 others before getting to the bridge crossing the stream about 1/2 mile in.  A guy wipes out right in front of me on the icy bridge.  I scoot around him.  From here, I run solo for the rest of the mile, gradual uphill, trying to make gains.

Mile 2:  The terrain is getting hard through here.  It's flatter, but there are lots of places where you can't see rocks under the snow, especially along streams.  I slide in a number of places, and at one point jab my foot pretty good into a rock, but somehow keep upright.  I pass a guy in orange shorts (later identified as a Houston-based friend of Jonny's named Tyson), and then pass Gunshow who gives me a congrats.   From here, I caught up to Muddy and followed him and Seth for a while.  Start of another climb:  short, but tiring.  Muddy signals for me to pass, and I do.  On the hill, Seth also yields for me to pass.
Half-mile to go; feeling good just before final climb

Jonny, Nate, Seth in pursuit

Mile 3: After the top of the rock overview, it's down a rock staircase, a sharp right turn, and a little more climbing.  This is where I pass a guy in a TNT vest, and with Seth in tow, we head past the balanced rock, and enter the twisty-turning trails leading to the parking lot.  I come up on Nate and Jonny, and let them know it's friendly teammates approaching.  I follow for a couple of turns, but I'm feeling strong, and if there's ever a time to try to pass, it's now while I'm going downhill.  I pass Nate and Jonny saying, "Don't worry; you'll pass me back on the uphill".  I try to put some distance on the flat part adjacent to the parking lot, as I know the hill is coming.  I run past Jana taking pictures, and start the hill climb - probably only 30' elevation gain, but I fear it's enough for Jonny to overtake me.  At the switchback and start of the downhill to the field and finish, I see Jonny and crew and am happy with my lead.  I pushed it the rest of the way around the field, and ended up finishing 10 seconds of Nate, with Jonny and Seth right behind.
Trying to help find a path of least resistance for Matthew's finish,
but don't know that there was one

Ran with Matthew for the last half-mile of his race, and then joined the team for a cool-down.  Great day for a great adventure.  On the car ride home, I changed soaking wet socks, took the snow and ice out of my running shoes and off of a clearly purple and swollen toe.  All worth it!  Thanks Mike and entire Galoob family for putting this on.  I am really pleased with my first run of the new year!
A sea of WTAC singlets.
Victory for the team today.

Another shot of the team, with a few additions.
John, Crutch, where is your  team spirit and singlet?
Shira, you're excused, as you're running for two.

Thanks, RD Mike, for hosting.
Man, that guy on right picking up his age group award is OLD.


  1. Great job out there putting some distance on us younger WTACers. The Gazelle cannot be contained!

  2. Great job out there! I'll be sure to stuff a singlet into my gym bag for next Sunday, can't believe I didn't have one with me...

  3. You looked so comfortable out in the snow. Awesome job!

  4. The picture of you picking up the age group award – something tells me you wanted to pic the megaphone that Mike was holding as your prize :)